24 Jun Men & Mental Wellbeing
The stereotype of being a man – strong, not showing his emotions, and being a leader. This has been the case for many years and is still present in today’s world. I wonder, how much longer will this stereotype remain true.
In small ways, I can see this stereotype being challenged, gradually – but it is happening. As we become more aware of mental health and wellbeing, we begin to question what it means to be a healthy human, and equally, a healthy man. To be mentally well and have positive wellbeing is key when striving to live happily in the world we find ourselves in. There are many ways in which we can support ourselves to maintain our mental health and have positive wellbeing, one of the easiest is simply talking about how we feel, it’s so simple but we find it very difficult to do so (this is normal – but something that is changing).
For many, this notion of being a healthy man conflicts with the stereotype that men don’t talk and stay strong, we don’t show emotion, we carry on and work through it. But… we know that his approach doesn’t work, as suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45, and most suicides are also by men. Heavy statistics. Staying strong and not talking will not help in any way, in fact, it will most likely worsen the matter, increasing the negative feeling for you.
There is hope – there is always hope. I think that we’re on the cusp of something new, the cusp of the ‘modern man’. A man that feels comfortable talking about how he feels, is compassionate, caring and empathic. A man that does not fear judgement from others for showing his emotions, whether it be tears, concern for others, shame, guilt or happiness.
We, as men, need to let go of this idea that by not talking we are staying strong – this is actually incorrect. The strongest thing that you can do, as a man, is accept all parts of yourself, each emotion, each feeling, each thought and allow it to be part of you. This will lead to a more complete self that is free to experience the world without fear of judgement. It will enrich your life, your relationships with people and how you relate to the world.
The true question, are you ready for this? Are you ready to take that step forward and be a pioneer for all men, lead the way, with an open heart and a determined will? I urge you to do so… who knows, you might even save your own life.