NOTE: The following is an excerpt from TeleVox’s Healthy World report, “A Stressed Nation: Americans Search for a Healthy Balance”, which highlights the negative impact that stress is having on the health of Americans. Download it HERE!
While it is no surprise women have a great deal of responsibility on their plate, leading to more stress in their daily lives, men also find themselves battling stress on a daily basis. And while women reported a majority of their stress to be in the home, more men than women believe that stress is negatively affecting their health. Unfortunately for men across America, this leads to a higher risk of negative side effects, ranging from indigestion and sleepless nights to heart disease and stroke.
Finding time to discuss stress with doctors and healthcare providers needs to be a top priority for men. The best way to go about doing this is regular interaction and engagement with healthcare providers. With the advances in technology, this can be as simple as health providers sending an email, leaving a voicemail or sending a text message between office visits with advice on how to be more successful with managing stress. All of these options can lead to a healthier and less stressed America.
Information is Key to Stress Management
As reported by A Stressed Nation: Americans Search for a Healthy Balance, just one third of American men (32 percent) have taken the step of discussing the impact stress has on their health with their doctor. But healthcare providers can provide the missing link between the stressed world we live in and a more relaxed nation in better health. Getting information into the hands of patients on how to better manage stress is the key. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of American men, eight percent higher than American women, would be interested in and/or happy to receive communications from their doctor with tips on how to manage their stress.
Understanding where stress comes from is also a vital part of managing the issue. According to Time Magazine’s Healthland, American men cited three main causes of stress and anxiety:
- Most men (69 percent) cited financial problems and conflicts as their biggest stress.
- Sixty five percent of American men said work was the driving force behind stress. A Stressed Nation reported nearly the same, as 64 percent of men across America reported their biggest stress coming during a typical workday.
- More than half of men, 56 percent, reported their biggest stress is relationship issues. Trying to start a relationship, or keep one going, is stressful in and of itself.
Gender Differences in “Everyday Life”
The biggest difference between the amount of stress reported by men and women comes in everyday life. While a third of Americans—33 percent of men and 36 percent of women—reported they feel somewhat or very stressed at the current moment, just 49 percent of men said they are stressed during everyday life. That is 11 percent lower than the 60 percent of women that are feeling stressed during their everyday life. Why is this? Typically, men tend to devote more time to their job, focusing on advancing in the workplace with promotions, while women try to balance a career with duties on the home front. And while men are taking on more responsibilities in the home, the stress level associated with this doesn’t seem to be quite the same.
Channeling Stress in Positive Ways
The good news for men across America is that stress can be successfully managed and can be channeled in positive ways. According to Psychology Today, stress doesn’t come from physical things: your kids, your work, or traffic jams. Stress comes from your thoughts about these situations and the anticipation of the negative consequences that come along with them. So understanding how to control these negative thoughts—and not placing too much emphasis on the situations that cause you the most stress—can lead to better stress management.
Unfortunately, many men haven’t found a way to effectively manage their stress and aren’t doing enough to learn how. As reported by A Stressed Nation, 42 percent of men admitted they could do a better job of managing their stress. Additionally, the same percentage (42 percent) of men said that learning how stress affects other aspects of their life would help them better manage their overall health and lifestyle. Healthcare providers across the country are willing and able to step in and help, as they know stress can lead to chronic headaches, sleepless nights and even heart issues and suicides. Those that have talked to healthcare providers are turning to exercise as a management tool, as 60 percent of men said their doctor suggested getting active as a way to manage stress.
No matter what tool is used, talking with doctors and healthcare providers is a great first step for anyone struggling with managing their stress. If it isn’t managed early, stress can lead to an unhealthy America. Currently, 46 percent of men admit that stress has already negatively impacted their overall health. Taking time to talk with healthcare providers to reverse these effects must be a priority for men across the nation.