November sees Men’s Health Awareness Month, led by The Movember Foundation; a global charity committed to men living happier, healthier, longer lives. You can read more about it here
Today, we write about mental health which is a key focus for men this month. Men experience worse longer-term health than women and die on average six years earlier. In addition, poor mental health leads to half a million men taking their own life every year.
Everyone’s job is stressful in its own way, whether you are office or site based, but what makes the difference is the way you respond to these situations. Also more physically demanding jobs like working in construction can more often than not be associated with more physical affects on our health and the affects on our mental wellbeing gets forgotten.
It’s normal to get stressed or down over work issues, we’ve all been there. But we sometimes need to take a step back and look at how we respond to stressful situations, to avoid it affecting our mental wellbeing.
Here are 5 stress busters to help you get through the day happily and stress-free!
1. Label your feelings. Sometimes, just admitting your feelings can calm you down. Try to figure out what that negative emotion is and just boil it down to two words. Thinking to yourself “I’m overwhelmed” or “I’m frazzled” can surprisingly go a long way into calming yourself down. Also focus on the positive aspects of your day, even if they’re only small, to lift your mood and help you focus on other problems.
2. Take a breath. Yes this might seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to breathe slowly & deeply. Before reacting to the next stressful occurrence, take three deep breaths and release them slowly. If you have a few minutes, try out a relaxation technique such as meditation.
3. Grub. Food glorious food! Now we don’t mean go out and buy a box of donuts (although that’s definitley an option!) but sometimes, stress can be seriously intensified by certain mundane things—like taking care of your physical needs. If your
blood sugar level is low, eating can help turn your bad mood around after just a few bites. Fatty acids and spicy foods might even help a little extra. Go out and buy your favourite lunch, it will help big time!
4. Laugh out loud! We all know laughing can put us in a better mood, but it’s a better stress cure than you may realize. Studies show that people who laugh the “most heartily,” show bigger drops in stress levels. Laughter really is the best medicine, and while it isn’t always possible to plop down on the couch and watch your favorite comedy, you can surround your self with upbeat, positive and comedic people when feeling the crunch of stress.
5. Run and Exercise. Yep, would be everyone’s first choice. Going hell for leather on a treadmill isn’t everyones cup of tea, or doing that gym class your mates keep going on about isn’t for you. BUT exercising is good for the body AND mind. Exercise prepares your body for stress, because your body thinks you’re in a stressful situation. So, your brain releases chemicals to help fight that stress, which is why you feel that endorphin high after you’re finished. Even if it’s short, get a little exercise in and you’ll feel much better.