By CHESHIRE QUE, RND, RN, RD
If women are the unsung heroes in the family, men are the real-life superheroes in the form of dads, grandfathers, brothers, and even uncles. We look up to them because of their leadership and physical strength. Faced with challenging roles to play and with their determination to fulfill them all, the men in our lives oftentimes fail to take care of their overall health and wellbeing.
Men wish to live strong and healthy lives for their loved ones. Unfortunately, a lot of men live unhealthy, unbalanced lifestyle, due to priorities which leave their health and wellbeing at the bottom of the list. Providing for and protecting the family take precedence above anything else. Not that we do not appreciate all that they do but we also would want them to have optimum health and wellbeing.
In order to pursue wellness, men must not just look at health or the absence of an illness or injury, rather consider wellbeing. It is the state of being happy, healthy, and comfortable. And it all starts with the mind and heart. We are not just talking about mental illness or heart diseases here. A man’s thoughts and feelings are also important in ensuring health. While stress is inevitable in life, it should be managed efficiently. Otherwise, the constant presence of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline will lead to increased heart rate, higher blood pressure and blood glucose or sugar, weight gain, sleep problems, and many other undesirable conditions.
How do you protect yourself from stress? How do you recover from it? Here are some ways to help you cope with stress.
- Consider meditation in the form of prayer or simply taking time to process your thoughts or even just emptying your mind for a few minutes. Choose whatever works for you. Each time may be different. Others find it effective to chant or replay quotes or verses out loud or by repeating these words in their mind. At the end of the day or several times during the day, take time to just pause. Go to a quiet corner and just let your thoughts drift away or you can also take this time to process your thoughts and feelings.
- Next, acknowledge how you feel. It is all right to admit something to yourself. Having negative feelings is normal so don’t feel guilty. Still, the way you respond to those feelings matters. This is where conscience will need to be examined. Being true to how you feel will liberate you from stress.
- Once you have identified your feelings and somewhat organized your thoughts, it will help to verbalize all these to your spouse or partner. If that does not work, it is good to seek counsel whether from a professional or a trusted friend. Men are different from women because they don’t like to talk. Women have no problem expressing their thoughts and feelings that’s why they get over their problems more quickly. You don’t need to tell a lot of people about your stressors. You just need to open up to someone you trust.
- Engage in activities that help create new pathways in the brain. Read, take time to travel with your loved ones, help others, play, laugh, and enjoy music, art, and even dance. Find something that will take your mind off your stressors. Doing these will refresh you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Only then can you go back to that stressful environment, see it from a better perspective, and deal with it with positivity and less damage to your wellbeing.