Mental health is a taboo topic, especially among men who are always told to be tough and deal with challenges head-on.
Such beliefs force millions of people to ignore their mental health, bottle up their feelings, and suffer from numerous problems.
In today’s post, we’ll discuss mental health for men, why it matters, and what steps you can take to start leading a happier and more fulfilling life.
Let’s dive in.
Four Solid Reasons Not to Ignore Your Mental Health
1. It Impacts Your Productivity
Here is one fundamental truth about human psychology you’re probably aware of intuitively:
Happy people work hard, even if they don’t love their job.
Think back to when you were at work and happy about something. Maybe you finally landed a date with a girl you liked, bought a new car, or moved to a new place. How did your workday feel? Chances are, the work didn’t feel as burdensome, clients didn’t stress you out, and you were more productive.
Now, think back to when you were worried about something or depressed. You likely felt less motivated to work hard, couldn’t focus well, and your work output dropped.
Your mental health affects your productivity and greatly determines your professional success (1).
2. It’s Better to Resolve Problems Early
As with most problems in life, it’s best to resolve mental health issues early rather than letting them take over your life.
Most men ignore their mental health because there are always seemingly more important things: work, family, socializing, and more. But, the longer you put off problems, the more challenging it becomes to resolve them later (2).
3. Stress Gets Easier to Deal With
Have you ever noticed that your mood impacts how you perceive things? The happier you are, the fewer things bother you and the calmer you remain under challenging situations. Conversely, the angrier you feel, the more likely you are to act rashly and the more difficult it gets to deal with stress.
Taking good care of your mental health often means you’re in a better mood. As a result, dealing with life’s many stressors gets easier, and you feel much calmer and more productive (3).
Plus, people with poor mental health are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. None of these states bring productivity or make you strong in the face of adversity.
4. Mental Health Affects Your Relationships
Whether we like it or not, our mental state impacts how we treat the people around us. For instance, data suggests that depressed individuals are more likely to experience negative social interactions and react strongly to them (4).
Additionally, people suffering from depression and anxiety are more likely to shut themselves off from the world, which can cause them to lose touch with friends and family (5). To top everything off, depression makes it more challenging to relax and have a good time, especially when around other people (6).
The First Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Mental Health
Many men struggling with mental health issues feel hopeless, unaware of the best course of action. While you can use many tactics to start feeling better, two stand out more than any other: getting active and making an effort to communicate.
Numerous studies show that physical activity is one of the best ways to improve mental health, gain confidence, and reduce the risk of depression (7, 8, 9). In fact, physical activity’s effects are so pronounced that it can even be used to treat clinical depression (9, 10).
The great thing about physical activity is that it can come in many forms, so you don’t have to restrict yourself to something you don’t like. Experiment with different activities to find something you genuinely enjoy doing. Weight training and cardio are popular options, but you can also play sports, go hiking, play with your children, dance, etc.
Second, learn to open up with friends and family and share your problems. Sometimes, sharing can be a great way to release stress. Plus, a different perspective can be valuable for solving issues, seeing things from a new angle, and getting more in touch with your feelings.
Be mindful of what makes you sad, causes you to worry, or gets you angry. Communicate your feelings instead of bottling them up and trying to take on the world alone.