Stress and Men Dr. Mommy Health Tips

Stress and Men  Dr. Mommy Health Tips

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Weve all heard that one of the leading causes of illness and sometimes death Stress.  This word, stress, also seems to be attached to the woman.  Perhaps it may be because we seem more frazzled the majority of the time, but men experience stress as well.  Men not only deal with daily stressors, they must also learn how to handle stressful situations before it ruins their health.

The common question is : where does stress come from?  For men, the majority of their stress stems from their jobs and/or occupations.  Men have been traditionally seen as the breadwinner of the household and with that major responsibility comes stress.  Its not to say that women dont work, but men somehow are seen as the ones that hold the responsibility of the household finances, and if there should be any shortfalls, the man is almost always the one who will have to find a way to deal with it.  Now, before the women get upset, this is not directed to the ones that work and help with the household finances or the single parent.  This post is meant to show how men deal or simply dont know how to deal with stress.

Most not all, but most men will internalize their feelings.  Men are taught from an early age not to show emotions, boys dont cry, dont be a sissy and on and on.  This is quite possibly why men have such difficult times in relationships.  They were programmed from an early age to suppress their emotions and equate strength with the absence of outward emotion.

The major problem with this philosophy is that stress can still attack the body and without our consent.  All the bottled up anger and frustration results in poor health and poorer choices for coping mechanisms.  Many men suffer from hypertension, as well as high blood pressure.  This may be a result of getting older but more often then not it is due to stress-related factors.

High blood pressure can lead to many other health problems such as strokes and heart attacks.  Not to mention the problems that can occur in the bedroom due to unresolved stress issues.  The subject of sexual dysfunction is one that many try to avoid but stress can play a big part.  Not only can stress affect sexual relationships it has also been found to be the main culprit for weight gain in men.  Stress releases a hormone called cortisol which causes the body to hold onto fat like during a famine.  Although we are not in times of famine, cortisol is also produced during stressful situations.

Individuals that experience times of increased stress also tend to crave sweet or salty foods due to the rise in the hormone mentioned above, cortisol.  Although we know in our minds that junk food is bad for us, we tend to gravitate towards those particular foods during times of stress.  Along with junk food, men also tend to take up destructive habits such as smoking, alcohol and gambling.  Although these activities seem to numb the pain of stressful situations, the reality is more of a nightmare.  A man may not admit to be experiencing a stressful situation in his life, but his actions will express the opposite.

Dealing with stress is not reserved for only women.  Men also experience stress and it is important for them to find healthy ways to handle it.  Instead of choosing destructive behaviors, release the pent up energy by exercising, or perhaps picking a hobby that will involve physical activity.  Most importantly dont fall prey to how you were programmed into believing that men should not display emotions.  Showing some emotions is better than dealing from the results of keeping all the stressful issues bottled up inside.

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