Stressed out? Most men are. With so many responsibilities and expectations to live up to, it’s easy for us to get overwhelmed and burn out.
To see if you’re going through a constant state of burnout, check how many of the following signs you have in your life:
- Dropping performance at work
- Difficulty concentrating and remembering
- Frustration and skepticism
- Strained relationships at home and the workplace
- Feeling unmotivated
- Physical health problems (e.g. headaches, digestive problems, etc.)
- Exhaustion – physical, mental, and emotional
- Thinking about work when not at work
- Dissatisfaction with life
- Neglecting your health
If you said “yes” to three or more items in the list above, then yes… you’re overstressed. And you’ll need to do something before the stress blows up into something more serious, like hypertension or depression.
Because let’s face it – we’re of little use to anyone sick!
Here are The Three Best Ways for Men to Manage Stress and Lead a Balanced Life
To beat stress, you’ll need to understand what stress is, first. Stress is a survival mechanism hard-wired into us over 200,000 years of evolution – it gets the body primed to defend itself against physical threats, such as a saber-toothed tiger or rampaging woolly mammoth.
These days, threats are more emotional than physical, but our body responds in the same way – our hearts race, our blood pressure rises, and our muscles tense up. Imagine being in that state for most of your waking hours – it’s not healthy.
If you’re overstressed, then you’re probably in that state for too much time. So here are the three best ways to manage your stress and lead a more balanced life:
#1: Cut back on your responsibilities.
Think of all the “hats” you wear in your life. You might be a father, a husband, a worker, a friend, an officer at your professional organization, an activist, a volunteer, etc. Write them all down.
Then ask yourself: Which of those hats can take off? Obviously, there are some roles you SHOULD keep (such as being a father and a husband), but there may be other roles you can and should let go of, at least until things settle down and you’ve recovered from stress.
#2: Identify what stresses you out, and make them irrelevant.
Does traffic stress you out? Maybe you can consider working from home or having more of your meals delivered.
Is someone at work getting under your skin? Talk things out with that person, or make adjustments at work so that you won’t have to work with each other.
Things getting political at your professional organization? Maybe you can make things irrelevant by simply quitting. (Yes, sometimes quitting is the right thing to do.)
#3: Increase your capacity for stress.
As the saying goes, “Ask not for an easier life, but for broader shoulders.” Progressively make yourself stronger and more antifragile, so stress will only make you stronger over time.
Some of the best ways to do this:
• Pray/meditate your way into deep relaxation, which is the exact opposite of stress. For best results, pray/meditate at least twice daily, for 10-15 minutes each session.
• Exercise at least three times a week. Physical strength leads to mental and emotional strength.
• Get as much sleep as you need. The more energy you have for the day, the bigger your capacity for stress becomes, and the more you can get done each day.
And lastly, be a pal to yourself. A good chunk of the stress we go through is self-inflicted, such as when we criticize ourselves or replay our past failures in our minds.
Be your biggest critic, but don’t be your biggest hater. Love yourself, do good things for yourself, and relish the tiny victories as they come.
So take a good look at your life right now. What changes can you make to manage stress and lead a more balanced life? Write them down and get to it before it’s too late!
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