Ways For Men To Reduce Stress
A man’s health can be negatively affected by high levels of stress. Protect yourself by practicing some simple rules to limit your stress.
Stress has become a major modern-day factor affecting men’s health. The tension and emotional strain of day-to-day living has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, back pain, diabetes, cancer, and a weakened immune response to disease.
Men experiencing high levels of stress can experience anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, and depression, and may turn to unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking, overeating, or drug abuse to help deal with their stress.
Mens Health: The Dangers of Stress
Stress is harmful because it presses biological buttons inside men that have long outlived their usefulness. When a man had to battle wild animals to save his family, that stress prompted certain fight-or-flight responses within his body:
- The heart rate soared to send more blood to the brain, improving quick decision-making.
- Blood shunted into the large muscles of the arms and legs to provide more strength and speed, and away from the gut.
- Blood sugar rose to provide more fuel for quick energy.
- Blood began to clot more quickly, to prevent blood loss from wounds or internal damage.
It’s not hard to draw lines from those natural responses to the diseases now associated with stress.
Mens Health: 10 Ways to Deal With Stress
Use Essential Oils Or Scented Candles
The refreshing scent of essential oils and scented candles can have a relaxing effect on your mind, stimulating the smell receptors in your nose and sending positive signals to your brain!
Functioning as forms of aromatherapy, certain scents and essential oils may have compounds that help release stress and calm nerves.
One such example is lavender oil, which can help target the limbic system, the part of your brain that controls emotions.
Now that you know these handy tips on how to release stress, its time to start practicing them in your daily life! However, if you still cant seem to get a handle on your stress levels, getting some mental health advice could help.
Types Of Relaxation Techniques
However, a whole range of relaxation practices can help you power down and de-stress.
There’s no one shoe that fits all, Smith says. He points to five or six approaches based on scientific observation and experience that really do work for stress reduction. There are other therapies, too, that you might find helpful. You can do one at a time or you can practice some together.
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Quick Stress Relief At Work
Meetings. During stressful sessions, stay connected to your breath. Massage the tips of your fingers. Wiggle your toes. Sip coffee.
On the phone. Inhale something energizing, like lemon, ginger, peppermint. While talking, stand up or pace back and forth to burn off excess energy, or take calls outside when possible.
On the computer. Work standing up. Do knee-bends in 10-minute intervals. Suck on a peppermint. Sip tea.
Lunch breaks. Take a walk around the block or in the parking lot. Listen to soothing music while eating. Chat with a colleague.
Your workspace. Place family photos on your desk or mementos that remind you of your life outside the office.
Tips To Manage Stress
We all have stress at work, at home, and on the road. Sometimes we can feel especially stressed because of a bad interaction with someone, too much work, or everyday hassles like getting stuck in traffic.
Negative stress can keep you from feeling and performing your best mentally, physically and emotionally. But no ones life is completely stress-free. Its important to know how to manage the stress in your life. Try these three simple techniques for dealing with it.
1. Positive Self-Talk
Negative to Positive
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To really make it work, practice positive self-talk every day in the car, at your desk, before you go to bed or whenever you notice negative thoughts. Its a great practice to teach kids, too!
2. Top 10 Emergency Stress-Stoppers
Emergency stress stoppers are actions to help you defuse stress in the moment. You may need different stress stoppers for different situations, and sometimes it helps to combine them. Here are some ideas:
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Stress Drugs For Stress And Anxiety
While there are currently no drugs specifically for stress, there are enough for anxiety that should have roughly the same overall effect. But because of the adverse reactions and the physiological and psychological dependency risks, even these should be used extremely sparingly.
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Where Stress Gets Stuck In The Bodyand How To Release It
In a new video collaboration, Lauren Roxburgh, structural integration and alignment specialistand our resident fascia and pelvic floor authorityteams up with a medium, meditation leader, and author of Intuitive Being, Jill Willard to help us manage stress depending on how we react to it in the body. In her ongoing body work with clients, Roxburgh says she can actually see and feel stress stuck in the bodyand that it tends to build up in five areas, depending on how each individual responds to stress Roxburgh calls these five areas the stress containers.
Together with Willard, who brings her deep knowledge of the mind/body/spirit intersection and the nature of energy movement within the body , Roxburgh explains how stress gets stuck in the body, what it does once stuck there, and how to treat each of the five areas it gets stuck in.
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Powerful Strategies To Stop Or Reduce Stress Eating
*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link!*
Many people eat to cope with their emotions, including myself, now and then. It is something that we are all susceptible to, so youre not alone.
Before diving into how you can handle stress eating, lets talk about the difference between physical and emotional hunger because knowing the difference between the two is helpful.
Stress Can Make You Gain Weight
People are likely to consume 40% more food than they normally do in stressful situations. When surroundings prove stressful, its natural that an activity as immersive and personal as eating is what humans take comfort in.
In fact, this is something thats so innately and primitively human that it hasnt changed since the ancient times of hunter-gatherers. In the olden days, harsh conditions meant that humans had to eat as much as they could when food was available, so they could have better survivability during times when food was scarce.
When stress makes you eat, its your emotions rather than your body dictating how much food you need. Not to mention the fact that when youre stress-eating, its usually not the celery sticks you reach for, but rather indulgent comfort food such as ice cream which are high in sugar.
Stress-induced food cravings and feelings of guilt after eating are typical signs of stress eating.
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How To Release Stress From The Body
Every person deals with and holds stress differently where you hold yours depends on how your body reacts to the factors that cause stress in the first placewhether that is tightness, stiff joints, tension, trauma, fears, worries, or other symptoms.
As Jill explains: Activating the being and intuitive side of our brain helps calm and support our more busy, thinking side. We talk ourselves into some pretty illusionary scenarios based on old, unfinished situations, tension, and fear. To connect with our intuitive side, we begin by asking ourselves to pay more attention to our internal dialogue, and to our tightness. Closed mind, closed body. I regularly encourage my clients to trust in their inner awareness and ability to self-heal. From this place, we begin to notice our bodys signs.
How To Answer How Do You Handle Stress
To answer this question successfully, you’ll want to provide specific examples of how you’ve handled stress well in the past. You might also provide examples of times when pressure actually made you work more productively.
Be careful how you respond. If you say you get stressed when you’re given multiple projects, and you know the job will require you to juggle many assignments at once, youll look like you’re not a good fit for the position.
Consider mentioning how a little stress can be a helpful motivator for you. Try to provide an example of a time when the stress of a difficult project helped you be a more creative and productive worker.
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Stress May Make Your Emotions Harder To Control
You may be fairly patient by nature, but it still wont take much to make you lose your cool when stressed. According to neuroscientists, it takes only mild levels of stress to make emotions harder to control. Factors like fear and anxiety that youd otherwise have a good grip on can become harder to control even with mild stress.
In 2013, an experiment tested the ability of participants to control their emotions under a mild stress factor having their hands dipped in ice water. The simple action made it harder for participants to calm themselves down when concurrently shown pictures of snakes and spiders.
If you dont learn how to release stress, theres even a chance that you may develop an emotional disorder like depression, which can result from chronic, untreated stress. The other emotional effects of stress include the inability to control anger, which may inadvertently lead to strained relationships at work and at home.
As your mind becomes muddled with anxiety and other emotions, you may also experience problems with concentration and memory.
Tend To Your Spirituality
If you consider yourself spiritual, developing your faith can also help improve cortisol levels.
Studies show that adults who expressed spiritual faith experienced lower cortisol levels in the face of life stressors such as illness (
If you do not consider yourself spiritual, these benefits may also be available through meditation, developing a social support group, and performing acts of kindness .
For those with spiritual inclinations, developing faith and participating in prayer can help manage cortisol. Whether youre spiritual or not, performing acts of kindness can also improve your cortisol levels.
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Stay Away From Conflict
Interpersonal conflict takes a toll on your physical and emotional health. Conflict among co-workers can be difficult to escape, so its a good idea to avoid conflict at work as much as you can.
Dont gossip, dont share too many of your personal opinions about religion and politics, and steer clear of “colorful” office humor.
When possible, try to avoid people who dont work well with others. If conflict finds you anyway, make sure you know how to handle it appropriately.
Quick Ways To Reduce Stress
Taking care of your long-term mental and physical health is an important part of stress management. However, there isnt always time to take a nap, hike a fourteener, or read a novel. Thus, here are 25 ways to reduce stress in five minutes or less. From eating chocolate to meditating, there is a quick stress-relieving tactic for everyone.
1. BreatheSlow, deep breaths can help lower blood pressure and heart rate. Try pranayama breathing, a yogic method that involves breathing through one nostril at a time to relieve anxiety. The technique is supposed to work the same way as acupuncture, balancing the mind and body.
2. Listen to Music No matter what the song, sometimes belting out the lyrics to a favorite tune makes everything seem all right. If youre in a public place, just listening to music can be a quick fix for a bad mood. Classical music can be especially relaxing right before bedtime.
3. Take a Quick Walk When youre feeling overwhelmed or having trouble concentrating, go for a quick stroll around the block. Youll get the benefits of alone time, physical activity, and a few minutes to gather your thoughts.
4. Find the Sun If its a sunny day, head outside for an easy way to lift your spirits. Bright light can be an effective treatment for people who suffer from depression, and can even cheer up otherwise healthy people.
8. Rub Your Feet Over a Golf Ball You can get an impromptu, relaxing foot massage by rubbing your feet back and forth over a golf ball.
12. Be Alone
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What Is The Fastest Way To Relieve Stress
There are countless techniques for managing stress. Yoga, mindfulness meditation, and exercise are just a few examples of stress-relieving activities that work wonders. But in the heat of the moment, during a high-pressured job interview, for example, or a disagreement with your spouse, you cant just excuse yourself to meditate or take a long walk. In these situations, you need something more immediate and accessible.
One of the speediest and most reliable ways to stamp out stress is to engage one or more of your sensessight, sound, taste, smell, touchor through movement. Since everyone is different, youll need to do some experimenting to discover which technique works best for youbut the payoff is huge. You can stay calm, productive, and focused when you know how to quickly relieve stress.
Social interaction is your bodys most evolved and surefire strategy for regulating the nervous system. Talking face-to-face with a relaxed and caring listener can help you quickly calm down and release tension. Although you cant always have a pal to lean on in the middle of a stressful situation, maintaining a network of close relationships is vital for your mental health. Between sensory-based stress relief and good listeners, youll have your bases covered.
Tips To Relieve Stress And Release Tension
How to relieve stress and release tension?
Stress and tension seem to be an integral part of life.
Wherever you go, they go after you. There is stress and tension at work, at home and in relationships. There is stress and tension due to health problems, and stress and tension brought about by ones financial situation.
Sometimes, you can eliminate or change the external cause, and sometimes you cannot. Often, when you cannot change the external cause, you become more stressed. If you can deal with the external cause thats great, but what if you cannot?
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Embrace Your Inner Child And Play
When was the last time you colored, played hide and seek, or watched cartoons? Dr. Saltz believes that embracing playtime as an adult can be amazing for stress. Bonus points if you have actual kids around to play with. However determining what that is is entirely up to you and your childhood. Dont be afraid to get silly and embrace whatever uniqueness comes to mind.
Use The 20 Minute Trick
One trick that has been helpful for me is the 20-minute rule. When I feel an urge to stress eat, Ill put 20 minutes on the clock and do something to preoccupy my time, such as reading .
After the 20 minutes are up, Ill reassess how Im feeling. If I still feel a strong urge to eat, Ill add another 20 minutes to the clock and repeat the process.
Cravings can lose their power if you give them enough time. Ill admit, this strategy can be tough initially, but like anything, the more you do it, the better youll get.
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Stress Is Bad For Your Heart
Stress can damage your bodys most precious muscle. Stress-induced hormones like cortisol constrict your blood vessels and cause an increase in your heart rate, straining your hearts muscles and increasing your blood pressure.
High levels of cortisol can also increase blood cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar, all of which are risk factors for heart disease. It can also increase the chances of plaque building up in your arteries, triggering poor blood flow to the heart muscle.
This has even been reflected in medical history, where the rate of heart attacks in a population might increase after incidents that induce major stress, such as hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis.
In the long term, stress can also impact how blood clots, making blood stickier and even increasing the risk of strokes.
Make A List Of Things Youre Grateful For
We get it, it can be difficult feel gratitude for anything when it feels like the world is falling down around you. But showing gratitude for the smallest things, like a warm cup of tea or a sunny day can lift your spirits and reduce anxiety, Gail Saltz, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine and host of the Personology podcast, tells Health. If possible, start a daily gratitude journal where you list what you’re grateful for that day, turning the stress-relieving habit into a routine.
Releasing Tension In The Pelvic Floor & Hips
The fifth stress container is the pelvic floor. Holding stress here can cause lower back pain, tight hips, and a disconnection from your deep core. Many of us have lost our connection to this webbing of muscles and connective tissue. Weve also lost the ability to mindfully connect and relax the area, so as life goes on, we continue to lose more connectivity, tone, and resilience. When we reverse this loss and the pelvic floor is neuromuscularly connected, we learn how to let go and surrender, and the hips follow, becoming more fluid, flexible, and lighter.
As Jill says: The hips are the root element that connect to our basic needs being met, our sense of security and physical freedom. Many people carry old pain, leftover memories or illusions, or old disappointments in their hips.
In this last video we show you how to release accumulated stress and build resilience in the pelvic floor and hips:
The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies. They are the views of the expert and do not necessarily represent the views of goop. This article is for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.