This month is Men’s Health Month, which aims to provide a platform for challenging and debating key issues in men's health and to raise the profile of men, their health outcomes and health needs around the country.
Globally, men die on average 5 years earlier than women, and for reasons that are largely preventable. Which means that it doesn’t have to be that way: we can all take action to live healthier, happier and longer lives. ¹
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1. Spend time with people who make you feel good. Stay connected. Your mates are important and spending time with them is good for you. Catch up regularly, check in and make time.
2. Talk, more. You don’t need to be an expert and you don’t have to be the sole solution, but being there for someone, listening and giving your time can be life-saving.
3. Know thy nuts. Simple Get to know what’s normal for your testicles. Give them a check regularly and go to the doctor if something doesn’t feel right.
4. Move, more. Add more activity to your day. Do more of what makes you feel good. Why not try and take a walking meeting or park further away from the station. Try and move outside and get your daily dose of Vitamin D.
There are numerous ways that stress can be managed. But what’s important is that not all ways of managing stress work for all people in all situations. Because of this, it’s important that people develop and practice many different coping strategies – in other words, people need to build a stress management toolbox. ² What types of coping strategies should go into people’s stress management toolbox?
Learn to breathe from your diaphragm. When we do this, our diaphragm moves downward allowing us to breathe more deeply into our lungs. When we are stressed, we don’t breathe as deeply and therefore don’t get as much oxygen into our system.
2. Meditation Practise breathing and visualization exercises to help remain focused on the present. For example, one of the basic exercises of mindfulness-based meditation is the body scan, which starts as a focus on breathing, but then transitions into a visualization of the body and its parts, from toe to head.
3. Practise SMART Goalsetting
To help avoid goal-related stress, people should utilize the SMART system. According to SMART, goals should be:
Specific, meaning that they must be specific actions that people do themselves;
Measurable, meaning that people not only have to be able to see the progress they are making, but they have to be able to measure the improvement so they know how well they are doing in achieving their goal;
Attainable, meaning that goals cannot be lofty inspirations, but that people have to be able to reach their goals;
Relevant, meaning that they must be goals people want or need to achieve, and aren’t just there for something to do;
Time-bound, in that they need to be achievable within a given time frame.
4. Physical Exercise
Positive health effects of physical exercise and one of these benefits is stress reduction. The focus here is on aerobic exercise, but the guidelines also note that it is important to add muscle-building exercises to that routine at least 2 days per week. Try and incorporate getting out in nature to reduce stress levels and help ground your thoughts.
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