13th - 19th June 2016 saw this year’s Men’s Health Week across the UK. Men can often be reluctant in coming forward and talking about health and wellbeing problems and Men's Health Week aims to raise awareness of how important it is to talk about these issues before they become too serious. The Men’s Health Foundation work continuously, not just during Men’s Health Week, to make a difference to those reluctant to talk about health and wellbeing problems.
Why focus on stress?
Throughout this year, 1 in 4 people will develop a mental health problem. A buildup of stress can be a significant factor to such problems so it’s important to spread awareness of the problems associated with stress and how we can deal with it.
It is important to remember that stress is normal, and is something we’ve talked about on our blog before. However, what we do about this stress is what matters.
What are the warning signs of stress?
Stress can be affected by many parts of everyday life. Common causes of stress include:
Work or unemployment
Bereavement and other endings i.e. moving house, changing jobs, children leaving home or splitting up with a partner
Partners and friends
Drink, drugs and addictions
Whilst some stress can be good, igniting our fight or flight response, a buildup of harmful stress can do a lot of damage to both our physical and mental health. It is important that you are able to recognise the warning signs in you and those close to you so you can do something about it:
Eating more or less than normal
Under or oversleeping
Feeling tired and lacking in energy.
For more information about all of the harmful stress warning signs, their causes and helpful contacts if you are suffering from these problems then visit the Men's Health Forum website.
How to cope with stress.
If you are suffering from stress, then don’t worry: you are not alone! The first step to alleviating harmful stress is to talk about it, whether that is to a friend or family member or to a doctor. The Men’s Health Forum have lots of information about how to talk about your own stress, how to talk to a friend or family member about their stress and whether or not you should see a GP.
As well talking about the problem, check out these tips to beat stress…
Exercise will not make stress disappear but it helps to clear your thoughts and let you deal with your problems more calmly.
The act of taking control is empowering; if you tell yourself that you are in control and that you can deal with your problems, this can help to alleviate some stress.
Avoid Unhealthy Habits
Try not to avoid on alcohol, caffeine and smoking as ways of coping with stress. This is called avoidance behaviour and is common amongst men. Whilst this might provide temporary relief but this does not tackle the cause of the stress.
Try to be Positive
By looking for the positive things in life and the things that you are grateful for, you are looking at the glass half full rather than empty and this can help in your journey to beat stress.
Options is here to help...
If you or someone you know is suffering from harmful stress and is struggling to cope then Options is here to help. Our fully-trained, professional team of counselors are on hand to discuss a variety of problems including stress, as well as those associated with it: depression, stress and anxiety, life changes, relationships, loss and bereavement and addictions (alcohol, gambling and eating disorders).