The pandemic brought about many changes in this country and around the world. So far, Covid-19 has killed more than one million Americans, and it has also caused a mental health crisis that’s hard to quantify. Now, vaccines are widely available, but general pandemic-caused angst continues for many people.
Some men whose parents or society taught stoicism have not fared so well since the pandemic began. It all goes back to toxic masculinity and the idea that men should never appear vulnerable or show any weakness.
In this article, we’ll talk about why men should not try to conceal their emotional distress. We’ll also go over some potential outlets.
What Causes Emotional Distress?
All sorts of things cause emotional distress. For instance, doctor-caused emotional distress impacts many lives. A man might go for a checkup and receive distressing medical news. They might try to conceal that news from their family and shoulder the burden alone.
The pandemic caused a lot of emotional distress because of the unreality that came with it. Having to walk around in masks was traumatic. Many men experienced panic attacks, anxiety, and depression.
Losing loved ones to Covid-19 distressed many men. Losing jobs during the pandemic was another distressing emotional trigger. General money worries during the past couple of years were not uncommon.
Whatever causes emotional distress for men, society has taught them to try and remain stoic in many instances. They might not want to talk about things like anxiety or depression, even to their spouse or significant other.
What Can Men Do to Counteract Societal Expectations?
In 2022, it’s more permissive for men to show their true feelings. It’s not considered strange or unusual for a man to cry when they hold their child for the first time or when they marry their partner. Many people consider men who show emotion to have strength, not weakness.
However, in some circles, there’s still a pervasive element that feels men should keep their emotions bottled up. Doing that can cause mental breakdowns sometimes.
To counteract societal expectations, talking to a spouse or partner and showing vulnerability can work wonders. Men who have someone they trust in their life can speak to them about anything that’s troubling them. They will often find their partner opens up to them in return. They become close because they both shared their feelings instead of concealing them.
Other Possible Solutions
A man who does not feel ready to open up to a partner or spouse might also pursue therapy to talk about the emotional trauma they’re experiencing. They might talk about their childhood or current problems, issues, or fears. They can get feedback from a trained mental health professional, and they can often feel better because they have unburdened themselves. In therapy, individuals can explore the roots of their emotional struggles and gain valuable insights, but it’s essential to remember that some issues may require specialized expertise, so don’t hesitate to get professional help if needed.
They might pursue guided meditation. Meditation can quiet the mind. Men who want to learn about it can take yoga or Tai Chi. They can also watch videos online that show them how to meditate, or they can download apps to their smartphones that can show them how to do it.
They might take up a martial art to burn off some steam, or they can get a gym membership. Keeping the body healthy and strong can help men who need an emotional release.
They can talk to a trusted friend or family member if they don’t feel comfortable opening up to a spouse or partner. Any time they think they can speak openly to someone about what they’re experiencing, they should try to do that.
Expectations Continue to Change
Societal expectations concerning men continue changing and evolving. While some contingents still scoff at males who cry or express their fears or worries, most people understand that healthy actions like this can save a man’s life in some instances.
Men who keep everything bottled up and can’t talk about their issues or burn off steam in other ways can suffer heart attacks or strokes. They might die at a younger age because they can’t find an emotionally balanced center. They might even die by suicide if they’re experiencing too much emotional turmoil with no way to get away from it.
Men who read this should think about how they feel emotionally. Taking your emotional temperature means simply having a quiet moment and understanding whether you’re balanced and composed. If you feel like you’re dealing with some emotional distress, trying one of the ways to alleviate it that we mentioned can help you.