The biggest health danger than men face might surprise you; it’s stress. The modern world can be fast-paced and hectic. It can be very difficult to slow down, which causes us to experience more and more stress in our daily lives.
Stress can sometimes be positive. Stressful situations can make us more alert and more aware of our surroundings. Excessive stress however is unhealthy, especially for men who do not seek appropriate treatment. When stress related tension increases, it can begin to negatively affect overall health.
Men experiencing high levels of stress tend to feel anxious, fatigued, irritable or depressed and often turn to unhealthy practices such as drinking or overeating in order to cope. If left unchecked, stress causes a higher risk of heart disease,
high blood-pressure, diabetes and even some forms of cancer.
How Does Stress Affect Us?
When we feel stressed, it triggers certain biological “buttons” in our bodies. This reaction creates a fight-or-flight response:
- The heart rate increases to send more blood to the brain. This improves mental clarity and reaction-time.
- Blood is pumped into the arms and legs to provide greater speed and strength.
- The pupils dilate, improving vision.
- Adrenaline production is increased.
Researchers believe these instincts come from man’s hunter-gatherer ancestors, helping them survive against wild animals and other threats. Although the threats of the modern world are very different, our brains and bodies still respond the same way.
Why Men Are Especially At Risk
Many men feel a social expectation to be strong and in control at all times. This causes many men to ignore and suppress feelings of stress to avoid appearing weak. This becomes dangerous when stress related tension develops into serious health conditions. Recent studies have shown that nearly seventy-five percent of all doctor’s office visits are due to stress-related concerns. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), stress is a major hazard in the workplace, costing the American industry more than $300 billion each year.
Finding healthy ways to relieve and reduce stress is an important part of health for men of any age. Talk to your doctor about ways to cut down the stress in your life so that you can be healthy and happy.