Men’s mental health is something we don’t talk about a lot. The thing is, we should. Seriously. The discussion about the importance of recognizing that mental and physical health are equally important is happening. That said, it’s happening most often among women.
It’s Not Just a Problem for Women
Thing is, though, men’s mental health is just as important as women’s. We’re just not talking about it like they are. I was reading the news a few weeks back and I saw a headline with Ryan Reynolds. Turns out the guy has some serious anxiety issues. Yes, that Ryan Reynolds. Deadpool!
Here’s this man pretty much most of us wouldn’t mind being for a day (or a lot of days) and it turns out he’s got an anxiety disorder. Is he weak? Stupid? Less awesome? Nope. In fact, I have to say that I think even more of him now that he got real about men’s mental health, and he did it publicly.
Role Models in Men’s Mental Health
I can’t be the only guy who wouldn’t mind being a bit more like Ryan Reynolds on occasion. In fact, I know I’m not. Now, I realize that’s even better news than it used to be. If we’re going to have a role model in a celebrity, we may as well find one that’s doing us some good, even if it’s coincidental.
In the interview I read, Reynolds said he now has – and has always had – anxiety. He also pointed out that there are 40 million people in the United States alone suffering from that same problem. That’s not just a women’s issue. That may be bad news, but the good news is that he’s one of a rising number of male celebrities openly talking about men’s mental health.
Show Some Respect Where Men’s Mental Health is Concerned
I give a lot of respect to guys who talk about men’s mental health. It’s not easy. Even if you’re as cool as Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool!). We don’t want to be judged. We don’t want to admit weakness. People make assumptions. Since people don’t talk about it as much, it’s not as easy to do.
As these top stars start to make it more normal for guys to talk about men’s mental health, we’ll all start to do it more. It’s not something to be embarrassed about. It is something important. Let’s all be more like Ryan Reynolds.
Tips for Good Men’s Mental Health Overall
There are many things you can do in the name of men’s mental health both in terms of prevention and to help yourself if you’re suffering. To start, you need to make sure you acknowledge that your mind is something you need to care for. If you don’t, you run the risk of letting its health slip.
Here are six ways you can take better care of men’s mental health.
This means different things to different people. Good emotional and mental wellness doesn’t mean that you have to head out and be around huge numbers of people every day. For many people, that helps. For many, that’ll do more harm than good.
Some guys do like being around lots of people. You thrive when you go to bars, parties, or are on sports teams. Others just like to hang with a good friend or spend time with family. Find your best way to be social and do it. It’s medicine for your brain. Social media is not enough.
Spend Some Time in Nature
One study after the next shows that both women’s and men’s mental health benefits from being outside in fresh air and daylight. If you have a job that keeps you inside most of the time, make the effort to head out. Go for a walk around your neighborhood. Spend some extra time at the park. If you can head out for a hike along a natural trail, take that opportunity.
You don’t need to do anything very strenuous. Simply being out there and giving yourself the chance to breathe is often enough. If walking or hiking isn’t the thing for you, go fishing or do something else that lets you stay outside for a little while.
Give Yoga or Meditation a Try
I didn’t like the idea of this at first. I thought it was new age nonsense. It’s not. I’ve given yoga classes a try, and I’ve used a guided meditation app. I’d highly recommend this to absolutely anyone who wants to focus on men’s mental health. These practices force you to concentrate on your breath, your body, your presence. At the same time, you’re setting aside your stresses and anxious thoughts. Don’t knock it until you try it.
If you know you need to do something in the name of men’s mental health, but you don’t know what it is, get help. Speak with your doctor. He or she will guide you to your next step.