The idea of “manning up” has been discussed among men for ages. It usually goes along the lines of holding in all your emotions and not talking about the things bothering you.
However, the stigma associated with discussing one’s emotions should no longer be associated with masculinity. Men shouldn’t feel ashamed to share their problems just because they’re men.
Holding in negative emotions and refusing to discuss problems can be devastating for men’s mental health. As a society, it’s time to destroy the antiquated idea that being a man means you have to be tough or never talk about your problems.
Here are several reasons why men shouldn’t be afraid to talk about their issues.
Discussing your problems is good for the mind and body
Many men tend to pretend they’re fine even when their minds and bodies are screaming at them otherwise.
Pretending you’re okay is a bad idea because you can’t fool your own body. It will eventually release the same chemicals that make someone feel stressed or anxious, resulting in feelings of intense frustration or depression.
Talking allows you to give words to complex emotions and events, which helps the brain process information over time, reducing stress levels and improving mental health. Furthermore, it also allows people around you like friends, family, and even therapists to help you manage your stress.
Keeping negative emotions bottled up can lead to more negativity
Bearing all your negative thoughts and emotions on your own can be extremely overwhelming, but it’s not just the bad thoughts that we should be concerned about. Men who internalize stress and anger may begin to feel empty or numb. This can lead to many self-destructive behaviors like substance abuse, risky sexual behavior, and even compulsive behavior.
Taking these feelings out on other people is a common reaction too. The family members, co-workers, and friends of men who haven’t discussed their problems can often feel taken advantage of or hurt by the man’s mood swings.
Asking for help isn’t a weakness
Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s actually the opposite. It’s a sign that you’re willing to change your life.
Having the strength to ask for help when you need it means you’ll get the support and assistance without judgment or shame. It shows that you care about yourself and others enough to get help when needed.
The truth is many men find it hard to talk about their problems because they fear being perceived as weak. But, that’s just another irrational fear that needs to be overcome for men to take control of their lives and well-being.
Reduce the stigmatization
As a society, we need to break the misconception that only women can express emotions and feelings. In fact, men should be encouraged to share their problems as often as they need.
Most boys are taught not to cry or express their emotions from a young age. This teaches men from a very early age that there is something wrong with expressing emotions and that only women are capable of it.
The more men are willing to talk about their feelings, the less stigmatized it will be. Hopefully, the cycle will be broken as more generations of men are comfortable talking about their issues.
It can prevent serious issues from getting out of hand
When men deal with serious issues like suicidal thoughts, financial debt, or substance abuse, it doesn’t help them when they don’t talk about it. It can worsen the problems with time because it increases negative feelings or emotions.
Talking to someone about your issues is crucial in preventing them from getting out of hand. For instance, if a man struggles with drug addiction, he needs to ask for help. The odds are if he tries to tackle it himself, he will only cause more problems.
People who can talk about their issues tend to cope with them more successfully than people who don’t discuss them, which means they’re less likely to act out impulsively.
Men should feel no shame in facing their issues head-on and opening up to friends, family, loved ones, etc. It doesn’t make them any less of a man. For men, talking about the things that are bothering them is helpful and critical to their mental health and well-being.
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