Why men and women deal differently with stress?
Did you know that even stress management training has to observe gender compatibility? Male stress is different from a female's. Their coping skills differ, thus, their reactions and tolerance levels also vary.
The main reason for this is the hormones. It is thought that women release more stress hormones called cortisol and epinephrine when stress strikes as compared to men. These hormones raise blood pressure, increase sugar level, and degrade the immune system. This is why women tend to be so emotional with their reactions.
However, some experts disagree with this theory and favor another assumption on this subject matter. This assumption states that there's no difference in stress hormones production between the genders. It is the love hormone, oxytocin, which creates the distinction.
In women, oxytocin acts like a 911 Emergency Aid during a stressful situation. When the stress hormones rush forward, oxytocin gets in their way. It is released from the brain, countering the production of cortisol and epinephrine, to promote relaxation.
In men, the oxytocin released during a stressful event comes in much smaller amounts. This is why they are known to be less patient and more aggressive when faced with arguments.
Stress Management 101 for Men
Now that we know that there is a physiological fact behind men and women having different stress management abilities, we must keep this in mind when devising stress coping strategies. In this article, we are going to look into the best tactics that can help men manage their stress. Here is our Stress Management 101 Course - exclusively designed for the Adams!
1. Activities to release anger
How a simple crying session helps women to properly let go of their emotions and pave space for them to breathe in does not have the same effect on men. Since the most fragile thing in the world is a man's ego, it takes so much more to see a single tear flow from their eyes. They keep their anger within until they are not able to handle it and they resort to bursting reactions. On top of this, the hidden anger piles up and keeps the stress levels high, degrading their immune system and cardiovascular health.
It is recommended instead that men participate in the activities they best love to release their anger. Sports would be the first bet here. A game or two of their favorite sports would ease their tension or frustrations. A coffee session with their best bud would also be great. A moment of silence alone is also applicable to some type of men.
2. Breathing Relaxation Technique
One effective method loved by men to achieve a relaxed state of mind is to maintain a good supply of oxygen throughout the body. Deep breathing often calms a mad man down. It is important that this breathing technique is applied with the thought of exhalations carrying negative energy out.
Why does this fit men? It is because this is the most silent way of releasing stress. Men usually do not want to talk about themselves and their stress. They won't even admit with full honesty that they are stressed.
3. Muscle Contraction Relaxation Technique
Another relaxation method used by men is muscle contraction. One great way to relax tense muscles is to contract and release them. The key here is to have a focal point of concentration, one body part at a time. This gives way to better blood circulation and loosens up tightened muscles for a healthier feeling.
If there were three top things men were really concerned with in regards to their bodies, they would be strength, stamina, and muscles. The muscle contraction-relaxation technique is something that men can consider the manly stress-reducing workout.
Even when meditation is known to be an effective method to fight stress, most men still find it unappealing. Studies have it that men and women who meditate showed dramatic reduction in the risk of death, heart attacks, and stroke. More so, it has a significant effect in men in terms of relaxation because it caters to their visual aspect. When men meditate, they are able to rest their visual rolodex. Visual images are stored in the male brain as a sort of a visual rolodex that reappears without a warning. Meditation shuts this down for the time being and puts everything else in silent mode, providing authentic relaxation to the meditator.
5. The Circle of Love
As mentioned earlier, the male brain releases minimal amounts of the love hormone oxytocin when stress hormones are on the rise. It is recommended for men to have a ready means of boosting the production of oxytocin.
To remind men to go back and access help from their circle of love during a stressful situation, a picture of their family, child, or special someone is recommended to be placed at their workstation, in their wallet, or in areas that they most go to. Remembrance of a loving relationship, friendship, even caring for a pet helps increase the level of oxytocin in a man's body. This helps counter the negative effects of stress hormones.
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