The stress of being a man

I was having an interesting discussion with a doctor a couple months ago around the topic of mens health. It was great to have opportunity to sit down and talk to someone who spends all day dealing with these types of issues and to hear what insight they have. 

As the conversation went on I asked the doctor what were some of the main causes of bad health for the unhealthy man. I was expecting to hear about bad diets, smoking, two much drinking and lack of exercise. While I was right about the behaviors his insight helped me identify one of the biggest causes of these. He said ‘Most of the unhealthy men that I see don’t have healthy ways to de-stress. When they get stress they tend to head towards unhealthy behaviors and lets be honest a lot of men now days are highly stressed.’ he went on ‘When these guys get stressed they tend to look towards alcohol, unhealthy quick fix foods, drugs, smoking and pornography. They also tend to neglect sleep by working long hours or having the ‘work hard, play hard’ attitude.’ He didn’t even mention the lack of exercise but it was pretty obvious that exercise wasn’t happening when these guys were stressed.

Often when I do talks I ask people to put their hands up if they lead busy lives? Just about everyone puts there hands up. With busy lives the chances of high stress increases and if you have trained yourself that the only way you release your stress is to use alcohol, or the other behaviors the doctor mentioned, you are leading yourself down a very unhealthy path. Even more so if you live a highly stressed life. 

One of the biggest problems with this situation is: How do you change a learned behavior? Example: When you are stressed, you drink to relax. If you feel this piece is written for you you want to start introducing new healthy habits that focus on you getting your stress out. The American Institute of Stress recommends activities like aerobic exercise, meditation, massage, listening to music, having a hobby, getting quality sleep and keeping a journal.

Stress is a part of the modern day life but if you can introduce healthy habits around how to deal with it you will be increasing your quality of life but also hugely improving your overall health.


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Bevan Eyles