Most men are silent heroes. They often go beyond their limits to fulfill the different roles they play in life. Whether they’re a father, a son, or anything in between, they keep pushing on until they’re able to meet expectations put on their shoulders.
Because it’s a tough world out there, stress is inevitable. Stress may either push a man forward or hold him to stop for a while and recharge himself. But most often, you can’t stop a determined person from getting what he so wants despite the obstacles at hand. He will crush them all no matter the consequences, even if it means stressing himself out. And this is the hard fact of life. Most successes are marred with strained relationships due to the stresses a man had been through.
Stress is not only harmful to a man’s relationship with others but also the one he has with himself. Most often than not, men deal with their stress through bad habits, like alcoholism, smoking, overeating, and even drug abuse.
If this sounds like you, it’s not yet too late to turn away from your bad habits and replace them with practices that can help maintain your wellbeing and stay healthy despite the daily strains of life. The following practices may look simple, but you need to have enough will and grit to follow through.
1. Regular exercise
Exercise works best in reducing your stress levels. When you engage in a regular exercise or other physical activity, you encourage your body to produce endorphins, those chemicals in the brain responsible for reducing pain. These feel good chemicals also trigger feelings of positivity in your brain and help improve your mood.
2. A healthy diet
Good nutrition is also key to improving your body’s endorphin production. Eating right reduces your body’s stress levels. This means you should only put the right food on your plate and avoid the ones that can interfere with your brain’s chemistry, like caffeine and caffeinated beverages.
A warm cup of tea can have a soothing effect on your body. Sipping herbs like chamomile and lavender is found to have a calming effect. Additionally, get enough proteins to increase your serotonin levels. Also known as the happy hormone, serotonin helps improve your feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Foods rich in antioxidants, such as dark chocolate also help you combat the free radicals that can induce mental problems.
3. Get enough sleep
While stress can hamper the quality of your sleep, getting enough sleep can reduce your stress levels. This may be hard to do at first when you’re too stressed out. But don’t allow these thoughts to hinder you to get enough sleep.
A well-rested mind helps you cope much better with life’s daily stressors. But how to do this? You should manage your stress first before taking your zzz’s. You need to unwind and relax to condition your mind and body for better sleep.
A warm bath or shower may work great for you. Finding a quiet time to declutter your mind, doing light stretches, and getting a massage before bed are the other alternatives you can try.
4. Face problems head on
If the problems you’re trying to avoid are what causing you stress, you need to face them head on. Avoidance or procrastination won’t help. If your boss is giving you work that is too much for you to handle, tell him about it. Don’t put on your plate more than you can chew.
If your partner’s attitude gets the worst out of you, open up to her. The confrontation may mean for an impending conflict but it’s the only way to deal with it. As long as both of you agree to find a win-win solution, peace in your relationship is attainable. Sometimes, it takes a heart to heart talk before you understand what each of you is going through. You might not know she’s acting the way she does because she only craves for your attention.
The more you postpone something that must be done, the more you’re putting a mental strain on yourself. Things will only look scary when you think of them. The moment you face them, you’ll be surprised how manageable they can be.
5. Get out
If possible, get yourself away from situations, places, or people that are causing you stress. If it’s not possible try spending less time with them.
Research found that traffic jams stress men more than it does to women. Find a different route with less traffic on your way home. If there are no alternative paths, go home later or earlier than your usual driving time when the traffic is no longer that heavy.
If some colleagues get the best out of you, spend less time with them. You have the right to preserve your mental health and maintain your sanity.
6. Let go of control
You can’t control everything that happens in your life. Your boss’s behavior isn’t under your control. The bad weather that caused you to get stranded in an island while on a getaway isn’t under your control. The driver who gave you a bad rap in traffic isn’t under your control. You’re only one hundred percent in control of your emotions. Instead of giving attention to these stressors, tune inside yourself and tell yourself it’s not you but it’s them so there’s no need to keep bugging about it.
7. Eat the frog first
Mark Twain gives this idea of eating the frog first. He only means if you tackle the most difficult thing first thing in the morning, you will not spend your whole day thinking about it over and over again.
If what stresses you is the upcoming meeting later in the afternoon, you can’t certainly eat that frog first, but you can have the mental preparation of what can go right instead of focusing on what could go wrong.
8. Celebrate your little wins
Make it a habit to crash out the thing you’ve completed in your daily to do list. Just doing this simple thing can send signals to your brain that you’ve accomplished something that day, regardless of the size of the task.
Constantly give yourself a pat in the back whenever you accomplish important or even not so important goals. Your little wins will accumulate and the challenge of having to do many things in your to do list will no longer stress you because you know you have the capability to do them.
Giving yourself a treat is also one way of celebrating your small wins. Buy yourself a new pair of socks or treat yourself for a massage every time you have accomplished something remarkable.
The amount of your stress doesn’t have to define your outlook in life. Every friction in life can only make you stronger when you know how to keep yourself focused on the right perspective. Stress is a natural part of this technology driven world. But it can be managed. And you just knew how.