MOT for the mind
This Men's Health Week, we're urging men to kickstart their mental wellbeing with a mind MOT and seek support when needed. Countless men battle mental health issues silently every day. A survey by Kalms, a herbal medicines brand, revealed that anxiety hits hardest among men in their twenties and thirties. Shockingly, 70% of respondents reported anxiety affecting their work and relationships, while 80% felt its impact on their social life. Don't underestimate the gravity of excessive, persistent anxiety. It's a red flag for a deeper issue that mustn't be ignored. Anxiety can hinder focus, productivity, and energy levels. Getting help and support can be particularly challenging for men grappling with anxiety. Research shows they're less likely to seek psychological therapies compared to women. Only 36% of referrals to NHS talking therapies are for men.
To help those impacted by anxiety, we’ve put together these 5 practical steps for men to give their minds an MOT:
Sweat it out – Exercise is your secret weapon against anxiety. Channel those tense feelings into physical activity. The rush of endorphins will leave you feeling relaxed and clear headed. Start small if you're new to it. Even a 5-minute walk packs a punch.
Journal your way to freedom – Carve out time in your day to jot down your thoughts and feelings. Uncover the root causes and triggers of your anxiety. Journaling reduces mental distress and paves the way for more comfortable conversations.
Breathe deep, find calm – When your mind races and your heart pounds, take control with deep breathing. Activate your body's relaxation response by focusing on slow abdominal breaths. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4, exhale for 4, hold for 4. It's called 'box breathing'—a heart rate reducer and thought gatherer.
Embrace nature – Nature holds the key to tranquillity. A study revealed that areas with abundant tree canopy correlate with lower anxiety, stress, and depression. Walk for 50 minutes in a natural environment, and watch anxiety and rumination fade away.
Share your burdens with people you trust – Anxiety amplifies worries, trapping us in negative thought spirals. Break free by confiding in a trusted friend or professional. Gain an outside perspective, learn effective management strategies, and shatter the isolation.
Don't let anxiety call the shots. Take charge of your mental well-being today, and remember, there’s help out there.