How to Manage Stress-Related Diseases in Men
According to the World Health Organization, stress is now the leading cause of non-communicable diseases. The WHO estimates that one in four workers suffer from work-related stress, and this has led to a sharp rise in stress-related diseases. Men are more prone to stress than women because of their lifestyle and work pressures. An inadequate supply of support from friends, family, and other social connections increases your risk for hormonal imbalance in men. Here’s how to manage stress-related diseases in men:
Exercise for Stress Management
Exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress. It releases hormones that relax our bodies, including serotonin and endorphin – the feel-good hormones. These are responsible for feelings of calm, happiness, and well-being. Exercise also boosts levels of norepinephrine, a stress hormone that reduces feelings of anxiety and helps us to focus. When we exercise, our bodies produce nitric oxide, a compound that increases blood flow to all areas of the body, including the brain. Increased blood flow is important for healthy brain function. When we exercise, we make new neurons that help us to solve problems and think more creatively. When we are stressed, our bodies secrete cortisol. Exercise helps to reverse this process and can actually reduce the amount of cortisol your body produces. This can be particularly helpful for people with chronic stress who don’t have an off switch for cortisol.
Breathing Exercises for Stress Relief
Breathing exercises help to regulate our nervous system by triggering the relaxation response. When we are stressed, our bodies secrete cortisol. This is the hormone responsible for our “fight or flight” response, but it can remain in the bloodstream for too long, contributing to long-term stress and exhaustion. Oxygen is a potent antioxidant, and a steady flow of oxygen to the brain can help to relieve anxiety and stress. Deep breathing is an easy practice that can help you to calm down, focus, and relieve stress. Try one or more of these breathing exercises to ease the burden of stress: – The “4-7-8” breathing technique: This is the most common breathing exercise and is especially helpful for those who are stressed, anxious, or have attention deficit disorder. It’s also a great way to fall asleep when you can’t stop thinking about all of the things you have to do tomorrow. The technique involves pursing your lips and exhaling completely through your mouth for a seven-second count. Then, close your mouth and inhale slowly through your nose for a four-second count. Finally, exhale through your mouth for an eight-second count. Repeat this cycle for five minutes. – Alternate nostril breathing: This type of breathing is helpful for people who suffer from anxiety, stress, or insomnia. It is also believed to be a good way to relieve headaches. To practice this technique, close your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale slowly through the left nostril. Then, close your left nostril with your right index finger and exhale through the right nostril. Repeat this breathing pattern for five to 10 minutes to help reduce stress and promote a calm state of mind.
Nutrition to Manage Stress
When we are stressed, our bodies crave sugary, fatty foods. These quick-fix foods give us a short-term “high” and can lead to significant weight gain. They also cause us to produce too much insulin, which increases our risk of obesity and diabetes. The best way to reduce stress is to eat a balanced and nutritious diet. Choose foods that are high in fiber and low in saturated fat. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and beans. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Try to eat a healthy snack before you feel stressed or hungry. Nuts, seeds, yogurt, and fruits are great snacks that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Avoid sugary, fatty, and processed foods as much as possible.
Counseling and Psychotherapy for Men
Men are less likely than women to seek help for mental health issues. They may feel ashamed or too proud to admit they need support. But, there are many different types of therapy that can provide men with the tools to cope with stress and negative emotions. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) aims to help you understand your emotions and change unhelpful thinking patterns. CBT helps you to identify the root cause of your negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts. Psychotherapy is a type of talk therapy that helps you to express your feelings and emotions. It is often beneficial for those who have experienced a traumatic event or have feelings of anger or sadness that they cannot let go of.