There is a lot of talk about mindfulness for women but it can also benefit men. Men have to deal with stress in their everyday lives. Work, family life and a myriad of responsibilities and worries all contribute to stress in men. Stress over long periods of time can cause all sorts of mental and physical health problems.
Benefits of mindfulness for men
Mindfulness is being in the zone where you are aware of what is happening in the moment. It is being aware of your thoughts and feelings without the need to take action or express them. When you are stressed, your mind creates all sorts of stories when your expectations are not met. Mindfulness helps you to be less reactive and accept reality as it is.
There are many benefits of mindfulness for men. It helps:
- you sleep better
- reduce chronic pain
- relieve stress
- fight off depression
- you become more compassionate
- get sick less often
- increase focus
- improve performance
- control emotions such as impatience, anger and fear
- enhance relationships
- build emotional intelligence.
Here are 10 of the best mindfulness tips for stressed out men.
Focus on the five senses
Focus on the five senses—touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing. As you return your focus from your five senses, it returns you to the present and decreases your anxiety and stress. Here are five steps to help you focus on your senses:
- Look around your environment. Be aware of your surroundings. Notice five things you would not normally see.
- Now notice four things you can feel such as your clothes against your skin or the smoothness of the cup as you drink your coffee.
- Next notice three things you can hear. What noises are in the background? A barking dog in the distance or the humming of the refrigerator in the kitchen.
- Now what can you smell? The smell of a barbecue your neighbours are cooking or freshy mown grass.
- Notice one thing you can taste. The taste of freshly brewed coffee or the taste in your mouth.
Quick meditation for guys
Meditation may not be your thing but it need not be complicated. Try this quick meditation.
Before you start download my free mindfulness audio and play it as you meditate. Take 5 minutes daily and sit somewhere comfortably. Even sit out in the garden.
- Take notice of the present moment without passing judgement.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Notice how your breathing feels as you slowly inhale and exhale.
- Move your attention to your body. Start with your legs. How do they feel? Is there any pain or tension? Keep breathing slowly. Continue this way focusing on all parts of your body individually right up through to your neck and shoulders. Notice where there is pain, discomfort or tension. What do you feel? Relax. Keep breathing and feel the tension flow out of you. Imagine every part of your body relaxing.
- Once you finish, spend a couple of minutes focusing on your body as a whole. And relax. When you are ready take a big breath and open your eyes.
- How are you feeling? More relaxed?
While meditating it is inevitable your mind will wander. Do not worry about this. Acknowledge your thoughts and let them go. Bring your focus back to meditating on each part of your body.
Spend time in the garden
Spend time in the garden with the plants that you grow. Sit under a tree and enjoy the wonders of nature. Run your fingers through the soil and sit there and breath. Stay quiet without thinking about anything specific. Let those thoughts float away. Just be for a few moments. Feel your hands touching the tree and grass around you. Even feel any pain in your body after a long hard day at work. Be real. Everything is a part of you so accept it. Spend a short time getting in touch with the world around you.
Look after yourself
How often do you spend time looking after yourself? Most men rarely take the time to regularly look after their themselves and their skin. Establish a regular skin care routine. Nothing complicated. Just a few minutes morning and night.
This will help you tune into your body and remind you to look after yourself in the way your body deserves every single day. And your skin will be bright and healthy, and this will improve your confidence.
Play your favourite music
Get comfortable and play your favourite music without singing the lyrics. Instead of listening to the words let the music wash over you. Simply let the rhythm take over. Tune into your breathing and heartbeat while sitting still enjoying the music. Even close your eyes as you listen and let the music take you to a moment in time where you reach a level of serenity and relaxation.
Grab your fishing rod and go fishing. Go to the beach or the river and cast your line. Do not focus on catching a fish. Instead focus on the sound of the water and the sounds of the outdoors around you. Relish in being outside in a beautiful environment. Enjoy the feeling of the sun beating down on your face and feel at one with nature. Be in the present moment.
And, if you catch a fish that brings you back to reality, that is alright. This is a bonus. It only takes a few minutes to benefit from this exercise.
Integrate walking meditation into daily life
You may have trouble sitting still so try a walking meditation. How? Download my free mindfulness audio and play it through your headphones as you walk. Here are the steps to mindful walking meditation:
- Find a quiet place away from too many people. A local park, a beach or anywhere else you can walk in peace without interruption.
- Take 10 or so steps, stop and breathe for a few moments. When you are ready, retrace your steps and then stop and breathe again. And, again, when ready turn around and continue to walk this way backwards and forwards.
- Walk slowly rather than rushing. As you walk take notice of:
- How it feels to lift one foot and move it forward.
- How it feels when that foot hits the ground.
- How the shifting of your weight onto that foot feels as you move forward.
- Repeat this with every step you take.
- Let your arms swing beside you or clasp them behind your back or in front of you. Do whatever feels comfortable.
- Focus your attention on things you would not normally notice as you walk. Things like your breathing, how your arms and legs move, the sounds around you and what you can see. When your mind wanders, and it will, gently bring it back to focusing on your breathing or on the sensation of walking.
Slow walking meditation can be difficult at first but the more you practice it, the easier it will become. Make it part of everyday for 5 or 10 minutes to help you chase stress away. Even practice mindful walking meditation when you walk at a normal pace at any time anywhere. It helps you stay in the present and experience your life as it really is. Not as the stress makes you feel.
Cook a barbecue and enjoy every bite
Mindfulness is not just about meditating and focusing on your breathing. You can also practice mindful eating. Many men enjoy cooking a barbecue. In fact, many men love to cook. It allows you to relax when creating a wonderful meal to enjoy. It is rewarding to sit down to a meal you cook to enjoy every bite. Eat slowly savouring the flavours of the meal you create. Cooking a good meal is also a form of self-care that adds to your sense of wellbeing.
Enjoy your hobbies
Enjoy a hobby or start a new one to distract you from the effects of stress. Spend time doing something you love that you can completely immerse yourself into mindfully. Even take up a new hobby such as golf, fishing or renovate your home. Whatever you do make it something you have a passion for and you will have a new way to spend your spare time to reduce your stress.
Find what will work for you
Find out what works for you if meditating quietly does not appeal. There is no right or wrong way to practice mindfulness. You can choose to do anything you like that allows you to be present in the moment.
Just remember, there may not be results overnight. Mindfulness takes practice to get results so you need to be patient. But consciously being mindful just 10 minutes every day can improve your stress levels, and your physical and mental health.
Stress can be debilitating if you cannot get it under control. It can cause mental and physical illness. Men are more reluctant to seek help when they have trouble coping with stress than women. If these mindfulness tips are not helping, contact us.
We can help you quickly deal with stress. We can work with you in our Spas, over the phone or via Skype. Book in today for my Emotional Empowerment Program.
Let me help to stop stress in its tracks
My Emotional Empowerment Program has helped thousands of people like you control their mental health issues so they live happier, less stressed out lives. With my help you can learn to stop these crippling symptoms taking over your life without the use of prescribed medications. I can help you replace stress with happiness, peace and contentment in weeks not years. Have a listen to what Patrick has to say about my program after only a few sessions.