Helping Men to Handle Stress
Men handle stress differently than women; they are hard-wired to shut down during stressful situations, keeping emotions and feelings of anxiety to themselves. Many of the same things may stress them out such as work, family, finances and even illness, but many men have been raised to “chin up” and carry on and to ignore how they feel, so it’s no surprise that men tend to suffer from
different forms of mental illness. It’s also not surprising that years of keeping things bottled up can cause many chronic health conditions from headaches, high blood pressure, bowel disorders, cardiovascular disease inflammatory diseases, and some types of cancers (prostate). One study stated, “Men under stress are more likely than women to report having been diagnosed with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease or heart attack.” Did you know that when men are under stress, their bodies naturally drop testosterone levels to allow for higher production of cortisol (the stress hormone), which is required to handle the “fight or flight” stress response? Depression and stress are risk factors for heart disease, especially if there are also genetic markers and with men’s propensity to ignore stress symptoms, their chances increase. How you handle stress is an individual experience, but there are some common signs to watch for such as chest pain and shortness of breath (not related to heart disease). Other signs include fatigue, diminished sex drive, muscle and backaches, headaches, dizziness, grinding of teeth at night, feeling of having a lump in your throat, indigestion, constipation or diarrhea, weight gain and possible increased perspiration. Watch for psychological signs of stress and sadness, depression, withdrawal or isolation, insomnia, mood swings, irritability, anger or reduced impulse control, decreased productivity and changes in close relationships.
Recognizing Stress and Natural Remedies
While stress may manifest differently in men, natural remedies that help support stress are similar for both men and women, with some slight variations. The first step is allowing men to be stressed, give them permission to not always “chin up” or “suck it up.” Create a safe environment where they can talk about their feelings. Incorporate some form of physical activity into your lives. Men need to release some of the “held in energy” and physical activities and hobbies that require them to focus can help channel stress. Consider supplements such as Preferred Nutrition Super Stress B. B vitamins support the central
nervous system and the process in the brain that controls mood, so when your body is under stress, it rapidly uses B vitamins. Ultimate Nutrition produces a product called “Ultimate Anti Stress.” It was formulated by men for men, and we like it because it contains all the natural adaptogens like Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, lemon balm and valerian root to help keep stress under control. It normalizes the body’s response to stress and balances cortisol levels. During stressful times, Rhodiola can help you handle the pressure better and reduce some of the symptoms associated with the stress response such as physical and mental fatigue, exhaustion and anxiety. Ashwagandha is another apoptogenic herb that helps your body manage stress but can also help to lower blood pressure and reduce cortisol. It has been used for centuries in Ayurveda medicine to relieve stress, improve concentration and increase energy levels by regulating chemical signalling in the nervous system. Valerian root has been known to have a calming effect, which can aid in helping you fall asleep and it also has a positive impact on blood pressure. Another recommended product is Ultimate Maca Energy. Maca is another type of adaptogen that can help the body’s natural resistance to environmental stresses by focusing on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, assisting the body in balancing hormones. Ultimate Male Energy is another formula that when combined with Ultimate Stress can create a healthy solution to men’s stress. Ultimate Male Energy™ contains a combination of ingredients designed to enhance male health such as nettle extract, chrysin, indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and sulforaphane – a powerful antioxidant that improves the body’s ability to detoxify and eliminate harmful chemicals and excess hormones. As with all-natural supplements check with your health care provider if you have any concerns or if you’re taking medications that may interfere with the medicinal effects of the herbal products mentioned.
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