As suicide rates in men and boys across the UK worryingly hit a 16-year high, it is clear that the UK government must invest heavily in tackling this issue. Males account for three-quarters of all suicides in the UK, which indicates that males find it harder to discuss and work through their issues than females do. We looked at some alternative solutions for those who find it hard to talk about their mental health and worries to try that can reduce stress.
Exercise is scientifically proven to help reduce stress, by producing chemicals that boost your mood. A study published in The Lancet Psychiatry Journal revealed that people who exercised had 1.49 fewer bad days each month compared to those who did not exercise.
Therefore, a good way to combat low moods is to build more exercise into your daily routine, whether it is walking to work, running outdoors or going to the gym. It is important to choose an exercise that you enjoy, so that you continue to stay motivated to do it.
Sedentary lifestyles are linked to depression, so making changes such as switching watching TV/gaming for going for a walk, or cycling to work instead of driving can help. Getting outdoors more often, even if it is just for a brisk walk, is recommended to boost mental health.
Spirituality has long been regarded by many as an area that is associated more with femininity. However, there has been an increase in male interest in activities such as yoga. Former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs credited yoga with prolonging his extensive football career, raising awareness of the activity to football fans in doing so.
As well as improving flexibility, yoga and meditation are both good activities for boosting mental health. Clairvoyant readings are an alternative way to explore spirituality, as they can help to focus on the future and deal with any current issues that are holding you back. It is even possible to be guided by a clairvoyant from home through online sites like TheCircle.
Improve your diet
Whilst it is quite commonly known that a healthy, balanced diet results in better well being, there are certain foods that can boost your mood. Senior Nutrition Scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation Bridget Benelam recommends eating starchy carbs such as wholegrain bread and brown rice to boost serotonin.
She also shared that protein-rich foods like chicken, beef, eggs and fish can also boost your mood. If you are interested in weight training and/or building muscle, then high-protein diets are also good for this. However, men often eat a lot of red meat, which can lead to other health issues, so balancing out the protein sources is best.
Avoiding alcohol and reducing caffeine whilst staying hydrated throughout the day are other ways to help to boost your mental health. Alcohol is a depressant, so anyone feeling low should try to avoid it completely.
Seeking help from organizations
Your GP is the best person to talk to, as they can refer you to the places where you can get help tackling mental health issues. For those who feel uncomfortable doing this, there are a number of organizations that can provide advice and guidance such as CALM, Samaritans and the Men’s Health Forum. Talking to other men that are going through similar experiences and accessing the ‘Man Manuals’ could help to take a giant step towards feeling mentally healthier.
If you are feeling low and in need of a mental health boost then these ideas are good starting points, but don’t forget that you’ll need to implement these solutions on the long term to see lasting benefits.