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Anxiety Management Techniques: 8 Techniques to Help Men Manage Anxiety

June is National Men’s Health Month. It started in 1994 as a way of bringing awareness to the health conditions specifically faced by men while encouraging early detection and treatment.

Unfortunately, since 1994, many men’s health problems in men have only become worse.

Some of that can be attributed to the reluctance men have to seek medical attention for both physical and mental health issues.

Men are significantly less likely than women to report symptoms or see a doctor. Only 60 percent of men get a yearly routine check-up. 40 percent say they don’t seek preventative care at all, and only wait until something is seriously wrong before seeking medical care.

This includes mental health care.

Are you in need of anxiety treatment or just need to relieve stress? Search for your nearest Elite DNA location in Florida and schedule an appointment today!

An Overview of Anxiety in Men

Let’s look at one of the more common mental health challenges men face – anxiety. Research indicates that at least one in five men will struggle with anxious feelings, panic attacks, or an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives.

Anxiety is a perfectly normal emotion. Everyone will experience some level of anxiety in their lives. But when feelings of overwhelm or dread start disrupting your life, you may be dealing with a Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

GAD can develop in childhood, or it may not manifest until adulthood. Recent studies show women are more likely to experience GAD. But men are far from immune.

Not nearly enough people take steps to treat GAD. Generalized Anxiety Disorder affects 6.8 million adults in the United States. But only 43% of people with this condition receive treatment.

Symptoms of GAD are often similar to other anxiety disorders, such as panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other types of social anxiety. However, the conditions are quite different and require different treatment approaches.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of GAD, the best option is always to arrange an evaluation from a mental health provider and consider seeking treatment. It’s always better to understand what’s causing you to struggle than to guess and leave the issue untreated so you can better navigate stress that often accompanies anxiety.

The techniques below can help you manage anxiety symptoms while waiting to begin treatment or between treatment sessions. Techniques for managing anxiety attacks aren’t gender specific. However, men may find the techniques below more appealing than other options.

8 Techniques to Help Men Manage Anxiety

1. Physical Exercise

Physical activity can be a particularly appealing way to manage anxiety symptoms. It’s enjoyable and very effective.

Regular exercise, like cardio and resistance training, can reduce the production of stress hormones, oxygenate the bloodstream, and improve mood.

Outdoor exercise like running or hiking also provides a relaxing dose of nature. Just 10 minutes in a natural setting has been shown to make people feel happier while reducing anxiety symptoms.

Participating in team sports adds social connection, helping you feel less isolated or disconnected.

Physical exercise can reduce feelings of restlessness, improve sleep quality, and reduce muscle tension while easing worry and dread.

It also increases the production of anxiety-reducing neurotransmitters, such as:

  • Endorphins, which reduce anxiety and produce feelings of relaxation and optimism.
  • Serotonin, which boosts energy and alertness.
  • Dopamine, which improves overall mood.

Physical exercise is a great way to manage anxiety symptoms. If you have a physical activity, you already enjoy, try engaging in it more often.  If not, try going for a 10-minute walk and listening to your favorite music or podcast. Or enjoy the sounds of nature.

2. Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation practices reduce runaway thoughts (rumination), by helping you become aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment. They help ground you in the present moment, which helps you detach from anxious thoughts.

Mindfulness therapies are often utilized in therapeutic anxiety treatment for men. But there are many mindfulness practices you can use on your own.

Breathing meditations involve quieting the mind by becoming aware of your breathing patterns. Set a timer for anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes to start. Sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair, with your back straight and hands resting on your lap. With your eyes closed, breathe through your nose at a comfortable natural pace. Feel the sensation of your weight against the floor or chair. Notice the physical sensation of the breath moving in and out of your body.  Are they long or short? Do they vary?  Notice how your chest and abdomen rise as you inhale and how they sink as you exhale.

Body scan meditations are similar to breathing meditations but put the focus on the body. You can begin the same way as a breath medication by setting a timer for 5 to 20 minutes. Sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair with your back straight and hands resting on your lap. Close your eyes and start scanning through your body slowly starting at the top of your head and progressing downward. Notice any places that feel particularly tense, or particularly relaxed.  Don’t try to change those states. Just notice them without judgment or criticism.

You can also practice mindfulness in small moments throughout the day. Try a mindful eating practice by focusing on the taste and texture of each bite. Or try walking mindfulness by noticing all the sounds you can hear, near and far, as you go for a walk.

There are many guided mindfulness practices available online and through mobile apps. Some of these are specifically designed for men’s anxiety and other forms of personal wellness.

3. Progressive Relaxation

Progressive relaxation techniques are like some mindfulness practices, but they actively focus on relaxing tension in the body.

Start by sitting or lying down. Close your eyes and take two or three deep breaths. Tense the muscles in your feet and hold it for a count of five.  You should feel tension, not pain. When you reach five, release the tension in your feet.  You can mentally say “relax” as you release the tension. Take a breath or two, then repeat the process with your calves. Continue moving up the body, ending the process with the facial muscles.

After you finish take a few breaths and notice how your body feels now as compared to when you began.

Progressive relaxation can be very effective at easing anxiety symptoms. And many people find it helps them fall asleep faster.

4. Challenge Negative Thinking

Runaway thoughts, rumination, and feelings of dread are extremely common with anxiety.

One technique for easing the impact of these thoughts is to challenge them with questions. When you notice a runway negative thought, try asking yourself what other outcomes might happen. Are those equally likely to occur?  More likely?

Anxiety attacks can lock us into focusing on one negative outcome. By questioning that outcome, and noticing other possibilities, we can reduce the impact of runaway negative thoughts.

5. Seek Social Connections

Men are more likely than women to self-isolate when feeling anxious. Isolation can reduce stressors, but it can also lead to greater rumination, runaway thoughts, and dread.

Social support can help reduce these symptoms. Sharing your feelings of anxiety with friends, trusted family members or a therapist can reduce those thoughts.

Finding a men’s support group in your area, specifically focused on anxiety or mental health, can be very beneficial. Knowing that there are others out there experiencing the same thing you are can often reduce feelings of being alone in your struggle.

6. Exploratory Problem-Solving

Men often find solution-oriented approaches very appealing. Having an active problem to resolve can provide something specific to focus on.

Think about the possible root causes that underlie your anxiety. Are they related to a specific issue at work?  Do they stem from a relationship with someone? An upcoming social situation?

Pick one cause and consider all possible solutions to address it. If work deadlines are a trigger, explore new time management skills, or see if there are ways to extend the deadlines. If social situations are a trigger, try role-playing the situation with a friend or loved one.

7. Acceptance

Sometimes, anxiety symptoms are unavoidable.

Ironically, struggling against them or trying to ignore them can often cause them to become larger.

Instead, try to accept them.  As uncomfortable as they can be, noting to yourself that it’s okay to feel this way can reduce their impact.

Everyone will experience varying levels of anxiety at various points in their life. Accepting this, and recognizing that others will experience something similar, can reduce its impact.

8. Enjoy Relaxing Activities

Managing stress and anxiety can often be done by simply engaging in regular activities that we enjoy. An enjoyable, engaging, relaxing, activity can offer a lot of benefits. It provides focus, relaxation, and a safe respite from spiraling thoughts.

Take time to listen to your favorite music, engage in a hobby, spend time in nature, or read an entertaining book.

Just make sure it’s something you enjoy, and don’t feel pressured to do well.

Seek Advice from a Mental Health Professional at Elite DNA

We hope you’ve found this exploration of anxiety management techniques for men helpful.  And we hope you’ll try some of the techniques listed to find what works best for you.

Please contact us if you’d like to explore professional treatment for anxiety in men. As we mentioned earlier, too many men avoid treatment and suffer needlessly.

Elite DNA offers many different treatment modalities and therapeutic approaches including psychiatry or psychotherapy for anxiety. Some involve more detailed versions of the techniques above. Others involve Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which has proven highly effective. It can give you a new way of thinking and drastically reduce your anxiety response.

We offer a range of tools including psychiatry, talk therapy, psychoanalysis, mindfulness, and medication management when needed.

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating Men’s Health Month and improving the state of mental health for all men.

Ready to learn helpful strategies for coping with male anxiety and common triggers? Search for your nearest Elite DNA location in Florida and start managing your anxiety today!

*The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this website is for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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