How Can Men Improve Their Mental Health?

Maggie Morrow, counselling, CBT therapy, life coach and psychotherapist London. MSc Integrative Psychotherapy, BSc Psychology, Adv Dip, UKCP.
Author: Maggie Morrow, Award Winning Psychotherapist, Counsellor & Life Coach
Last updated: 18th June 2024

June 2024 offers men a chance to pause and reflect on their health and wellbeing.  At Klearminds, our priority is on mental and psychological wellbeing so we thought that this blog could focus on men’s mental health.      

Men’s Mental Health Statistics      

According to the Mental Health Foundation, approximately 1 in 8 men have a common mental health problem such as anxiety, stress, or depression. If these problems are not addressed or they are left unattended, they can worsen and have a detrimental impact on those affected.

This is highlighted in current statistics: for example, in the UK, 3 out of 4 suicides are men. Furthermore, suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45. These statistics underline the importance of removing the stigma surrounding men’s mental health, helping men reach out, talk about their problems and seek treatment.

If we dive further into the statistics, a concerning picture emerges: –

  •       2 in 5 men admit to regularly feeling low or worried.
  •       40% of men will not talk about their mental health.
  •       40% of men said it would take thoughts of suicide or self-harm to compel them to seek professional help.
  •       Men with mental health problems can earn 42% less money than men without them.

Have I got a Mental Health Problem?

There may not always be obvious signs that you are dealing with a significant issue.  Many men work hard to diminish or minimise the feelings they have about problems or challenges they are facing.  This means many men will tolerate or try to find solutions to problems with very little communication with others about aspects of the problem they find difficult.  If they cannot find a solution on their own, many men will feel shame and begin to fear they are “weak” not “mentally strong” or not a ‘real man’.  They often minimise their feelings of concern and put them down to it’s “just a bad day” or “I just need to be alone”.  If your mood begins to feel low or you are finding you want to be alone a lot, there could be a lot more going on.  

Here are some common signs and symptoms associated with feeling mentally unhealthy: 

  • Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness.
  • Noticeable/unpredictable changes in mood 
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Avoiding friends and social activities 
  • Constant low energy 
  • Drug or alcohol abuse. 
  • Ignoring personal hygiene 

What Can a Man Do to Improve His Mental Health?

When we experience change and challenges, such as a new job, a breakup, moving house or a shift in how you see yourself, this can make you feel emotionally “uncomfortable” or “unclear”.

Remind yourself – it is normal for the body to physiologically trigger feelings like sadness, anxiety and frustration when we are facing uncertainty, challenge and change.  Trying to block out, suppress or ignore your feelings can make things worse.  When we suppress difficult emotions it can trigger an increase in adrenaline and cortisol in our body and this can cause anger, irritability and the symptoms described above to increase in intensity. 

Tips to Strengthen Mental Health for Men

Some of the following tips can provide useful strategies that help strengthen mental wellness for men when facing challenges that trigger difficult emotions, and they are pretty useful for everybody else too: –

Foster Open Communication – Have discussions and talk about life’s challenges and how they impact human physiology, emotions and mental health.  Challenges affect us all – when you talk to other people about the physiology and feelings that are triggered in you, it often opens up a space for others to share too.  Many men are surprised to discover that, once one man opens up other men do join in eager to share.  It can be a relief for men to recognise and acknowledge that all men have physiology and emotional triggers to manage – simply because men are human!

Self-Care – Prioritise self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, and adequate sleep. These activities can help regulate the body and reduce the intensity of difficult emotions like stress, anxiety, anger and in general, simply improve overall mental control and well-being.

Social Connections – By building and maintaining connections with family, friends and colleagues, men can tap into a vital source of support.  These are places where men can practise talking and sharing life experiences.  This can significantly help to reduce the strong impulse to withdraw, which leads to feelings of isolation and loneliness, self-criticism and shame.

Professional help – Therapy can help men develop the understanding and practical tools which empower them to regulate difficult physiological, emotional and behavioural habits.  It is also a powerful tool that can help men understand the triggers which compel them to use unhelpful habits, such as withdrawal and self-criticism, as strategies for coping with challenges.  Therapy can increase men’s ability to choose better strategies, which enable them to enjoy more emotional balance, control and mental wellbeing in their lives.

Challenges Therapy Can Help you Overcome

Below is a list of just some of the difficulties that therapy can help men tackle successfully:

  • Major life transition
  • Anxiety, depression, anger problems
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Work & Career Issues
  • Facing a significant crisis
  • Trying to manage addiction or substance use
  •  Wanting to make changes to achieve better mental and emotional wellbeing

Whatever the cause of your challenges, the guidance and expertise of a trained therapy professional can help you powerfully improve your situation and experience. Contact KlearMinds today to book an appointment with one of our highly skilled therapists.

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Maggie Morrow, counselling, CBT therapy, life coach and psychotherapist London. MSc Integrative Psychotherapy, BSc Psychology, Adv Dip, UKCP.

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