Anxiety can affect both men and women in all walks of life. Even if studies show that women are more prone to anxiety disorders, they are more courageous in expressing their emotions than their male counterparts.
Men are less able to acknowledge their anxiety. And we can’t blame them because that’s how society shapes them to be. Earlier in their life, most men are told to be man enough not to cry or else they risk being labeled as weak or crybabies. As such, it’s easier for men to show rage and anger than admit their fears and show their vulnerable sides. When anxiety stares them in the face, most men succumb to activities that they believed can relieve them of these nagging emotions. But these are actually red flags that show anxiety is at hand. The signs and symptoms of anxiety in men include the following:
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety in Men
1. Consuming too much alcohol
When worried or anxious, men tend to drown themselves with too much alcohol. While one study shows how a drink can lessen a man’s social anxiety, it’s still not helpful in the long run. The more a man turns to alcohol every time he is anxious, the more he avoids the things that are causing him to worry.
Things or situations that need immediate attention tend to get worse when avoided for long. Alcohol is useful only for a short while, but then it doesn’t take the cause away.
2. Getting angry too easily
Worries and anxiety trigger the flight or fight response in a person. When a man easily gets angry even in the slightest provocation, this is a sure sign that he is anxious. He is in the fighting mood because he feels there’s a threat to his wellbeing. It may not come as an explosive outburst, but it may manifest in constant feelings of frustrations.
3. Being irritable all the time
This man is grumpy and seems to be always at the edge. He keeps on complaining about the simple issues of life. Even a driver who overtakes him in the middle of the traffic destroys his day. As a result of constant irritation, he has difficulty achieving focus and even finds himself having trouble sleeping.
4. Showing signs of depression
Men who suppress their emotions tend to walk away from life. They don’t go out for a date or even perform stress-relieving workouts and activities. They become too rigid to enjoy life’s little pleasures. In the long run, they become depressive, feeling too helpless and hopeless.
Even if their anxiety stems from seeing things to not getting better, the fact that they’re unable to express it makes the matter worse. From a molehill, they’re now faced with a seemingly insurmountable mountain.
The Right Tool to Coping Up
Whatever the cause of anxiety in men or however it is manifested, help is always at hand as long as one is open for it. Nobody is able to help an anxious man who is not willing to help himself. If you’re one of these anxious guys, never worry. Anxiety can be reversed with the use of the right tools.
Wellbeing coach, Christopher Harvey, shares his expertise with sound advice that can help you deal with your anxiety. Harvey offers the Thought Record as one of the most effective Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approaches. The Thought Record is a helpful tool in becoming more aware of your negative thoughts the moment they enter your mind. And this is not a theory-based form, rather it has been used effectively by Harvey himself who had been through failures, depression, stress, and anxiety once in his life. Harvey stresses to use the Thought Record in the following manner:
- Identify your triggers. Point out the situations, people, or events that led you to get anxious. Whether it be an argument you had with your spouse or co-worker or the disturbing thoughts you have for an upcoming interview, write them all down.
- Describe your feelings that were triggered. You can get in touch with your feelings by describing how it feels through written words. Write down everything you feel, whether it be fear, anger, or worry. There’s no need to be afraid of feeling vulnerable because you don’t have to share your writings with anyone. It’s your personal record that’s intended only for your own self-improvement.
- Recognize the images and thoughts that are troubling you. Write down the situations that can possibly go wrong, like messing up in a job interview and how it makes you feel like a loser.
- Recall your past experiences that may validate those thoughts. Recall how your family reacted negatively the moment you announced you messed up. Then shift your focus on the previous interviews where you did great and gather strength from there.
- Muster the courage to believe in yourself. Tell yourself how you’ve improved throughout the years.
- Stay in that balanced mindset and envision yourself doing just great.
- Now, ask yourself how you’re feeling. You might be a bit calmer and have feelings of reassurance.
- Keep repeating the process until you feel less anxious about your interview or other anxiety-provoking situations.
If used repeatedly for all kinds of situation that make you feel anxious, the Thought Record might be all you need to process your negative thoughts and live a much calmer existence.
Keep A Healthy Mind
Your mind holds the most power in dealing with anxiety issues. It’s imperative that you keep it healthy to maintain your sanity. The following things are helpful in achieving a healthy mind.
Watch your gut
Your gut and your brain use almost the same chemicals, making them closely connected. Avoid foods that aren’t gut friendly and consume the ones that are high in fiber and contain probiotics.
Allow more flow of oxygen to the brain
A good supply of oxygen to the brain makes your mind more agile. You can do this by doing headstands and other inversion positions where your head is lower than your heart.
Have physical exercise
Strength training and other regular exercises help pump up your body and boost your mood. Exercise enables your body to release endorphins, a brain chemical that makes you feel good.
A daily meditation practice
Meditation, mindfulness, and other breathing exercises help release the clutter in your mind. They make you calmer and less anxious.
Be kind to yourself
Give yourself a treat. Do what makes you feel good. Even showing random acts of kindness to others have the ability to lift up your mood and your spirits.
Connect with others
If you feel your situation is beyond your capacity to handle, you can seek out the help of professionals. But if a simple conversation with someone who truly understands you does it, then make time for a deeper connection with family and friends.
Your success in life depends largely on the state of your mind. We all have grumpy days from time to time. But giving those anxieties and worries more time than they should, lead to personal problems that could escalate in time when avoided or ignored all the time. Deal with them as soon as they arise. And when they seem hard to bear, believe that someone out there is willing to give a helping hand should you need it.