Men and mental health have not always coexisted harmoniously, especially with the stereotype that men have to keep their emotions bottled in. However, that adversarial nature is becoming a thing of the past, and men are looking for healthy ways to improve their mental well-being. Here is a list of things that men from an online forum say drastically changed their mental health for the better!
1. Getting a Dog
What can alleviate a day's stress more efficiently than a companion who loves you unconditionally? Man's best friend doesn't care what happened—whether or not you failed. They are a place of dependable love and joy. Ultimately, your dog offers you a chance to forget about your troubles, even if it's just for a moment. Plus, it's fun to watch them grow as an integral member of the family.
2. Finding a Hobby
One user reported that finding something other than going to work to be passionate about is a great way to reduce stress. Painting, hiking, dancing, etc., are hobbies that can be therapeutic and offer an escape from the social demands and obligations that men have from day to day. A hobby is an outlet where you don't have a job to do; it's a space where you relax and have fun.
3. Learning To Put Things Into Perspective
Many guys mentioned that learning not to make a mountain out of a molehill has been the key to improved mental health. Sometimes the smallest things can nag you or even drive you crazy. However, you'd be surprised what taking a nice deep breath does for you. Every situation is not a crisis; the sooner these men realized it, the better they were for it.
4. Quitting Social Media
Social media can be great, but it can also be emotionally draining. It has the uncanny ability to bombard you with negativity, gossip, drama, and the like. Shutting social media down for a time has rejuvenated many forum members who said they were overwhelmed by all the platforms at their disposal.
Social media sites can make you feel inadequate, and stepping away does wonders for your mental health. It allows you to focus on what really matters in life.
A clouded mind can get the best of all of us at times. Learning how to clear your mind to create room for peace is an underappreciated skill and one that more men are turning to for comfort. Positivity is the missing piece for a lot of people, and that's where meditation can help.
Taking 20 minutes out of the day to embrace silence and reset your mind is cathartic and beneficial for one's mental health.
6. Taking a Walk
It's amazing how something as simple as taking a walk can help you. One individual stated that taking a daily walk—no matter the length of time—allows him to be alone with his thoughts and to clear his mind from all the troubles of the day. Sometimes you just need time to think and process your emotions about something.
Taking in some fresh air is great, and you even benefit from burning extra calories as well.
7. Not Caring About Others' Opinions
Men have expressed that putting too much stake in other people's opinions has led to poor mental health. Conversely, not giving people so much emotional control over them has allowed them to make excellent progress in this sphere. Once you cut out the opinions of others, you're no longer impacted by the constant flow of what others think.
Training is a great way to feel better about yourself. For starters, it gives you an outlet to channel any unresolved frustrations. Many of the guys commenting said that aside from powerlifting and cardio being a means to get out bottled emotions, the physical results that you earn from working out are icing on the cake. The better you look, the better you feel!
9. Listening to Music
Music has a universality about it when it comes to reducing stress. Since the beginning of time, music has been an excellent conduit for emotional expression and joy. Men have stated that having a go-to collection of songs helps when it comes to dealing with life's challenges. Sometimes you can completely change your mood with a good tune.
10. Attending Therapy
Seeking help is something that men are becoming more accustomed to with each passing day. The stigma associated with needing professional help is quickly shifting. Men are becoming increasingly comfortable with vulnerability, and they are seeing and reaping tangible benefits from therapy sessions.
11. Separating From Toxic Individuals
Sometimes the company we keep is not good for us—this is a sentiment many users expressed. Toxic people and relationships can be detrimental to your mental health, and many men have found that removing themselves from such people and relationships has done wonders for them. Whatever or, more aptly, whomever is burdening you unnecessarily, should get cut off when possible!
It's a good idea for men to be more contemplative when it comes to their thoughts and especially their feelings. They've learned to be strong (only) for far too long, and in doing so, a lot of them say it's pretty challenging to understand their vulnerabilities and insecurities. Taking a moment to be introspective and figure out why you feel the way you do helps a ton.
13. Being Intentional With Your Time
Plenty of guys from the forum felt that being intentional with their time gave them more of a purpose and a drive. Intentionality gave them a reason to wake up and a goal to strive towards. Wandering around aimlessly with no purpose can be mentally taxing. However, men who have decided to make plans and strive to reach their objectives say they're thriving.
14. Getting Adequate Sleep
Sometimes, the answer to life's problems is as simple as sleep! Often, people neglect the importance of sleep and how the lack of it can negatively impact the course of their day. Getting as close to eight hours of sleep a day can affect how you deal with life's problems the following day. Take notes, guys!