Stress can hamper the normal working of a man. We are here to suggest some activities that can de-stress your mind.
When stress punches you right into your stomach, your mind often goes blank, leaving you in a situation where you’re unable to think or even act. Stress can affect anyone, regardless of gender. It can arise due to heavy workload, interpersonal conflict or even intrapersonal conflicts as well. Men often display stress by showing aggressive behaviour, substance abuse or indulging in harmful activities like gambling and rash driving. Stress has a biological impact that forces our body to release a certain type of hormone called cortisol, also known as the ‘stress hormone’.
Insomnia, fatigue, indigestion and headache are some of the common signs of stress. Stress may also cause physical distress like weight loss/weight gain, hair loss, acne and muscle aches. Extreme, prolonged stress can cause chronic complications like prostate cancer, infertility, chronic gastronomical problems and cardiovascular diseases.
It is for a fact, that we cannot stop stress from arising. It is an inevitable aspect of mankind. However, we can be in charge of the way we let stress dictate our thinking and actions. It is important for men to manage stress. Managing stress not only relaxes your mind, but also gives you a healthy body and lifestyle.
Men, it’s time to gear up and get rid of that nasty stress. From meditating to talking, there’s a stress buster for every man out there.
Here are some tips and techniques, you can apply to enter a stress-free headspace:
Listen to music
Whenever you feel a tinge of stress creeping into your head, just pop in your headphones and go on a musical journey.
Listening to the right type of music reduces our heart rate and cortisol level. It also releases endorphins which creates a happy and relaxed headspace. Adding music to your daily routine is a great way to de-stress. One can reconnect with their emotions through different tempos, dynamics and genres. Singing, making music or even playing a musical instrument can help men to get rid of stress. Light jazz, classical and instrumental music can help you to relax your mind. In fact, the sound of rain, thunder and nature can remove stress to a great extent. Listening to pleasant and familiar music can create positive emotions as well.
For many, an untidy environment can increase stress, rather than reduce it. If you’re looking for a quick way to get rid of stress, organising your surroundings is an option. Men often feel overwhelmed when in stress. Decluttering your desk or room can make you feel at ease and more in control.
Organising may also include an organised schedule. Stressing on your routine occupies a lot of negativity in your head. It can make you feel overwhelmed. Scheduling doesn’t need to be a religiously woven timetable at all. You can create a ‘to-do list’ and jot down all the important stuff you need to do within a day’s time.
Yoga and meditation
Men who often find themselves stressed can try yoga and meditation. This alternative includes practices that combine physical postures and breathing techniques. Yoga keeps both mind and body in a healthy state. It creates a balance between energising your body and then relaxing it.
However, if you have a medical condition, prefer practising yoga under guidance. Listening to your body is a must while practising yoga. If you feel uncomfortable performing an asana or feeling breathless, avoid doing so as it would increase the discomfort.
Performing mindful meditation reduces stress, as well as increases your awareness.
The word mandala translates to circle or ‘mandap’ in an ancient Buddhist tradition. Practised by Buddhist monks, ‘mandala’ is an ancient practice to aid meditation and peace. Buddhist monks have been drawing mandalas since a very long time using sand, which is a traditional element. According to Buddhist traditions, mandalas represent wholeness, peace, unity, harmony and the cycle of life. It is a form of art therapy used by mental health practitioners in modern times.
It has been observed that while drawing mandala symbols, one can attain calmness and foster their mind and energy towards concentrating on your work. Taking some time to draw mandalas on a piece of paper can alleviate stress.
Finally having a sweet tooth does have some benefits after all!
Studies found that eating dark chocolate everyday reduces the level of stress hormones i.e. cortisol. Men who’ve been facing stress for some time can consume 40 grams of dark chocolates everyday for two weeks.
One of the most effective ways to reduce stress for men is to write down your thoughts on a piece of paper. It helps men to clarify their thoughts and feelings, removing stress. Journaling also acts as a great problem-solving tactic as by writing about a feeling or situation, you can also find a solution to it.
Journaling can also help you to know more about yourself. Writing about a stressful situation can clear out your mind for the moment, but in the long run, it makes you better prepared for a similar situation in the future.
Consuming a cup of tea
A warm cup of tea has been associated with a calm and positive headspace. Tea contains an amino acid called ‘L-theanine’ which acts as a catalyst to cure stress and anxiety. It also helps in increasing the release of serotonin and dopamine, which are known for uplifting moods, making one happy and calm.
Apart from reducing stress, the amount of L-theanine present in tea has other benefits also. There are certain types of tea that are known for their stress-relieving potential.
Chamomile tea is one of the most desired teas for relieving stress. It reduces stress and cures insomnia. Drinking chamomile tea at night can give you a good, sound sleep. Repeated stress can trigger gastrointestinal issues and can make your digestion slow. When it comes to curing both stress and the gut, lavender tea is an effective option. Peppermint tea is a great option to cure stress-induced headaches. Just inhaling a long scent of the tea can soothe your mood. Green tea is widely known for providing physical health benefits. However, it is filled with amino acids which have the ability to reduce blood pressure and release muscle tension. It is proven that this amino acid increases focus, alertness and better cognitive performance.
Spending time with a pet
Men living with pets often experience a much lower blood pressure during stressful situations than men not living with pets. It has been observed that when a person with hypertension adopted a pet, their blood pressure became normal after a few months. Playing with a dog, cat as well as other domestic animals can increase the dopamine and serotonin rush which your body requires to de-stress. Indeed these cute fur balls can do wonders to you.
Despite gender, stress can affect anybody. It is common for men to experience stress due to numerous reasons. Stress can take a harmful turn if it is not handled properly. Most men showcase stress by indulging in unhealthy eating habits, substance abuse and even harmful activities like gambling. Men can face various stress induced problems, sometimes even a chronic disease can root from stress.
To prevent getting caught in the web, it is important for men to manage stress by following different techniques and alternatives.