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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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