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5 Facts About Anxious Men to Help You Help Them

5 Facts About Anxious Men to Help You Help Them

There is a growing awareness of mental health issues in the United States. From athletes, celebrities, actors, and so forth, many public figures have come forth and admitted their struggle with one form of social anxiety or another. For that reason, we have compiled a list of information to remember if you happen to be in a relationship with a man with one of these anxiety disorders. They are more prevalent and less debilitating that one might think, but anxiety is still there and still may have an effect on a relationship. Just remember these points about anxious men and you’ll be golden.

1. He loves you back so much it scares him

Anxious men are not incapable of love. In fact, they may desire it much more than most other men would. However, what sets anxious men apart is that love for them is in some way painful or difficult; it just raises so many more questions for his ever restless brain. So when you say, “I love you,” or show affection, and he only grunts back to you, it’s because many thoughts are racing through his head, and he can’t even begin to organize them.

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2. It’s not something he can just get over

A small segment of society is still afraid of mental illness, and, in response to anxiety or other, more severe mental issues, that segment is likely to say something like, “Oh, he will grow out of it,” or “Shut up and be a man.” The best way I’ve ever seen this illustrated was via a simple Internet cartoon, in which placed side-by-side were a picture of a man with his arm cut off, and picture of a man with his metaphorical heart cut out. In the one on the with the arm cut off, the doctor was saying, “Maybe it’s just all in your head!” That was designed to illustrate how real anxiety is–its not something that can just be gotten over– it must be treated the same way a severed arm would, which is with long-term care and adjustment.

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3. He is constantly being told his anxiety makes him not a man

The historical stereotype of the ultimate male is one of an emotionally-impervious, self-sufficient he-man who can withstand and overcome anything. In his book, Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons From the Myths of Boyhood, author William Pollock lays out how this stereotype not only handicaps males than are sensitive to the outside world, but also contributes to their anxiety. What I’m saying is, that if a man is anxious about something, then, due to historical gender roles, he may become anxious about being anxious, creating a downward spiral of nervousness.

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4. If he feels safe around you and you prove yourself, he will become an enduring pillar of strength for you

Because he has had to learn to hide his emotions, it might take a while for you to get a anxious man to open up. But once he does, he will be intensely loyal. This man will likely have spent years fighting an image of himself as an emotional weakling, so he will have a bevvy of coping mechanisms and ways to control negativity coming either from outside stimuli or internal thought processes, and, if you give him time, he can teach you these defense mechanisms and much, much more.

5. He will be somewhat afraid to speak about his anxiety in public, but he will recognize the need to do so

All guys, not just anxious ones, know how to ignore their feelings, sublimating sports or video games or music to cover the reality of the thoughts in their heads. But anxious men, once they get their thoughts under control, will eventually come around to the idea of educating others on how it affects them, because, at a time in America when public massacres are consistently committed by men with mental health issues, they will feel the need to reassure people that most men ARE able to grow and cope with their issues, and only the smallest fraction degenerate towards any type of violence.

Featured photo credit: Man Nervously Biting Lip/GianluK via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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