Life indeed gets difficult as an adult. In a span of just a few years, you go from having all your needs catered to by your caregivers to have to make all your personal and economic decisions. From relationship stress to anxiety about your financial well-being, your stress may be rooted in more than one cause. Stress and anxiety are common problems in men; in just 2023, 82% of men in the United States reported experiencing stress.
While stress may be a part of the ups and downs of life, you can effectively manage it and be able to go about your day. Keep reading to learn how you can manage your stress and ensure better mental health.
Why Does Stress Happen?
Like many feelings, stress is part of your body’s natural physiology. It is a body’s response to pressure: you will feel stressed whenever things do not go as they should or when you feel like things are not in your control. However, everyone deals with stress in their way – our genetics, personality, lifestyle, and socioeconomic conditions all impact our stress levels.
When our expected state of events is disturbed, our body releases stress hormones to cope with the pressure. These chemicals activate the autonomic nervous, help us veer off any danger, and put us into ‘fight or flight mode, which allows us to push through fear and pain. While these stress hormones are incredibly useful in the short term, a permanent ‘fight or flight’ stage is not healthy. Too much stress can overwhelm us and negatively impact our physical and mental health.
Impacts of Stress On Health
Stress is bad news for your physical and mental health. Long-term stress can lead to anxiety and depression. It can also cause mood swings, reduce self-confidence, and in severe cases, lead to panic attacks. Loss of appetite is also associated with people who have chronic stress in their lives.
Stress also affects your physical health. Some common physical symptoms of stress are headaches, rapid heartbeat, and an upset stomach. Chronic stress also can aggravate or cause severe disorders such as ulcers and heart disease. Stress causes high blood pressure, which can cause blood vessels to burst – if that happens in the brain, it is known as a stroke, which can be fatal.
Stress can affect almost any part of your body. For example, stress can cause phantom ringing in the ears or tinnitus. While you can improve your tinnitus by clinical interventions such as cerumen management from a HearCanada clinic, stress management can prevent the condition from developing.
How to Manage Stress
Making lifestyle changes can help you manage stress and make your day more relaxed. Follow these tips to lower your daily stress levels:
1. Exercise Regularly
Hitting the gym will not only give you a chiseled and healthy body but also lower your stress levels. Regular exercise will pump up your endorphins, which are special chemicals in the body that make you feel good. Almost any kind of aerobic activity can stimulate the release of endorphins, so whether you hit the gym or play a game of tennis, you will feel relaxed.
Regular exercise can get you in shape and improve your health, which boosts your confidence. The more confident you are, the less overwhelmed you will feel. Stress can cause you to lose sleep or disrupt your sleep patterns. Disrupted sleep can further elevate your stress, and this could become a vicious cycle. Exercising can mitigate this – a session at the gym can help you sleep better at night.
2. Eat Well
You can control your stress levels if you control your eating habits and make an effort to consume a healthy, tasty, and well-balanced diet. A balanced diet can boost your immune system and give you the energy to deal with stressful events. It can also improve your physical health and make you feel better about yourself. Make sure you intake the recommended dosages of vitamins and minerals, either from your diet or from supplements.
3. Take Deep Breaths
Deep breaths are an age-old remedy for acute stress. Deep breaths help reduce the number of stress hormones in your blood and have a calming effect on your mind. Deep breathing increases the amount of oxygen you can take in, which improves your respiratory activity and helps you focus.
Place your right hand at your abdomen and your left hand at your chest, and make a full exhalation. When you inhale, you should pull in more air than usual and focus on the rising of your abdomen. You should feel your stomach move by an inch when you breathe.
4. Take a Break
Between your daily job, taking care of your family, and making time for your friends, you may find it difficult to find a slot where you can relax. Always set aside a few minutes per day that are completely your own. Use that time to relax. While this may sound difficult to start, once you settle in with this routine, you will feel your stress levels come down significantly.
Some activities you can do to relax are yoga and meditation. If you are a religious person, you can spend this time praying. If you are a nature person, perhaps you can spend this time taking a walk outdoors. Listening to music can also elevate your stress levels.
5. Have Hobbies
Having hobbies can also reduce your stress levels. You do not have to spend much time on recreation if you are busy; even 15 or 20 minutes of doing something you love can make a difference. Some typical hobbies for a man include reading, playing a sport, or watching a movie. A good hobby will make you feel relaxed and happy.
Stress is a common problem – everyone deals with varying stress levels in their lives, even if they may not show it. The difference lies in how they manage their stress. Poor stress management can lead to you feeling overwhelmed and with poor physical and mental health.
Effective stress management includes adopting a healthier lifestyle, such as eating well and exercising. You should also make some time that is uniquely yours. Taking deep breaths can also calm you in a stressful situation. With these stress management tips, you will surely notice a positive change in yourself.