Guys everywhere deal with anxiety regularly, even if we don’t admit it. That’s because men are subject to multiple factors that create it. We are under pressure to perform at work and elsewhere. We don’t get many chances to share or vent. We are constantly judged on our confidence, wealth and success with women. Being a man isn’t easy, and making it worse is the notion that men aren’t expected to get help for their mental health.
How do I know? I struggled with anxiety for years. Since coming to terms and taking steps to overcome it, I’ve been helping others through my website, calmclinic.com.
Chances are, you have a friend who sucks. Maybe even several friends who suck. They aren’t helping. Dump ’em.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with seeing a therapist. Think of it this way—if seeing a therapist helps eliminate your anxiety to the point you can confidently deal with your boss, flirt with women and hang out with your friends, then seeing a therapist is the better option. But for those not ready for that kind of commitment, here are five ways to fight back and ultimately live anxiety-free.
Let’s get this out of the way first—exercise is not just for building muscles. Just 30 minutes of running every day can almost single-handedly cure anxiety for a few hours and prevent anxiety from coming back for most of the day. Exercise releases endorphins, a natural painkiller that also reduces stress, and uses up cortisol, a stress hormone that contributes to anxiety. Exercise has real benefits for decreasing anxiety that even medicine struggles to match. If you’re not yet exercising every day, try it.
2. Get Rid of Your Sucky Friends
Chances are, you have a friend who sucks. Maybe even several friends who suck. Spending time with them isn’t helping. It’s not sappy to expect your friends to be supportive. Friends are supposed to give you confidence, and you’re supposed to be happy around them. If you’re friends with someone who’s reckless, negative, insulting or otherwise affects your ability to enjoy yourself, dump that friend in favor of someone who does bring that additional stress into your life.
3. Stop Gambling
This one may be painful for a lot of guys, but gambling is one of the worst things you can do for your anxiety. Not only is gambling stressful itself—and anxiety from financial problems related to gambling is a separate issue—but gambling actually rewards anxiety, causing you to experience anxiety more often. Imagine you’re playing poker, you have pocket kings and go all in before the flop, and your opponent calls. Chances are you get a rush of anxiety. Then you see that the other guy has something worse, like pocket queens, and you end up winning the hand. Suddenly you feel pretty good. That’s gambling’s natural way of rewarding anxiety, and it can be addictive. Gambling may be fun, but it’s just not worth the price.
4. Have Lots of Sex
Nothing cures daily anxiety quite like sex. Find yourself a girlfriend or a friend that wants you for some reason and have at it. Sex also releases stress-relieving hormones, relaxes the body, and takes your mind off of life’s problems. If your anxiety leaks into your sex life, just talk about it with the girl. Most women can handle a guy that needs some time to get over his performance anxiety as long as she knows ahead of time, and the sex you get will go a long way toward curing it. Besides, if it doesn’t work, you still had sex. High five, big guy.
5. Fake It
Finally, an unusual way to deal with anxiety is to pretend you’re dealing with it. If you find yourself shying away from talking it up with your buddies, for example, take a deep breath and act like a guy that’s got a load of confidence. Make an idiot of yourself if you have to. Faking it and letting yourself get the rush of anxiety anyway can actually train your body to get over some of your anxiety symptoms. And that’s the whole point, right?