Men and women deal with stress quite differently. Some experts suggest it’s a result of socialization, while others suggest it has to do with how stress hormones function in the body. It’s likely a bit of both. But one thing is for certain: stress management is diverse.
In the most general terms, men aren’t great at stress. They tend to keep things bottled up and don’t share in the same way women might. Although stress isn’t good for anybody, women tend to be better at dealing with it.
And fellas, this isn’t necessarily your fault.
Some suggest that when women feel stress, they “tend and befriend,” meaning they may nurture those around them or utilize social networks. Men are more likely to pass their stress off as something else, ignore it, or utilize some form of escape.
Escape can take many forms: going for a run, watching a sports game, or playing a round of golf. All of that, while valuable for relieving stress, can be accomplished without ever addressing the cause of the stress or the feelings it creates.
While women may take on a “friend or befriend” approach, men stick to more of a “fight or flight” approach. The things mentioned above serve as escapes. The fights may manifest themselves as arguments or competitions.
Some experts believe this has to do with how oxytocin is secreted during stress. Some research suggests women secrete much more than men, which is why stress reactions might be gender-based.
Socialization may also be at play. Men are not generally encouraged to share their feelings, especially those in your generation. But if golf or another activity helps you deal with stress, that’s great. Keep doing it, and don’t let it run your life.
How do men recognize stress? Here are a few symptoms you might overlook:
- Feeling tired
- Trouble sleeping
- Muscle aches
- Lack of motivation
- Urge to drink
You can also look to get a little more out of your personal relationships. With golf out of season for many parts of the continent, other virtual activities may help. Use them to help you escape, but also open up and talk with friends about what’s bothering you. Nurturing relationships can go a long way to reduce stress.