Stress is a condition none of us are immune to, and if left untreated there can be damaging effects to our health, such as heart disease, a weakened immune system, and high blood pressure.
Men and women experience stress, but scientifically men are less equipped to manage it due to a difference in hormone levels. However, that doesn’t mean stress can’t be reduced. Should you be suffering from stress, here are several ways to overcome it.
CONFRONT THE SITUATION
When dealing with a stressful situation, we go into ‘fight or flight’ mode. Sometimes it is appropriate to flee from a dangerous situation, but smaller problems should be confronted before they become a larger issue.
Find out what is causing you stress. For many men, being the chief breadwinner in the home can lead to the internal pressure to provide for the family. Unresolved issues in a relationship can also lead to anxiety, or unfair expectations at work can heighten the stress level. Men are less likely to communicate and share their feelings, so negative feelings can become pent up, and are often vented in unhealthy ways, such as road rage. Therefore, instead of dealing with stress by yourself, talk to somebody about it. A problem shared is a problem halved, and somebody else may help you put the situation into perspective.
CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE
Unfortunately, the damaging effects of stress are compounded by an increase in unhealthy living, such as eating comfort food, smoking, drinking alcohol, and drug use. Short term relief is offset by the damage we do to ourselves, physically and mentally. It is important to resist the temptation to harm ourselves further and make differences in our lifestyle.
Exercise is a proven way to reduce stress levels, so consider picking up some Generation Iron clothing and joining the fitness revolution! Do something you enjoy, such as weightlifting or running, and you will soon begin to feel the positive effects of your workout. Exercise doesn’t remove the stressful situation from your life, but you will feel better equipped to deal with the problem when you burn off pent up tensions.
The stresses of the day can also be relieved with a good night’s sleep. Difficult situations can appear more manageable after rest, and your body will also be equipped to deal with any challenges the new day brings. Before you go to bed, avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they are known to disrupt sleep patterns, and can increase the chances of depression and anxiety. Instead, do something relaxing before your head hits the pillow, such as reading a book or listening to calm music, and you will fall asleep quicker.
It can be easy to forget about the people we love, and the activities we enjoy when stress overwhelms us. However, finding ways to take your mind away from negative feelings will help. Therefore, spend time with those people who make you feel good about yourself. Being able to laugh and smile will help you offset the stress you are feeling, and make you feel good about life again.