Men’s health: Five tips to give your mind an MOT

Research reveals that 50% young men with anxiety report that their work performance, relationships and sex life have been affected, yet well over half of them are still not seeking help.

Thousands of men suffer from mental health issues daily, many in silence. According to a Kalms survey among 500 male anxiety sufferers, young men in their twenties and thirties are most affected by the crippling impact of anxiety.

As many as 70% of men surveyed say their anxiety has an impact on their work and relationships and 80% found it also affects their social life, with over half revealing it also impacted their sex life.

To some extent, anxiety can be useful as it cues us to important things in our lives that need attention. However, when anxiety becomes excessive and long-lasting it reflects a more serious issue and shouldn’t be ignored. Anxiety can affect all areas of your life and can affect you focus, productivity and energy levels. 

Obtaining help and support, can be especially difficult for men experiencing anxiety. Research shows men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women, with only 36% of referrals to NHS talking therapies are for men.

Many believe a potential contributor for this could be the toxic masculinity apparent in our society: men are often expected to be the breadwinners and to be strong, dominant and in control. While these aren’t inherently bad things, these stereotypes can make it hard for men to reach out for help and open up. 

Five tips to give your mind an MOT

To help those impacted by anxiety, the Kalms team have put together five practical steps to encourage men everywhere to reflect on their daily activities and give their minds an MOT.

1) Get physical 

Physical activity can be a great way to work off the tense feelings that come with anxiety. Endorphins released during exercise can help you feel more relaxed and clear-headed. Make sure to start slow and be consistent if physical activity is not already part of your routine. If going for a five-minute walk is all you have the energy to do, start there.

2) Journal to release your anxious thoughts 

Taking time in your day, whether it’s the first thing you do in the morning or you prefer to reflect before bedtime, noting down your feelings and inner thoughts can help you to get a hold of the causes and potential triggers of your anxiety.

Journaling about your feelings is linked to decreased mental distress and be a great place to start when opening up and feeling more comfortable talking. 

3) Practice deep breathing 

A simple way to help your body relax, even when your mind and heart are racing, is to focus on your breath. Slow abdominal breathing, or deep breathing, activates the part of your nervous system that shuts down the fight-or-flight response.

You can do this anytime, anywhere. Breathe deeply into your stomach and chest for four seconds, hold for four seconds, breathe out for four seconds, and hold for four seconds. This technique is called ‘box breathing’ and will help to lower your heart rate and give you a moment to collect your thoughts.

4) Try incorporating a herbal remedy 

Try a traditional herbal remedy. Lavender oil has a long-standing association with relieving symptoms of mild anxiety. Over 15 clinical trials have shown that a daily capsule of uniquely prepared lavender oil can relieve the symptoms of anxiety in just one to two weeks.

Benefits are comparable to commonly used anti-anxiety medications without problems such as sedation, addiction, or interaction with other medications.

5) Talk about your difficulties with someone you trust 

Often when we’re anxious things can get blown out of proportion as we get stuck in negative thought loops. Talking with a friend can give you an outside perspective and a better sense of what might be going on, how to manage it and will help you to feel less alone. 

Read more mental health advice

You can find more tips to help boost your mental health in these articles:

Kalms Lavender One-A-Day Capsules is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of the symptoms of mild anxiety such as stress and nervousness, exclusively based on long standing use as a traditional herbal remedy. Always read the label.

Photo by asap rocky