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8 Ways For Men To Manage Anxiety

It's time for Black men to step up to the plate when it comes to protecting their mental health. There are many mental illnesses that we suffer with silently but we need to start looking deep and take control of our lives and mental health. Anxiety is a common mental health challenge that affects millions of people worldwide but men tend to not take it as seriously as other mental health issues. Reasons like societal expectations and stereotypes make it difficult for men to openly express their anxiety and seek help.

Man dealing with anxiety

Here are a few effective strategies for men to deal with anxiety and make their overall mental well-being a priority.

Normalize Emotional Expression

Man worried

Men are often expected to be strong and stoic, which can hinder their ability to acknowledge and express their anxiety. Some don't even realize that they are dealing with anxiety and because they don't know something is wrong, they don't know that they need to get help. Normalizing emotional expression and recognizing that anxiety is a normal human response to stress is crucial. Allow yourself to feel and process your emotions, whether it's through journaling, talking to a trusted friend, or seeking professional therapy.

Practice Self-Care

Man exercising

Engaging in self-care activities can significantly reduce anxiety levels. Regular exercise, a balanced diet and sufficient sleep play a vital role in managing anxiety. Although being in the gym has become a social media activity, it helps you release stress and anxiety. Incorporate physical activities that you enjoy into your routine, such as jogging, swimming, or playing a sport. Additionally, prioritize quality sleep to promote mental and emotional well-being. One of the worse pieces of advice this generation was introduced to was "You can sleep when you're dead." Not getting proper rest impacts your ability to process your day-to-day activities.

Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Man meditating on office desk

Practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques can help reduce anxiety symptoms and promote a sense of calm. Techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation can be incorporated into your daily routine. These practices allow you to stay present, increase self-awareness and cultivate a sense of inner peace.

Challenge Negative Thoughts

man thinking

Anxiety often stems from negative thinking patterns and irrational beliefs. Overanalyzing is a problem that many deal with, especially those who suffer from imposter syndrome. Not believing that you belong in a place will have you analyzing every move and decision that you make. Learn to identify and challenge these thoughts by examining the evidence supporting them. Ask yourself if there is an alternative explanation or a more balanced perspective. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques can be particularly helpful in addressing and reframing negative thought patterns.

Build a Support Network

men laughing

Building a support network of friends, family, or support groups can provide invaluable emotional support during anxious times. Men, specifically, need to find solace in the relationships they have with other men. This is an opportunity to be vulnerable and provides the ability for you to have a positive outlet for your emotions. Open up to trusted individuals who are understanding and non-judgmental. Sharing your feelings and experiences can not only help alleviate anxiety but also provide different perspectives and coping strategies.

Engage in Stress-Relieving Activities

man running on the beach

#BlackBoyJoy is real and engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation is crucial for managing anxiety. Find hobbies or creative outlets that allow you to unwind and shift your focus away from stressors. It could be painting, playing an instrument, becoming a plant dad, or any other activity that helps you recharge and find a sense of purpose.

Set Realistic Goals and Prioritize

man working on computer

As men, we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves and create these massive goals that sometimes can bring anxiety when we don't reach them. We need to start setting realistic goals and breaking them down into manageable steps can help reduce anxiety caused by overwhelming expectations. Prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency, and tackle them one at a time. Celebrate even small achievements, which can boost your confidence and overall well-being.

Seek Professional Help

man on therapist couch

It's 2023, we should be released from the idea that seeking professional help is weak. We need it and clearly suppressing our emotions is not working. If anxiety continues to interfere with your daily life and becomes unmanageable, seeking professional help is a crucial step. Mental health professionals, such as psychologists or therapists, can provide valuable guidance and support through evidence-based therapies. Remember that seeking help is a sign of strength, and it can lead to significant improvements in your mental well-being. Check out Therapy for Black Men if you need assistance with finding a therapist.

Black men, like anyone else, deserve to have their mental health concerns addressed with compassion and understanding. By normalizing emotional expression, practicing self-care, and utilizing effective coping strategies, men can proactively manage anxiety and lead fulfilling lives. Remember, seeking support is not a sign of weakness but a courageous step toward a happier and healthier future.

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Roman Roman
Roman Roman
22 may 2023

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