Stress is often called a silent killer for a good reason. When we start drowning in stress and all the symptoms it causes, we often find ourselves in a state of panic because the situation we’re in seems inescapable.
Luckily, it isn’t. We just have to start working on our stress before it becomes so noticeable that it’s debilitating. Ideally, we‘d deal with stress by removing the source of it. However, sometimes that’s not a viable solution. Sometimes the root cause of our stress isn’t just one thing but a complex, interwoven network of multiple reasons. Thus, dealing with stress is easier said than done.
Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t deal with stress at all. We just have to manage symptoms before they become too much for us to deal with. With that in mind, here are ten proven ways to reduce stress in men.
Table of Contents
1.Get Some Fresh Air
According to APA (American Psychological Association), financial issues are the most common cause of stress. In other words, the fact that we’re barely making ends meet and yet still wasting our lives (or at least all the free time we have) by working is the leading cause of stress.
If you’re reading this while sitting at your office desk, desperately seeking a way to escape the feeling of drowning in stress and anxiety, then you already know what we’re talking about. Some of us feel the first symptoms of work-related stress as soon as we open our eyes in the morning. Others feel its lingering effects even during their time off.
In other words, work-related stress is a huge issue. One of the ways to combat it is to physically step away from it and get some fresh air.
Yes, it sounds like a cliche. However, spending time in nature can severely reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. For example, frequent walks in nature can help us ruminate less. A major sign of stress is our inability to shake off negative thoughts. PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science) did a study on how walks in nature are related to stress and found that 90-minute activities in nature (such as hiking, biking, or just leisurely walks) significantly reduced rumination.
2.Hit the Gym
Everyone and their mother know that exercise can help us manage and reduce stress. Of course, there are no amount of pushups that we can do to remove stress from our lives completely. However, exercise, even a tiny amount of it on a daily basis, can help us manage the symptoms and deal with the emotional turmoil that stress brings into our lives.
That, of course, is related to the endorphin production that usually follows exercise. The endorphin high, as some call it, floods the brain with hormones and chemicals that reduce anxiety and pain. Therefore, it’s no wonder we feel better after exercising.
3. Eat Clean (But Also Endulge)
A healthy diet is essential when it comes to managing stress. Although binge eating brings us instant gratification and seemingly deals with the emotions that stress causes, it’s actually quite bad for our stress management (long-term).
Eating a balanced diet means we won’t have frequent spikes of blood sugar (that we often have after eating junk food). These spikes feel amazing, but we feel even more stress and anxiety after the blood sugar levels crash. That’s why it’s vital that we avoid them.
However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t indulge from time to time. We shouldn’t deny ourselves our favourite snacks or foods just because we’re stressed. On a psychological level, that will do us more harm than good.
4. Have a Creative Outlet
Believe it or not, people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from symptoms of stress. Having a hobby or a purposeful activity that will occupy us when we’re feeling overwhelmed with stress can greatly help us manage stress in general.
That’s especially true if the hobby in question happens to be an outdoor activity or a team sport. However, creative hobbies can also help us. Even something that doesn’t require a lot of energy (like listening to music) can alleviate some of our stress. Therapeutic music (such as classical music) can reduce bad moods, depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms.
5. Sleep More
People who don’t really have a regular sleep schedule and pull all-nighters often are more inclined to develop an anxiety disorder. Generally speaking, the less we sleep, the bigger the chances of feeling stressed, anxious, and depressed.
6. Quality Time With Your Loved Ones
Dealing with any mental issue on your own is exhausting. It’s an uphill battle. However, with a good support system, we can overcome just about anything.
Stress is no different. When we’re feeling stressed, anxious, or just overwhelmed, it’s good to set aside some time to spend with our loved ones.
If we’re in a hurry, spending time with other people can sometimes fall all the way to the bottom of our to-do lists. However, by doing that, we’re doing ourselves a disservice.
Even a quick coffee with friends or family members can help reduce our stress levels. Not to mention, it will definitely reduce the negative effects caffeine usually has on stress.
7.But Also Yourself
While it’s vital that we make time for others, it’s also quite important to leave room during the day for some “me-time.”
The time that we set aside for ourselves is crucial. It’s also a smart idea to frequently indulge in some self-gratification. Orgasms are fantastic stress relievers. And although some men prefer to have them exclusively with other people, masturbation is also a viable method of combating stress.
In today’s modern age, masturbation is practically a form of self-care. That’s why owning adult toys that can help you get some relief at the end of a long, hard day (or at the beginning!) is an excellent idea. Masturbating to completion releases the “feel-good” hormones that flood our nervous systems and flush out the negative feelings that accompany stress. These hormones actually alter our perception of pain and stress.
Masturbation and specifically using male masturbators in order to orgasm also reduces general stress related to having sex and maintaining sexual relationships with other people. Many men find the prospect of pursuing a sexual relationship to be stressful, which is why they often miss out on the opportunity to relieve stress via orgasms. With masturbation, they don’t have to.
8. Reduce Your Screen Time
Most of us are constantly looking at at least one screen. At any given hour (even right before we fall asleep), we’re checking our email, social media profiles, reading the news, or just consuming content.
Although content consumption and screen time can be a good way to think about something else (rather than your stress), too much screen time can actually increase our stress levels.
That’s especially true if we have a habit of frequently (and obsessively) checking work emails. As mentioned, work-related stress is the most common type of stress in men. That’s why it’s vital that we set boundaries and limit our screen time.
Meditation lets us focus on the moment and practice mindfulness. It also helps us train our minds to redirect our thoughts. That’s extremely helpful with rumination. When we’re feeling overwhelmed by negative thoughts that won’t seem to go away, meditating for a while can help us clear our minds and focus on something else.
When we’re stressed, our bodies react to it in both psychological and physical sense. Stress increases the levels of cortisol (also known as the stress hormone). Increased levels of this hormone can lead to inflammation as well as disrupted sleep patterns, depression, high blood pressure, anxiety, fatigue, etc.
Meditation can reduce inflammation caused by increased cortisol levels (that is, in turn, caused by stress). When we meditate, we focus on our breathing, and our blood pressure goes down, which significantly affects the cortisol levels.
10.Remember, Strive for Excellence, Not Perfection
The fast-paced corporate world we live in is constantly asking us to improve and better ourselves. Although that isn’t inherently bad, it can leave us feeling stressed. When we set goals for ourselves and strive to perfectly reach and execute them, we can find ourselves feeling stressed and depressed if we don’t. And, even if we do achieve what we set out to do, the process of striving for perfection leaves us exhausted.
That’s why it’s much better to strive for excellence but never perfection. Unrealistic goals can leave us feeling hopeless. That’s why, if we’re trying to reduce our stress, we should start small and work our way up.