10 Ways for Men to Reduce Stress
Men’s Health: 10 Ways to Deal With Stress
So what should modern man do to short-circuit his ingrained tendencies? Here are 10 ways to reduce stress and its toxic effects on the body:
- Exercise regularly. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress levels, helping you burn off pent-up energy and tension. It also improves overall health.
- Eat and sleep well. Good nutrition and 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night can help your body recover from past stress and be better prepared to deal with new stress. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants that might promote stress and sleeplessness. Avoid alcohol, which might deepen any depression you may be feeling.
- Meditate. Spend at least 15 to 20 minutes a day in quiet contemplation. Depending on your preference, you might like to devote the time to meditation or prayer, or practicing yoga or tai chi if you want more of a physical component. Breathe deeply and clear your mind.
- Solve the cause of your stress. Dealing with the problems that cause tension can relieve you of that stress. Inaction just allows it to build. If your neighbor’s dog barks constantly, talk with him about it. Talk to your boss to figure out solutions for problems at work. Ask for help if you can’t meet all the demands placed on you.
- Avoid stressful situations. Recent research suggests that men’s stress levels soar 60 percent in traffic jams — seven times higher than women’s. If possible, time your driving to avoid rush hour. Shop when you know the store won’t be packed with people. And cut down on the time you spend with people who get on your nerves.
- Accept things you can’t change. There are going to be things in your life that you can’t control, no matter how hard you try. For example, there’s no use allowing snow or rain to bother you — how would you go about changing the weather? Instead, look for ways to enjoy uncontrollable circumstances. Play in the snow like you did when you were a kid; spend a rainy day reading, another stress reliever.
- Don’t take on more than you can handle. We often create our own stress by over-scheduling ourselves and failing to say no when too much is asked of us, whether it’s the boss, spouse, or friend making the request. Don’t overpromise, and give yourself time to finish the things you do agree to tackle.
- Try a “glass half full” attitude. Always looking on the sunny side sounds cliché, but it can make a world of difference. Having a negative outlook can turn even the most minor annoyances into huge problems in your mind.
- Tackle first things first. Become a master at triage — that’s determining the most important of the tasks you’re trying to handle and methodically completing those first, then moving on to less critical jobs. Resist trying to do multiple projects at once.
- Savor your victories. When you accomplish a personal goal or finish a major project, do something nice for yourself. It can be as simple as getting a massage or as extravagant as taking a weekend getaway. Celebrate your achievement before you jump into the next project.
Your outlook is such an important factor in how your body deals with stress. Following these 10 steps will help you put stress in perspective and start enjoying your life again.
Learn more about men’s health basics.
Also, admitting vulnerability can be a way of preventing stress. “Men do not like admitting vulnerabilities,” says Real, “so we don’t go to the doctor.” Real asserts that this is the reason women live longer than men. “It has nothing to do with biology; it’s that men wait longer to go to a doctor than women do. And when we do, we don’t listen to them. That’s what denying your vulnerability gets you.” While not every health expert will agree with Real on his theory about lifespan and doctor visits, overcoming the vulnerability hurdle is still advice worth heeding.
Why work causes stress in men
When working with men, Real likes to use a variation of the serenity prayer, reminding men of all the things they cannot control. “What I do in helping men to reduce stress is tell them that you don’t decrease your helplessness by learning to control things better. You do it by having a more realistic sense of what you can control.” To illustrate, he plays a stress relief game, asking a man to move a box of Kleenex with his mind. Then he reminds him of how often men are asked to do the impossible in their jobs. Job stress can take a major toll on a man’s health.
“Men are taught to act as if we can control the impossible on a daily basis,” Real says, quoting such chestnuts as “I don’t care about your effort, I care about results” and “You’re going to deliver and if you can’t, I’ll find someone who can!”
“We are taught to accept responsibility for things we don’t have control over,” says Real. “Usually we get bent out of shape with what we can’t change and get so involved with that, we fail to step up to the plate and do the things we can. Procrastination is the most naked form of that.”
Three easy steps to reducing stress
If it’s too late to prevent stress, Hallowell has three simple steps you can take to help relieve stress. “Lead what I call a connected life,” he says, “not electronically connected, but interpersonally connected, where you have friends you rely on and talk with. Get physical exercise, a major stress reducer. And get enough sleep. Those three steps, which anybody can do, will make a big difference.”
Stress Relief for Men
“Stress Relief for Men is more than a book. It is a complete tool kit for relieving
stress and bringing about lasting health. It changes the way we look at
ourselves, each other, and the world.”
— John Gray, PhD, author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
“You need to read this book, whether you think you do or not. Dr. Diamond
is a brilliant, caring professional. He is one of the world’s leading
experts in men’s health. I have been a health care professional for many
years and learned so much from Jed’s book myself. You will have multiple
aha moments as you read. The aha moments will lead to practical positive
changes in your life. They have in mine.”
— Alexander Loyd, PhD, ND, author of The Healing Code
“If you want to reduce stress in your life, and who doesn’t, Stress Relief
for Men is the book for you. Dr. Diamond offers simple, yet effective, tools
that we can all use. I need to embed this book in my brain. It’s that good.”
— Chip Conley, author of Emotional Equations, founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels
“In this wonderful book, Jed Diamond lucidly explains the major challenges
facing men in navigating their way through this most critical period
of human history. More important, he shows us how to address the hazards
and opportunities in ways that are new, creative, and highly effective. It
will change the way you think about the life you have been given and
empower you to find greater fulfillment in it.”
— David Feinstein, PhD, coauthor with Donna Eden of The Promise
of Energy Medicine
“After decades of intense men’s work together, Jed knows what men need.
Being a great pioneer, he immerses himself in new ‘tools’ until he finds
what works. Jed offers the precious gift of his hard- won wisdom for us to
care for our own body, mind, and soul.”
— Bill Kauth, cofounder of the ManKind Project, author of Circle of Men
and We Need Each Other: Building Gift Community
“Jed Diamond’s book dispels two myths. One, that as time passes we will
inevitably develop age- related aches and pains that we will simply have to
live with. The second is that ‘energy healing’ is complete nonsense. These
myths cause us to pay unnecessarily for pills and doctors when fresh air,
sunshine, and a barefoot walk in the grass can make us feel much better.
This book introduces practical personal energy tools with which to feel
better longer and save money at the same time.”
— James L. Oschman, PhD, author of Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis
“The problem with simple energy healing tools is that they seem just too
simple! If you can find it in you not to scorn simplicity, you may get a world
of help from Jed Diamond’s new book.”
— Eric Maisel, PhD, author of Rethinking Depression
“Stress Relief for Men is a wonderful and easy- to- follow guide for stress
reduction in men. It helps create awareness to address challenges in new and
effective ways, which will lead to self- empowerment and positive changes.”
— Rollin McCraty, PhD, Director of Research, Institute of HeartMath
“Dr. Diamond’s new book is not only packed with information but offers
powerful solutions. One of Diamond’s gifts is his ability to write books
that help men change their own lives while helping women understand
men at deep, empowering levels. This book is needed . . . a must- read if
you are growing through the stresses and strains of a lifetime (and who
isn’t?). I highly recommend this book to all men— and to the women who
— Michael Gurian, author of Leadership and the Sexes and How Do I Help Him?
“Jed Diamond’s remarkable book is full of insights, tools, and touching
truths. It is a great open window into a man’s soul, stresses, and strains. I
highly recommend it to both men and women.”
— John Lee, author of The Flying Boy and The Half- Lived Life: Overcoming
Passivity and Rediscovering Your Authentic Self
“Stress Relief for Men is a veritable compendium of the most readable and
understandable information related to energy healing that starts at the
beginning historically, weaves through time, takes the reader systematically
to the present, and then discusses the four simple energy healing tools in
depth, which are the centerpiece of this book. If you only buy one book
this year, make it Stress Relief for Men, and buy one for every man in your
life and every woman who loves them!”
— Jackie Black, PhD, author of Couples & Money: Cracking the Code to Ending
the #1 Conflict in Marriage
“Diamond has researched the entire field of energy healing, found out what
really works, and applied it to specific issues that men face— such as stress,
irritation, and depression. He doesn’t stop there, however. He sets out a
series of practical techniques that any man can learn and use to de- stress,
relax, and heal. If you’re a man, learn these tools. If you’re a woman, buy
this book for your man.”
— Lion Goodman, cofounder, Luminary Leadership Institute
“As a long- time leader in the men’s movement and author of several books
that inspired me, Jed once again brings an important new set of tools for
men to grow with.”
— John W. Travis, MD, MPH, coauthor of Wellness Workbook
“Two facts are indisputable: Baby Boomers are aging, and they’re aging
into a time of life fraught with greater risks of disease and decline. Further,
a significant number are health and wellness oriented, and these explorers
are more than willing to go beyond traditional medical paradigms to
discover how to become healthier and less dependent on conventional
treatment modalities. Jed Diamond has picked exactly the right moment
to give them the gifts of energy healing.”
— Brent Green, author of Generation Reinvention: How Boomers Today
Are Changing Business, Marketing, Aging and the Future
“Dr. Diamond’s wondrous synthesis of theory and practice allows us to
understand the true nature of what ails modern mankind and empowers
us to recreate our health. This book moves us from the sick- care model of
the solid atom to a true health care model based on dynamic energy fields.
Read it and be all you can be!”
— Gregory J. Nicosia, PhD, DCEP, Past President, Association for
Comprehensive Energy Psychology
“Jed Diamond has created an extraordinary book which allows men to
access both physical and emotional vitality. In a sea of self- help books
geared towards the female demographic, this books stands out as a practical
and effective guide for men to learn more about self- healing techniques
which have been proven to really work.”
— Clint Ober, coauthor of Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?
“This book is a must- read for all men and the women who love them. Jed
Diamond’s pioneering work will change the way men view their health.”
— Carole G. Stern, Past President, Association for Comprehensive Energy
“An invaluable resource and guide for men who struggle with their life,
health, and negative emotions— and consequently in their love relationships.”
— Martin Ucik, author of Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men
“Stress Relief for Men illuminates key challenges blocking men from shifting
into more mature masculinity, and provides equally key tools for succeeding.
We men owe it to our loved ones, our spheres of influence, and most
importantly ourselves, to take Jed’s book to heart.”
— David Gruder, PhD, DCEP, author of The New IQ (Integrity Intelligence),
ManKind Project Elder, Founding President of the Association for
Comprehensive Energy Psychology
Jed Diamond’s Stress Relief for Men teaches men how to use the very best in current holistic, scientifically proven methods to live in greater balance. This book helps men understand their unique biologic needs for intimacy and emotional health and offers practical advice to integrate attachment based love, the tension releasing use of earthing and the self awareness of energy medicine in a wholly masculine, health creating way. I can’t wait to give copies to the men in my life from my five sons to my aging father and father-in-law!
— Dr. Joanna Ellington author of Slippery When Wet: One Woman’s Journey Through the Mystery of Sex
Top Stress Relievers for Men, Dads, and Stay-At-Home Dads
Note to Readers: Today’s new breed of Dads amaze me. The first generation of men to change diapers, take their daughters to dance class, and cook dinner. Most without having witnessed their own fathers being so hands on. I applaud the Dads I meet everyday…on Twitter, Facebook, and at the park. Their minds and hearts are open and like many moms… they are stressed out. I am thankful to Michael for sharing his stress relievers for men.
by Michael Lawrience
As men when stressed, we tend to run away from our feelings, push them into our unconscious, or when pushed beyond our limits blow up in a rage. Men, in general, seek the company of other men in some activity like golf or watching a football game to escape their stress and get relief.
Parents also have stress filled lives, including dads and stay-at-home dads (SAHD). Dads who work in companies or own them have the stress of work responsibilities, as well as even the well-being of employees.
SAHD have a variety of other stresses different than men and dads such as cleaning, cooking, child care, laundry and even home schooling.
One major stressor for stay-at-home dads revolves around frustration with the cleanliness of the house. Their wives feel that the home isn’t being cleaned to their standards.
I experience stress in my life as a husband and a lot of stress at work where I supervise and interact with 70 teenage girls at a Therapeutic Boarding School. At the school, I monitor and assist, doing part of some jobs such as cleaning dorms, classrooms, dining hall dish cleanup and floors, and washing vans. I am also most of all responsible for the safety of the girls at all times. This includes stopping physical or verbal violence or harm to themselves or others. Sometimes girls need to be driven to the hospital for emergency visits. At the end of a shift I am stressed out, sometimes more on some days than others.
So I can relate somewhat to stay-at-home dads even though at the end of the day I can go home.
Regardless of our type of work, everyone needs stress relief, including men. I will share some top stress relievers for men and include how they apply to stay-at-home-dads.
Stress Management Tips for Men:
1. Exercising– As men we rid ourselves of stress through exercise. It increases our heart rate and blood flow, as well as adrenaline. Pumping iron at the gym, playing basketball, golfing, hiking, jogging, and even walking, whether with other men or by ourselves all help. Regular exercise remains the key to long term stress relief and better health.
Various martial arts also provide an excellent way to release stress by kicking and punching. I felt the best ever when I practiced karate for one year.
Yoga serves as another means to relax both the mind and body. I have practiced some form of yoga since my mid 20’s with great results for staying limber and relieving stress.
Some stay-at-home dads like endurance sports like biking, jogging, or swimming. After a day of screaming kids jogging releases endorphins resulting in a feeling of euphoria. Years ago when I worked at a group home for days at a time, I chose jogging when I came home as my #1 stress reliever.
2. Hanging Out With the Guys – Team sports, like football, hockey, softball, or volleyball or even just watching sporting events assists us to escape and unwind from our stress. Being outdoors and golfing also help.
Some stay-at-home dads may want guy companionship because of their limited male interaction or they may want alone time since they have so little of it. I know a seminar leader who after spending three intense days involved with teaching groups of people just wants to go home and be alone for a while to unwind rather then more interaction with his wife and five kids.
3. Spending Time Alone– When we distress it can also be in solitude like hiking or hobbies like photography or fishing.
Most of my stress relief methods involve solitude. I unplug from doing and working all the time by sometimes playing fantasy video games for a few hours.
Some stay-at-home dads may want their wives to take the kids out at least once a week so they can sit in the sun or by a fire and read a book for even a half an hour to relax.
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 and stress.
For stay-at-home dads it’s a greater challenge to build relationships. They have less of a support system. Their wife works. The other people they meet, mostly females, accept them less whether dropping kids off at school or other functions simply because a male caregiver tends to be less prevalent in Western society.
Stay-at-home dads, however, can receive support through online articles and forums for SAHD.
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. We probably would not take a hot bubble bath, yet we can find hobbies which interest, energize, and distress us. Nurturing can also come from hanging out with the guys or some solitary pursuit like reading or listening to or playing music.
Stay-at-home dads without much time can always find time for a 5 minute stress reliever, even when engaged in house chores or interaction with the children.
Breathe deeply into your abdomen and then out your nose, with your feet firmly on the floor. Breathe out twice as long as you breathe in. For example, breathe in for 4 breaths and out for 8. Do this for at least 5 minutes.
Deep breaths stretch the muscles in your chest and signal your mind for the body to relax.
Many other ways assist as stress relievers. Stress, regardless of the source, has similar remedies for men, dads, and stay-at-home dads.
I have used various stress relief methods throughout my life. Now I take a short nap before work or early afternoon to refresh. I also do yoga on a regular basis, even if it’s only for 10 or 20 minutes. When I am really fatigued in the evening I sometimes take a hot bath with Epsom salts and essence oils for 20 minutes. Last of all, when I come home totally stressed from being eight hours with 25 – 30 teenage girls involved in ongoing emotional drama and crisis, my wife, an energy healer, releases the stress from my body and energy field.
What’s your way of stress management and setting regular times for stress relief?
Check out Michael’s softcover book Emotional Health: The Secret for Freedom from Drama, Trauma, and Pain on Amazon for an owner’s manual describing practical methods to release your physical and emotional chronic pain, suffering, and emotional stress.
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(Indigo Dreams: Adult Relaxation by Lori Lite can help reduce stress and anger….even for the tough guys.)