By Dr Graeme Hodges, Wellnation Clinics’ Associate Director of Clinical Services
It seems everywhere you turn today, men are inundated with messages to be healthier, happier, stronger, more efficient and more mindful men. It is little wonder men are becoming more stressed!
Being single, I perhaps do not have the same “stress triggers” that some couples and families may, but not having to be home “on time” at the end of the day does mean that I often found myself working longer hours in the office, telling myself it’s because there are fewer disruptions at that time. I also am studying online towards a Master degree and like to keep up my clinical skills as a Chinese medicine practitioner and myotherapist as well. So, with the associated long working days and the pressures that come with a national role, it is easy to lose focus of the most important elements of success – one’s own personal health and wellbeing.
About a year or so into my current role, it became clear to me that if I was to be successful and have any longevity that I needed to be investing into my own wellbeing. A quick Google search of the term ‘mindfulness tools’ provides a wide array of ideas to improve relaxation and mindfulness. It’s clear with over 24,000,000 search results (at the time of this post) that this topic is relevant for our increasingly busy generation.
So, what can we do to enhance our health? The way I like to increase wellbeing is through methods that take me out of my own mind and provide a bit of a workout, whilst not over-taxing the grey matter. Below is a list of the stress-reducing exercise habits that I use to reduce stress and increase wellbeing. I encourage you to try some (or all of them) and to seek out a personalised regime that is both realistic and challenging for yourself.
4 simple tips to increase wellbeing
- Cycle or walk to work: I now walk or ride my bike to work and or to run errands whenever practicable
- Try a personal trainer: For a self-avowed anti-gym person, I have found regular sessions at the gym to be a key factor in managing my stress, weight and overall fitness. I find that working with a personal trainer is the “secret ingredient” for my workout – it motivates me to be there on time every time and takes the stress out of planning my training sessions which freeing me up to just focus on the doing.
- Give yoga a go: It seems every street has a yoga studio these days and whilst I consider myself a beginner in this area, one thing I have learnt is it is well worth taking your time to test a few of your local offerings to make sure you find the right mix of location, practitioner and style to suit your own particular needs. I prefer the more classical Ashtanga/Mysore yoga style, but there are many other options available, such as Hatha, Iyengar and Bikram.
- Speak often; share often: In our culture most men are not well known for talking but the benefits of regularly communicating and sharing your feelings with a friend, partner or fellow colleague cannot be overstated.
Interested in reading more? Here are a few links you might like to explore.
- Video: Tips on how to manage everyday stress by Australian Psychological Society
- Understanding and managing stress by Australian Psychological Society
- Talk it over, call Mens Line Australia on 1300 789 978 or visit Mens Line
- Join a Mensheds to improve your health and wellbeing, visit Mensheds for more information.