Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, & worry — all forms of fear — are cause by too much future, and not enough presence. Eckhart Tolle
Men and women handle stress differently. Women make friends and talk out their feelings which increase their oxytocin.They feel good when their needs become met or they help others get their needs met.
We as men, on the other hand, shut down and retreat inside to find solutions. We feel good as our testosterone levels raise through achievement. We look for solutions as stress relievers.
Do you have a ritual to separate the chaos of work from the comfort of home? Do you change your clothes, shower, rest or zone out to distress? Any ritual you enjoy will do. Do something even if you work at home to separate work from being at home.
Let’s look at what I see as the top stress relievers for men.
Top 5 Stress Relievers for Men:
1. Exercising:We can rid ourselves of stress through exercise. Pumping iron at the gym, playing basketball, golfing, hiking, or jogging etc., whether with other men or by ourselves all help as stress relievers for men.
Exercise also can help maintain wellbeing when confronted with stressful events. All of us can head outside for a brisk stroll. Plus, sunlight enhances our mood. We can do progressive tightening and relaxing different parts of our body. Breathe throughout the exercise.
2. Hanging Out With the Guys:We can escape and unwind from our stress with team sports like football, hockey, softball, volleyball or even just watching sporting events. Being outdoors and golfing also help.
Fishing and hunting trips with our buddies as well, as coaching sports games helps us unwind from stress.
We guys tend to drink together which stresses the liver and possible hangovers the next day. Eating together, however, creates bonding through the release of oxytocin which also has a calming effect.
Laughing with our friends or watching funny comedy programs like Comedy Central or old reruns of Saturday Night Live can also increase our well-being and act as stress relievers for men.
3. Spending Time Alone: When we distress it can also be in solitude like hiking or hobbies like photography or fishing etc.
As I said at the beginning, men and women handle stress differently. At the end of the day, women need to talk while as men we need to recuperate before we can focus on meet our partner’s needs.
4. Building Relationships:As men, like women, it is important to build positive friendships. Then we have people, whether they are men or women who we can turn in times of stress because we trust and feel safe with them. I always felt happier when I had a least one close male friend that I could talk to about anything and help me deal with challenges.
5. Learning to Nurture Ourselves:Even as men we need to learn how to nurture and re-energize ourselves just as women do, even though if may be more of a challenge. Nurturing can also come from hanging out with the guys or some solitary pursuit like reading or listening to or playing music.
Here’s another suggestion: When you start feeling stressed or riled up. Distract your brain; change your focus to something positive for instance, like three things you’re grateful for in your life.
Note:As men we tend to focus on achieving. I am going to offer, however, more solutions which have nothing to do with achieving and more with relaxing rather than doing.
1. Baths or Foot Soaks: Take a hot bath with at least a cup of Epsom salts and a cup of baking soda plus whatever essential oils etc. you like for 20 minutes. You can also use less and soak your feet. Rubbing different areas on the bottom of your feet also releases tension. Listen to music or even fall asleep.
2. Breaks: Take a short break whenever you can during the day. Even better talk to someone. A MIT study showed people who socialized during the work day were 10 – 15% more productive. Even when working at home get up at least every hour and at least stretch your body like bending down and touching your toes 30 times or walk around for a few minutes. Listen to music which relaxes you.
3. Massage: Massage including Thai massage which stretches the body, provides great stress release. Lying on hot stones serves as a great release of stress.
4. Self-Massage: You can knead the nape of your neck on each side to the base of your skull or have someone else do this for you. This type of self-massage releases serotonin, which increases a feeling of well-being.
5. Saunas: Have a sauna by yourself or with the guys. Sweating in extreme heat salves the soul. Stay in the sauna for about 20 minutes, then take a dip in a cold pool or a cold shower and relax for 20 minutes. You can repeat the cycle a second time.
6. Showers:If you have no access to a sauna then take a warm shower followed at the end by a brief cold shower. Yale research shows that the warmth of a hot shower boosts your mood.
7. Yoga & Meditation: Just 10 minutes a day of relaxation like deep breathing, meditation or yoga can ease muscle tension and help as stress relievers for men.
Today my top stress relief methods include playing fantasy computer video games, hiking in the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona, hot baths with Epsom salts and essence oils, a short nap in the afternoon, and practicing meditation and yoga.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael David Lawrience is the author of Emotional Health: The Secret from Drama, Trauma, and Pain His book provides ways for improving emotional health, easing pain and stress, healing physical and emotional abuse, and spiritual awakening.
Michael as a Residential and Self-Esteem Coach and Mentor has over 13 years experience teaching teens self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-reliance. See eBook Self Esteem- A Teen’s Guide for Girls
Michael offers Bowen Therapy in person in Sedona, Arizona for easing physical and emotional pain. See http://emotionalhealthtips.com/bowen-therapy