Stressed Out? Join the Club

Stressed Out? Join the Club

April is Stress Awareness Month. Maybe something to do with taxes being due in April? One thing’s for sure: Stress is something most men deal with on a semi-regular basis.

But knowing we’re stressed is the easy part. Identifying the source of our stress can be tricky. If you’re feeling the weight of stress and you know something needs to change, determining where your stress is coming from can be half the battle. 

Here are some of the stressors men say they’re dealing with today. 

What’s Stressing Men Out?

Over 100k men have taken the HeadsUpGuys Stress Test online. According to the test, the most common sources of stress guys face include the following:

Lack of Meaning (Over 60% of Men Reported This)

Would you have expected lack of meaning to be the most reported stressor? Here’s a take on why: American author Rick Warren wrote, “Without a purpose, life is motion without meaning, activity without direction and events without reason.” Purposelessness can feel like being a hamster on a wheel, moving but not going anywhere. Since we’re a species built for progress, a lack of progress takes a toll on our psyche. 

Loneliness (Over 50% Reported This)

Dating apps, video games, online classes, group chats—the future is now, guys. 🤷 And it’s easier than ever to let these technologies isolate us from other people. Society at large may also make us uncomfortable with close male friendships, and young men might be encouraged to build friendships through group activities instead of one-on-one relationships. 

Moving further and further away from real relationships (the ones founded on getting together in person or just chatting in real time) leaves us open to stress and more vulnerable to its effects on our mental health.

Difficulties in Family, Social, or Romantic Relationships

There’s no denying that drama with loved ones takes a huge toll on our psyche. Fall outs, trust-breaking, and moving apart can be devastating, especially when it’s with the people who matter most to us. Our relationships are foundational pillars in our lives. When a close relationship crumbles, it can feel like everything’s falling apart—besides hurting like hell. 


Kinda shocked this one’s not higher on the list, am I  right? Whether you’re down and out, looking for work, or you’re completely glued to your desk chair hustling for that green, money can be the source of a lot of stress. 

Illness or Injury

Would you believe that being sick or injured can actually cause stress? That doesn’t seem fair. Being compromised physically can keep us from activities that help us mitigate stress, like exercising, being outside, or socializing. 

Past Traumatic Events

Unprocessed trauma can cause stress for years after the event. Sometimes stress from trauma can buzz in the background of our lives for so long that we don’t even notice it’s there. We cope, but we’re still dealing with whatever happened. And, unfortunately, our body keeps the score. Meaning, those stomach cramps, tension headaches, or digestive issues might be because of something that happened in the past. 

Major Life Events or Transitions

Change can be . . . we won’t say scary. We’ll say disconcerting. Major transitions can include those serious boat-rockers like moving, starting a new job, a change in relationship status, or having a child. Major transitions mean dealing with change and possibly stepping outside our comfort zone. This can cause trepidation and, yes, stress. 

So how do you manage stress so you can live your life to the fullest? 

In general, men cope differently with stress than women. And older generations cope differently than younger ones. But there’s a stress-management technique for everyone. Let’s break down some good stress management techniques for the guys.

Managing Stress: Practical Strategies for Men

Practicing Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Managing stress can feel like an uphill battle, but there are practical strategies that can help ease the burden. One approach is to practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques. Taking a few minutes each day to breathe deeply, meditate, or engage in activities like yoga can help reduce stress levels and promote a sense of calm.

Prioritizing Self-Care

Another effective strategy is to prioritize self-care. This means making time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation, whether it’s going for a walk in nature, spending time with loved ones, or indulging in a hobby. Remember, self-care isn’t selfish—it’s essential for maintaining your mental and emotional well-being.

Building a Strong Support Network

Building a strong support network is also crucial for managing stress. Surround yourself with friends, family members, or support groups who you can lean on during tough times. Having someone to talk to and share your feelings with can provide comfort and perspective when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Setting Realistic Goals and Expectations

Additionally, it’s important to set realistic goals and expectations for yourself. Break tasks down into manageable steps and celebrate your progress along the way. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, whether it’s delegating tasks at work or seeking guidance from a professional therapist.

Embracing Laughter and Humor

Finding opportunities for laughter and humor in everyday life can also help combat stress. Watching a funny movie, sharing jokes with friends, or finding humor in challenging situations, laughter has been shown to reduce stress hormones and increase feelings of happiness.

Engaging in Physical Activity

Exercise is another powerful tool for managing stress. Whether it’s going for a run, lifting weights, or practicing yoga, physical activity releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. Even a short walk can make a big difference in reducing stress levels and boosting overall well-being.

Practicing Breathing Techniques

In moments of stress, practicing deep breathing techniques can help calm your mind and body. Try inhaling deeply through your nose, holding the breath for a few seconds, and then exhaling slowly through your mouth. Repeat this several times to help reduce feelings of tension and anxiety.


Journaling can also be a helpful way to manage stress. Take a few minutes each day to write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. This can help you gain clarity, process your emotions, and identify patterns or triggers that contribute to your stress levels.


Immersing yourself in a good book can provide a welcome escape from the pressures of daily life and help reduce stress levels. Whether it’s diving into a thrilling novel, exploring a self-help book, or learning something new from a non-fiction work, reading can transport you to another world and offer a much-needed break from stressors. Set aside some time each day to unwind with a book and discover the stress-relieving benefits of reading.


By incorporating these strategies into your daily routine, you can better cope with stress and live a happier, more balanced life. Remember, it’s okay to prioritize your mental health and take steps to care for yourself. You deserve to feel calm, confident, and resilient in the face of life’s challenges.

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