It’s not a problem. It’s okay to talk about how you feel. In fact, just knowing that is the first step to tackling your stress and anxiety.
Our problem though, speaking as a man, is that we are chemically designed to react differently. Men, when under stress, will experience reduced oxytocin levels. Sometimes referred to as the ‘compassion or love hormone’, this depletion creates a characteristic ‘flight/fight’ response that makes men respond aggressively or become withdrawn and isolated. Either way it’s not good. Women, on the other hand, experience increased oxytocin when stressed, which helps them to reach outward
Suffering in silence
Men will suffer in silence and develop all sorts of strategies to ignore their stress and how they are feeling. From the outside, stressed men work hard at making everything look fine, but on the inside they are really struggling, every day. It’s exhausting. Stressed men are always tired and irritable. They know that they need help but are unsure how to get it. Most are just not equipped to reach out. Social norms, whether we like it or not, determine that men should be strong and dependable. So having a panic attack in a public space, or at work, feels doubly catastrophic.
Acceptance is courageous
The obstacle it seems is a lack of acceptance. It means, first and foremost, confronting the problem. Just saying to yourself:
Yes I am really stressed. I feel anxious. I don’t feel okay…
Is the best start you can make to recovery. Say it to yourself now. It’s the strongest and most courageous thing to do. Seeing and knowing things as they really are is the key. For many suffering men this will be a huge a moment of relief. To finally know that they don’t need to hold on, to resist or control. They can let go. They can make a change.
Time to make changes
Now you are in the right place to start dealing with your stress. Your next step is to remove it from your life and implement a strategy for change. Meditation is the key. It’s really the only low cost, high impact treatment there is. And it works. It’s worked for thousands of years. Even after the first session you will notice a difference in how you feel. And after a while those feeling of isolation, anger and anxiety will dissolve, naturally, putting you back in charge of how you feel, react and think.
So don’t let stress determine who you are and what you feel. Don’t let it stop you reaching out and closing you off; there is another level of you which isn’t stressed, or anxious. It’s easy to get there.
If your feelings of stress are negatively impacting your day-to-day life, or you’re worried about a person’s approach when they are dealing with stressful situations, take a look at our meditation programmes.