In my mental health and life-wellness coaching practice, I see men of all ages-college aged students, young adults, fathers, husbands, grandfathers-who enter the practice for many reasons and concerns. Often, when they have entered, there is a sense of or expression of “I’ve failed”. When faced with the stressors of daily life or work, raising young children or teens, facing a challenging marriage, efforts to balance their work and life, or health issues, these men struggle many times with undiagnosed depression, anxiety, or struggles with adjustment in their lives.
In researching various websites and resources for this week’s blog, I found wonderful resources for men to check out and maybe gain insight in to how to positively change their life, to see if they have symptoms of depression or anxiety, and to try to manage their stress. In Life and Wellness Coaching, we look toward a person wanting to change from their being “stuck” to making truly positive changes in their lives. Concerns about their business, personal, or social life may need some “tweeking” to gain movement to where they want to be now and in the future. Setting goals, short and long term, will help for realizing what is ahead which is exciting and life changing.
Let’s look at stress, a great resource from a pamphlet, which is available in the practice from a national resource. So what iS StreSS?
As noted in “Your Head, An Owner’s Manual” for men of all ages they state, “Stress is an unavoidable and—in small doses—a very important part of our lives. Without it, you’d never have been able to ask your high-school sweetheart out onthat first date or pull an all-nighter before a final exam. You couldn’t beat out aninfi eld single, your heart wouldn’t pound while watching a horror movie, and you wouldn’t feel the slightest joy at the birth of your child or buying a car. In somecases, stress can actually save your life. For example, if you’re in a dangerous situation or feeling afraid, your body gives you a jolt of adrenaline and goes into“fi ght or fl ight” mode. Your pulse races and blood rushes away from your faceand body and out to your arms and legs so you can protect yourself or get away from whatever it is that’s threatening you (that’s why people who are frightened are often “white as a sheet”).In today’s world, it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll ever come face to face with a lion or need to get out of path of an oncoming train. But you’ll deal with lots of smallerstresses every day, like looming deadlines, some nut cutting you off in traffic, oran argument with a customer or your wife or child. Your body responds to these small stresses in pretty much the same way as it does to larger ones. Fortunately, in most cases—when the immediate excitement or danger has passed—your pulseslows down, your muscles relax, and you can get on with your day”.
The article cites three types of stress, “ongoing acute stress” is “similar to acute stress, except that the situation or event that’s causing the stress doesn’t end” . Then there is is “chronic stress” which is ” like ongoing acute stress except on an even largerscale”. Last, and most challenging is “post-traumatic stress” which is “the fallout from a terrifying or catastrophicevent in your life, usually something where you, or someone close toyou, were in danger of being seriously hurt or killed”.
The question or questions are asked, in the article of “So Are You Over-Stressed?” Take a brief survey, from the brochure to see how you rank with stress. With that in mind, read through the following statements and take note of how many apply to you:
• I recently got married, divorced, or separated
• I was recently injured or have been sick
• I’m having major financial problems, such as bankruptcy or a homebeing foreclosed
• I work more than 10 hours per day
• I was recently fired from my job
• I hate my job or some of the people I work with or for
• I haven’t had a vacation in three years or longer
• My partner is pregnant
• I always seem to be coming down with a cold or other illness
• A close friend or relative is ill
• I’ve got a child who’s leaving home for college
• My family recently moved to a new home
• I get less than six hours of sleep every night
• I’ve been getting into more and more arguments with my spouse,friends, or coworkers
• I hardly have any time to myself to read, exercise, or just relax
• It’s been a long, long time since I did something just for fun
• I’m always in a hurry but never manage to get anywhere on time
• I drink more than three caffeinated drinks every day
• I have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or think I have insomnia
• I don’t have any close friends or relatives I can turn to for emotionalsupport
• I recently experienced or witnessed an event where I felt incrediblyafraid or helpless
• At night I have nightmares about the event. During the day, memorieskeep popping into my head and I feel as though I’m reliving it over andover again
• I get very upset by anything that reminds me of what happened (myheart pounds, my muscles tense, I start to sweat or feel nauseated)
• I go to extreme lengths to avoid activities, places, or people who remindme of what happened
• I have a tough time trusting other people or allowing myself to feelclose to anyone
Chances are, at least five or six of the above statements are true foryou. And that’s no surprise. Stress is so widespread that many mentalhealth professionals consider it to be America’s biggest health problem.The American Institute for Stress estimates that 75-90 percent of allvisits to primary care physicians are for stress-related issues.
If you or someone you know may be stressed, and help is needed, contact the office for just time to talk about issues, and see what is needed to live a healthier, more balanced, and less stressed life.
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