Common causes of stress in men? Are you for real? Men cannot be stressed, they are strong and tough, getting stressed is a sign of weakness and men can’t be weak.
Isn’t this a common reaction we come across when we talk about men and mental health? Men can be stressed, depressed, anxious, and agitated too. Men can be weak and vulnerable too. We all possess emotions and going low and high on our emotions is a sign of human behavior and is not gender-specific.
Dear Men, you are allowed to cry, you are allowed to have an occasional burnout, so please acknowledge your feelings. In this blog, let us break this myth one myth at a time.
What Are The Common Causes Of Stress In Men
Hey! What kind of a man are you when can you cry in front of a girl? What kind of a man are you when you cannot control your wife? Man up! What kind of a man are you when you cry and sob over a loss? All this is and a lot and a lot more. We have been conditioned in a way that patriarchy breathes beneath our skin.
We as an obsessed society can, but stress doesn’t discriminate between genders. It can affect anyone at any time, regardless of sex. Women can be stressed and cry out loud, men can be stressed and completely shut themselves down. As the common causes of stress in men could be the same as women, the reaction, and how we manage stress could vary between men and women.
We wear that happy mask all the time and pretend to be stress-free. Especially males who are constantly under the pressure of getting judged because of all this alpha male theory, resist so hard not to open up ever. But for how long can we not acknowledge how we feel and what we want to do for it? How long can we suppress our emotions only to face further emotional damage to our wellbeing?
Twelve Common Causes of Stress in Men
As per research, women are more likely to express their emotional burnout than men, on the other hand, men avoid reporting any emotional or physical symptoms of stress, they totally live in denial most of the time.
In order to make it more real and acceptable to your ears that men can be stressed too, I collected real data from real men, and to my surprise, even women joined. On the contrary, as we live in an ignorant society I also got responses like men can’t be stressed they just cause stress. This attitude needs a little more sensitization in order to raise awareness in society and prevent rising suicide rates in men over the last few years.
Here is the graphical representation of the most common observation with the data I collected from 22 people, asking about the common causes of stress in men. The response was overwhelming and a mirror to the society we breathe in.
|1.) Financial Stress|
|3.) Monotonous life|
|4.) Work and personal life balance pressure|
|5.) Inability to accept their weakness due to the concept of machoism.|
|6.) Lack of Intellectual growth|
|7.) No job-recognition|
|8.) No performance appraisal|
|9.) Peer Pressure|
|10.) Constant comparison|
|11.) Decision-making paralysis|
|12.) Relationship challenges|
1.) Financial stress
In the local research, I conducted through a basic form, one of the most common causes of stress in men is found to be financial stress, which is almost known to everybody. Yet the burden, the pressure of living and making it big lies on the men’s shoulder right from an early age.
He is always judged on his capability to earn and how big he has made in his life. How big his house is, how luxurious his car is, and how much bank balance he has got in his account.
2.) Tremendous workload
The daily rat race and the never-ending pressure to thrive is a bonus to stress in men’s life. Few men are always stressed depending upon the nature of their work. But they are expected to be a go-getter and questioned on their ability to perform under stress.
3.) Monotonous life
The same boring routine, from home to office, from office to home. Long working hours, less personal time, less family time. The ones who stay in metropolitan cities spent most of the time chasing the traffic lights. With this monotonous life, men lose the spark and energy to do things.
4.) Work and personal life balance pressure
The office demands long-working hours and family demands some family time, movies, outings, picnics. But what if you bring the office work to home and even on a holiday you have to work, you have to work because it is your duty and you cannot say no to your nasty boss but in this process, you say no to your wife, to your children, even get frustrated because of their demands which causes a stressful environment in your house.
5.) Inability to accept their weakness due to the concept of machismo.
The alpha male theory, the man -up label. One of the common causes of stress in men is that they are not allowed to feel stressed. You know the men or women who bully you for your emotional vulnerabilities are energy vampires, who suck your positive vibes and demean you for being you. When you are happy and you know it, and if you say hurray, so when you are sad, say it yes I am feeling low.
6.) Lack of Intellectual growth
Due to the lack of time, lack of energy, and lack of work-life balance you miss pursuing so many things. If you want to pursue an additional certification that will help you boost your resume and maybe your appraisal but have no time to invest in your intellectual growth and when you see others going ahead of you, you feel disheartened and even go into self-doubt.
7.) No job-recognition
One of the most common causes of stress in men and even in women, when you work hard and have devoted you half of life at work but still your hard work, dedication and conviction go unnoticed you feel stressed, agitated, and frustrated. This is the most common topic of discussion when you lack growth.
8.) No performance appraisal
Right on time, as I am writing this post in the month of May where we are left heart-broken with the peanut size appraisals we get in turn of the hard-work we put in the organization. Every year we work hard, hoping for some miracle when the year ends, few lucky ones hit the bulls-eye while others are left disheartened and disappointed for another year, which ultimately affects their work performance and family life.
9.) Peer pressure
A new management trainee joined under you, he is young, dynamic, and super-active able to do things quickly and smartly which creates an unwarranted pressure on you. Deep down you know that you are good at your work but again you stress yourself when you see him/her doing things with ease and winning badges and remarks in the form of praises by your subordinates and seniors.
10.) Constant comparison
Comparison with that new colleague of yours, comparisons with the son of your neighbor, comparison with the business tycoon, or a guy who just made his way to Forbes. What are these comparisons based on? Success? Bling? Everybody is different and we cannot judge the ability of a person under a single umbrella criterion.
11.) Decision-making paralysis
A man is always blamed for not taking a stand between the wife and his parents, despite knowing the fact of right and wrong. For not choosing between two things, men are less expressive and they sometimes find it really hard to choose a side and make a firm decision, those who are able to do it get rid of this burden for once but the majority of men hang in between and suffer due to this stress causes by their decision-making paralysis.
12.) Relationship challenges
One of the common causes of stress in men is also a relationship, and its chances of survival under various circumstances. Circumstances such as long-distance relationships, relationships under low income, no job or inter-religion, inter-caste affair.
These situations create a lot of stress in men as they are programmed to suffer and neither cry out loud when they feel miserable about a situation, hence they face a lot of stress when they end up in a complicated relationship with a demanding life partner.
Physical Symptoms of Stress in Men
It is quite hard for people in our society to believe that mental stress directly affects our physical state. Mental health is as important as physical health, it doesn’t matter if you are men or women, you are old or young, you are successful or broke.
Every folk has got his own circumstantial stress, which only he understands and somehow expects his near ones to understand to help him come out.
There are few physical symptoms of stress as below:
- Rapid heart rate
- Muscle tension
- Constant back or neck pain
- Difficulty in concentration
- Loss of memory
- Lower sexual desires
- Quick anger
- Social isolation
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Eating disorder
- Obsessive compulsion behaviors
- Substance abuse
Five “S” to Deal with Stress
Early interventions can lower the stress-related risks in your body. Have you heard of the Japanese management technique?
An improvement technique inspired by Japanese culture adopted by many organizations in order to make the workplace organized and smooth to operate, adhering to efficiency and safety as well, I have also mentioned this in my eBook “26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier You”.
If management or an organization can adopt techniques for better productivity and smooth functioning of their work-structure, then how about we adopting few measures for our own sanity?
Self-love is not selfish or being obsessed with self, it simply means we choose ourselves over anything else which costs our mental peace. If we want others to love us, we shall love ourselves first. It’s a state of appreciation for oneself that supports our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. When we begin to love ourselves, we begin to explore all our strengths and weaknesses. How to start?
1. Know what best works for you
2. Whom should you stick with?
3. Stop comparing yourself with others
Self-control is nothing but your own ability to alter all the responses in order to avoid certain consequences, undesirable actions, or behaviors that come in your way. No matter how smaller your goal is if you keep pushing it you will never achieve it, you know you have diabetes and you need to control, you know you procrastinate and yet you complain. How to start?
1. Meditate as it improves your emotional intelligence.
2. If you have an idea, just don’t sit on it, take immediate actions.
3. Set short term goals, rather than pressurizing self with higher goals.
Self-Awareness is like a mirror, an approach to see yourself as it is without any biases and take needed action. Improve your self-awareness by being in present, focusing on your breathing and your senses, it helps your brain’s ability to resist destructive impulses. We become mindful of our capacities and abilities and act as per that, and not how others want us to behave. How to start?
1. Try to listen to your body, your body gives you a signal when it gets tired.
2. Talk to yourself, do not indulge in mental arguments, just listen to your inner voice.
3. Soak in your feelings, vent out your emotions.
Self-Acceptance (Way One) does not only stress self-understanding but also helps in self-introspection which helps us understand our weaknesses and strengths and find ways to make things work for us. How to start?
1. Let go of the past, incidents, which are not in your control
2. Stop blaming and cursing yourself for some wrong decisions you made in life.
3. Celebrate every little success you attain.
For all the things I have mentioned above, let me tell you something, you will perhaps read it, might like it, even love it or entirely find it a bogus idea, but trust me you will forget about it because that’s what we do with our mind and our body every time, we read something good we like it, we want to practice it but we are either too lazy or just not disciplined enough to put things at work. If you really want to regain your willpower and have control over your daily habits, start working on it now, here is how:
1. Follow the KISS principle- Keep It Simple Stupid. A very effective managerial technique.
2. Reward yourself when you accomplish a set task
3. Get adequate sleep, don’t exert, and start fresh every day with gratitude.
Now when we know a few of the common causes of stress and its symptoms, we should help ourselves on priority. But yes do not self-diagnose, sometimes stress is situational and when the problem gets solves your stress disappears in thin are.
But for the ones who have been feeling the same sinking feeling over the weeks and months, need to take care and the ones who can see their partner/friend /son or any men they know going through a similar situation please reach out to them, give them a safe space to vent out and help them to nurture their emotional well-being.
In the end, I would say that cut back on your stressors, prioritize, learn to say no, and avoid irrational or unfeasible commitments. Find support when you feel overwhelmed.
Speak to a doctor, family member, friend, or advisor. When you talk about your problems and acknowledge you are helping yourself and it is no sign of weakness, it is a step to make you feel better. It’s your life, make it beautiful.
Priyanka Nair is the author of 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier you and Ardhaviram. An NLP practitioner and Founder of Sanity Daily, helping you prioritize your mental health. Let’s build a happy community.