Stress Relief For Men: Luxury or Necessity?

Your stress relief practices may be a luxury, like spending a long weekend at a spa, or taking up a yoga mediation class. One of things that would be nice if you had the time or the money. 

What I want to impress upon you is that you ought to pay attention to the stress in your life, or you might pay the consequences later. 

I want you to consider that any investment in practices, or experiences, or even life coaching that relieves stress is essential. Especially after a relationship breakdown or break up. The sooner you get this, the better your outcomes will be.

  • How are relationships affected by stress?
  • Does relationship breakdown affect stress?
  • Can work stress ruin a relationship?
  • Can stress make you fall out of love?
  • How do you get out of a stressful relationship?

It is easy to see how the benefits of being in a great relationship are lost or even reversed during break up or a breakdown. Getting divorced is cited as one of the highest contributors to stress, along with getting married and moving house. 

Can work stress ruin a relationship?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimate that around 600,000 people reported work related stress per year which equates to a lost to the economy in the region of $5 Billion per year! Here is a link to a free online stress test at the HSE website (https://books.hse.gov.uk/Stress-Indicator-Tool).

I can vouch for this personally. At one time in my life I felt so overwhelmed and beat by my job and my employer. I thought I would just walk away. I was angry, frustrated, humiliated in some regards. And all that heightened emotion took a toll on my relationship. I wasn't the man I thought I was. I was broken. I was on my knees. But that was when I clawed at the ropes and pulled myself up to get back in the ring. 

I spoke out. I asked for help and got in incredible ways. I actually came through the experience with greater respect from friends and colleagues because I shone the light on some serious work relationship issues that were resolved. Getting through the stress was a massive relief. Coming to a point of forgiveness and gratitude was an enlightening journey. These are powerful healing gifts that I urge you to immerse yourself in.

Factors that contribute to relationship stress

Whilst there are many factors which can lead to stress but they are not all negative events. In fact some positive life events can be just as stressful for men. Being a house can be stressful. Getting married can be stressful. 

Losing a job, getting divorced, or facing life threatening illness can be stressful. 

Stress on its own isn't always a bad thing for mens health. A little anticipation, or stimulation can also be sources of stress. These are not normally problematic for men.

The problems occur when there is too much stress. Fight, flight or freeze responses trigger hormone imbalances that can lead to poor health, or dis-ease.

The impact of a global pandemic on relationships

The British Medical Journal (BMJ)has published studies concerning the psychological impact of covid in the UK. Unsurprisingly, the general conclusion is that the fear, confusion, and uncertainty has taken its toll. 

This is expected to have a major impact on relationships. I expect increased levels of divorce. Increased demand on solicitors and courts. It could be a busy, profitable period to be a family lawyer. 

At the same time I would expect increased levels of relationship abuse. The pressure is on the emergency services and health services. 

The sad truth is that you can anticipate increased incidents of homicide, and suicide. 

Take a breath. Know that this isn't your story.

Devastating consequences for men under stress

What do you do if you are in a stressful business, job, career, or activity and you are facing an acrimonious break up? Add to that a global pandemic, business closures, uncertainty, fear and confusion. 

Investigations in 2018 about a fatal plane crash in Nepal revealed that the pilot Abid Sultan was suffering emotional stress at the time. Some report that he had tendered his resignation before the flight. It is thought that he had been upset and chain smoking in the cockpit before the plane came down, killing 51 of 71 people on board. 

Or how about the Craig D. Button incident of April 2, 1997?  Button, a US Air Force captain, inexplicably flew his A-10 Thunderbolt off course and cut all radio contact before it crashed in Colorado. Air Force investigators discovered evidence to suggest that Button’s personal life was in turmoil. Button was reportedly worried that a homosexual affair involving another pilot was about to be made public. Such evidence contradicted earlier theories surmising everything from his “unrequited love” for a former girlfriend to his mother’s involvement with the Jehovah’s Witness faith.

There are many other similar examples and not all relating to pilots, but I hope you get my point.

My prayer for you and all men is that you don't follow the path to devastating consequences. May you find peace of mind. May you find hope and faith and belief within yourself. My prayer for you is that succeed because whatever happens you can handle this.

How do you deal with stress on an average day? What are your go to stress relief practices?

  • Do you hit the gym,
  • Do you hit the bottle?
  • Do you hit your partner?
  • Do you go for a run?
  • Do you go for a cigarette?
  • Do you isolate yourself?
  • Do you reach out to talk it over with someone?

Coping with stress after relationship break up

Men don't verbally express their feelings of sadness, guilt or depression as readily as women do. It is now recognised that "bottled emotions" can lead to physical symptoms. What this means is an unhealthy amount of cortisol, the stress hormone, is released into the body. With prolonged absorption, due to men's resistance to getting emotional support, long term damage can result. Don't deal with relationship stress and here's what might be just around the corner:

  • weakened immune system
  • stomach ulcers
  • gall bladder infections
  • hair loss
  • arteriosclerosis
  • brain and memory function
  • heart attack

Other research indicates that life expectancies for men who have divorced are lower than average. Further, the mental health of divorced men declined dramatically in some instances, with men tending to exhibit, more hostility, deeper depression, anger, aggressiveness and addiction even years after a divorce and remarriage. Do you still think stress relief is a luxury?

Impact of relationship breakdown on children

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the relationship breakdown of parents has an impact on children. 

In a study conducted in 2010 researchers concluded that the separation process causes significant albeit short‐term distress for children. A minority reported longer‐term issues such as socio‐economic disadvantage, behavioural problems, poor educational achievement, and physical and emotional health problems. 

On a positive note the factors that can improve child outcomes, included strengthening the couple and family relationships, and integrating the views of children. 

(Coleman, L. and Glenn, F. (2010), The Varied Impact of Couple Relationship Breakdown on Children: Implications for Practice and Policy. Children & Society, 24: 238-249. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1099-0860.2009.00289.x)

This is a huge subject with its own complexities and you should always consider the best outcomes possible for the children. 

Support for your stress relief goals

I realise this is an important factor in supporting men going through relationship challenges. Although life coaching isn't intended to replace the advice of professional mental health practitioners there are some tools, tips, products and practices that you might want to consider.

Im working on the upcoming pages to get the stress relief you need:

Stress relief exercises focusing on breathing and meditation

Stress relief products from the simple to the sublime.

In the meantime some suggested reading:

The incredible healing power of forgiveness

The incredible healing power of gratitude (coming soon)

Complete the free life audit wheel

Why not visit the life audit page now. See if you can recognise the effects certain events might be having. Any imbalances in the life audit could be contributing to your stress. Think about your next steps for complete stress relief.

Where Will Your Next Steps Take You?

Next step with the Relationship Breakthrough Coach

Hope you found your visit to the Relationship Breakthrough Coach of value today. Did you find what you are looking for?

I am adding new content all the time but if you have any idea's or topics you would really love to see here, get in touch and let me know.

In the meantime here are more great pages dedicated to transforming your relationship breakdown or break up into a breakthrough: 

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“No man ever had written on his epitaph, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office” 

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