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You can look around online and you will see what is often called the biggest threat to people of all time. ANXIETY! The word itself can give you anxiety. There are hundreds of Facebook groups all about anxiety.  Twitter chats galore. Then there are videos upon videos about how to curb this supposed plague of anxiety.

Anxiety and depression have become a problem. Maybe not for the reasons some folks like to think but they are a problem nonetheless. We have kids being prescribed meds on a daily basis for experiencing their emotions on the normal setting of full blast.

Do we have an anxiety problem? Yes, but it is only because we haven’t been taught how to understand nor process our emotions. We are taught how to be good little employees while in school. Yet when it comes to handling how we feel we are each left to our own devices. The majority of us slowly get it figured out. While others go on weird conspiracy theories.

What is anxiety?

In a nutshell, anxiety is the anxious feeling you get when you worry about something. Often called knots in your stomach, butterflies, Lump in your throat, these apprehensions of one level or another. They are all feelings. You are experiencing different sensations in your body. That is why

The biggest problem with anxiety is that you are caught in a worry/thought loop. For example, you locked your keys in your car and you are late for your first day on your dream job. You start to worry about, “How are you going to get to work?” That thought leads to tones of other thoughts. For instance, My box is going to yell at me. He is going to think I am a horrible employee. Everybody at the office is going to judge me for wasting their time. I knew I was going to screw this up. You get the picture. With that worry, you have stress.

Stress causes all sort of interesting thing to go on in your body, from the dumping of adrenaline into your bloodstream. That causes you, heart, to beat faster. Which causes you to focus on what your heart is doing. Therefore, you are also worried about why your heart is beating so hard and fast. Why are you sweating it is 30 degrees outside. You shouldn’t be sweating in this weather. You are going to get hypothermia. All of a sudden, you start to feel your fingers going numb.

So, do you see what is going on? Anxiety is nothing more than a resonating echo chamber for worry. This echo chamber gets louder and louder until it affects your body. Much like how an opera singer can shatter a wine glass from across the room. Your worry is piled on a minute by minute with unaccounted for thoughts. These thoughts eventually start making physical manifestations like accelerated heart rate, shaking, uncontrolled sweating, and shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, muscle spasms, twitchy eyelids and more.

Your feelings follow what you are thinking – If you think something often enough even if it's not true or real you begin to believe it. Your emotions will match those negative thoughts about that untrue, unreal situation and start to make you feel negative or even depressed.

— Michael Nulty-Author (@michaelnultyaut) March 28, 2019

Anxiety is nothing more than an emotion, a feeling that is created by a thought. When these thoughts are left unaddressed then people often head down the path of depression, anxiety attacks, and other panic oriented attacks. That is because your mind has thoughts that are running unchecked. How often do you pay attention to the thoughts you think? Not as often as you need to. When was the last time you, out of nowhere, got just outright pissed off and you do not really know why? That was an unchecked thought. Your brain loves to do what it is good at and that thinks thoughts. It wants to do it as efficiently as possible. So it will run thoughts without your conscious mind actually being engaged.

An underlying problem

Not only does anxiety and depression create an echo chamber in your head but you also if you are not paying attention you will also be sucked into the echo chambers or others. There are several times that I have seen people who without realizing it contributing to the whole anxiety problem. The group actually is perpetuating the victim mindset. They recommend that they get this type of med or just say it’s going to be alright. OK, yeah it is good to make sure they know that they are alright. People will ask questions like, “my nose is itching all the time is that because of my anxiety?”

There are people who will answer it with “Yes. My nose itches all the time.”

This is adding to this false narrative that anxiety and depression is this global problem. Instead of saying “no more than likely you have hay fever.”  

Photo by Fernando @cferdo on Unsplash

Interestingly I have been kicked out of more than one group because I didn’t amplify the echo chamber. I let them know that the problem is because of their thoughts or that their feelings are normal. I often try to make it a celebration that they are normal. Unfortunately, some people don’t want to be thought of as normal. They want to think they are experiencing something that nobody else has experienced.

E+R=O or Event’s + Response = Outcome.

Kent Julian Liveitforward.com

My favorite right now is that the admin of one group made the post of how she hated negative thoughts. She will not tolerate anybody who brings a negative thought into her group. Well, I couldn’t help myself and pointed out that her statement was actually negative in itself. With that, I was kicked out.

The reason that I found that so interesting is that she is so blind to what she was doing that she had no clue that she was amplifying her negative mindset. Now I was actually in this group a couple of times because this admin had created a rather successful group. Then it became too negative so she shut it down and started a new one. I have a feeling that in a couple of months she will shut that group down and start a new one because of her negative response to being negative.

Groups are a lot like the Jim Rhoan saying of you are the 5 people you spend the most time with. If you are around many people who would rather be victims then they are not going to find their solution they will only make more victims.

How to break free from Anxiety

Honestly, you can’t, unless you want to experience life without the wonderful color of emotions. You are always going to feel that gnawing worry from time to time. There will be unbelievable highs followed by crushing lows. You may even swing from orgasmic joy to such pitiful despair in the same day. That is life. Life is emotions. When you look back on your life, you will remember the times you were happy, sad, or scared out of your mind. Your emotions are your memories. You are just a body walking through life without the experience when you are on mood-altering drugs.

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

If you want to have a normal life, there is hope for you. You don’t have to be a prisoner of the crushing depression, you can experience all the anxiety the day can throw you and you can simply roll with it. The secret is that you control your emotions. That is right you, only you.

First off you have to understand that emotions are nothing but feelings generated by thought. Now your thoughts may end up causing you to experience anxiety or even sadness. Though these emotions are uncomfortable, they are good. Grief can be messy but there is nothing more beautiful than expressing how much life meant to you. These events each cause a thought that causes emotion.

What About Depression?

Though not the same depression has many similarities as anxiety. Depression is often created by the thoughts you are having. You may have failed in a business endeavor, or maybe you are going through a divorce. It is easy to get caught up in the negative thought loop of a victim mindset. Those thoughts can bring you down to the point that you are in a depressive state. That type of depression can feel like it will never end. If you can get out of that particular thought loop.

Though the depression in men can be results of a messed up brain chemistry. I am talking about the ordinary run of the mill down in the dumps kind of depression

It’s Your Thoughts

How many times have you heard something similar to this?

“That lady cut me off. She made me so mad.”

“My husband makes me so mad because he won’t take the trash out when I tell him to.”

My boyfriend hurt my feelings last night

My girlfriend is so annoying

Any of these sound familiar. Most of them if not all of them. Now here is the pop quiz. What is wrong with each of those statements?

Photo by Clarisse Meyer on Unsplash

The answer, they pass the responsibility over to somebody else. You have all the control over your thoughts. Your thoughts generate your emotions.  So when nameless woman or dude cuts you off in traffic do you really want someone who has no care for your emotional well-being to have control of your emotions? Why would you want to let someone who is busy trying to make themselves happy be responsible for your happiness?

Your thoughts make your emotions. What is actually happening is that you are generating a thought from an action somebody performed. You are responding or reacting to that event. That response is the emotion created by your thought. So how does this information help you not to have a crippling anxiety attack? It helps by knowing that you can experience your emotions. Take the time to allow your emotions to be present. Allow that sadness of your dog passing to wash over you. Allow the fear of standing in front of a crowd to do a talk. Relish in the interesting sensations of your anxiety as you get the nerve to walk up to someone to shake their hand. You are normal everybody has those sensations. You don’t have to be smiling all the time you don’t have to be in anguish either. You will put on your brave face and enter your boss’s office because he wants to talk to you.

You can control your emotions.

Change your thoughts of an event and you change your emotional response. That new response changes your outcome. Kent Julian is known for his E+R=O or Event’s + Response = Outcome. This goes right with what I am saying. If you don’t want to be a quivering pool of nervous jelly then change your response. Change your thoughts and you change your emotion. What if I told you, you could still love your ex-boyfriend even if he cheated on you? How would you feel if you blessed him with all the love they could have? You would feel marvelous. That is because you get to feel whatever you want. As long as you don’t try to force other people to feel what you want. That is because you can’t make a person feel an emotion. They have just as much control over their emotions as you have over yours.

Photo by Ben White on UnsplashWhen you can’t cope

There are times when people just have lost their way and need help. These people have lost the very ability to function. When that happens that is when they may become clinically depressed. There are times that the echo chamber of their minds is so loud that they can’t hear the good people are saying. When that happens that is when you need help from a licensed professional. Though I wouldn’t want to take any type of antidepressants that doesn’t mean they don’t help at times. They can help clear the fog long enough for a person to get their bearings. Yet I always worry when someone is told they will be on meds for the rest of their life. There are other solutions.

Other conditions may generate anxiety, for instance, people who are OCD. IF they don’t complete certain tasks, certain ways there is often a feeling of dread and fear. Then there is also PTSD which is common among our veterans. They relive the horrors of their experiences and face the stress of not being able to change the outcomes. There are treatments for these conditions but as a whole, most people who suffer from anxiety are not in that realm. They are faced with tests and pressures of trying to get into a good school. These stresses are often self-imposed or imposed by the parents who want to be able to puff out their chests when talking about little Billy.

Anxiety is not fun to experience unless you are in the right thought pattern. You can start changing your thoughts with some simple self-coaching or even hire a life coach and let them help you understand what it is that you are experiencing. Most of the time the coach is going to make sure you push yourself and encourage you to get uncomfortable.  

So in closing breathe your anxiety isn’t going to kill you. Yeah, your heart is hammering because of the adrenalin being pumped into your body. Take a deep breath and learn how to chill out. Find a way to relax. Hire a coach for a few sessions and see what good they can do for you.

The post Men, Anxiety Is In Your Control appeared first on The Relaxed Male.

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Dreams and anxiety, two pieces of the mind joining together while we are asleep. Many times we have nice dreams while at other times you have stress dreams. You arrived at school with no clothes on or the classic Waiter dream where you cant get to all the tables.

There is a study that sites that stress dreams are actually good for you because it is a dry run on the worst case scenario. So your brain is actually trying to make sure you know that you are able to do all the different tasks you have to do and you will be quiet all right.

Your Anxiety Dreams Are Good For You! - YouTube

The post Stress Dreams Are Good? appeared first on The Relaxed Male.

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Have you ever heard the saying give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime? What if I told you by teaching a man to fish you were possibly saving his life! Fishing has been proven to increase a man’s health, I’ll explain why.


Photo by Tomasz Filipek from Pexels

Fishing has been around for over 40,000 years according to Wikipedia. They also believe that fishing has been around since 1496 as a recreational hobby. Since that time the sport has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry today. Fishing is growing in popularity faster than ever with saltwater fishing, fly fishing, and kayak fishing being the most popular. The sport is also the second most popular outdoor activity behind running according to a 2013 study conducted by Outdoor Recreation Participation Report.

Fishing can promote better health in men. Not only can fishing give you better physical health but mental health as well as being a better human being. Here are a few reasons that you should seriously consider taking up the sport of fishing.

Physical Benefits of Fishing

Fishing can at times be physically demanding. The amount of physical activity depends on the type of fishing you are doing. Fly fishing, kayak fishing, and fishing at high altitudes can exert a lot of energy to do successfully. The constant motion of casting, paddling, and hiking to your spot uses all of your large muscle groups. With all that exertion you can burn 200 plus calories an hour.

Science has proven that just 30 minutes of physical activity a day can lead to weight loss, lower blood pressure, and prevent adult-onset diabetes. These added health benefits should be all one needs to get up and start fishing. If that’s not enough for you here are a few more reasons to take up this great outdoor activity.

Vitamin D Intake

Fishing under the sun will inevitably increase your vitamin D intake. Ultraviolet rays from the sun coming into contact with your skin is how the absorption occurs. The more of your skin that is exposed to the sun the more vitamin D that is produced by your body. Be careful when being in direct sunlight. It is not necessary to be exposed to the suns rays for long periods of time. There is no benefit to getting burned to a crisp. This will have an adverse effect and could lead to skin cancer.

Studies have shown that vitamin D increases bone and teeth health. Vitamin D can also increase your immune system, brain, and nervous system. Lastly, vitamin D can increase lung function and cardiovascular health.

Are you convinced yet that fishing is right for you? Let me continue more….

Improved Concentration and Focus

If you have never been fishing before it takes a lot of mental focus and concentration. Sure, sometimes it’s as easy as casting a line out and the fish just bite. More times than not this is not the case. There are many decisions to make and tactics to implement.

For starters, you need to do your research before a fishing trip. Knowing the species of fish that reside in your body of water is instrumental in being successful. Find out what bait or lures work best for those species and how to fish them.   

You must train your brain to stay on task paying attention to the ever-changing environmental factors taking place around you. Staying one step ahead of the fish and knowing their next move. Over time you will build up mental stamina and fish at a much higher level of focus.

This mental focus and stamina will translate to other aspects of your life. Would you like to be more focused at work and be able to stay on task? Kids can benefit from this at an early age as well. Teaching their young brains this vital skill is imperative to success later in life.

Let Fishing Build Relationships

I am the father of three children. The oldest is currently 10 years old and my youngest is 4. Life can really get me busy in a hurry. There is my full-time job that keeps me away from my family most of the summer and fall. The valuable time I have with them is short and fleeting. I have missed birthdays, holidays, and family vacations to name just a few.

Well, it’s a good thing that my kids love to be outdoors and experience the fun of fishing. This is our favorite time spent together. Collectively we plan our trips out. We spend time together talking about how and where we’re going to fish. We head down to the tackle shop and pick out a few new baits just for the trip. I often let them pick whatever lure they want as its more important that they have ownership in something they picked out rather than me.

By the time we finally make it out to the lake we have already logged a couple of hours of quality time together. This time was just for us. Now, we finally hit the water and get to the fun stuff. The looks on their faces when they catch a fish is like none I have ever felt before.

Not only are we teaching our youth a valuable skill in catching fish, but we are bonding and creating lifelong memories that promote an active lifestyle, patience, and mental focus. The relationships that we build with our youth today mold who they will be down the road.

Mental Benefits of Fishing

Do you ever get the feeling of being burned out or overwhelmed? Have you ever experienced a life-changing event that has left you depressed? Another group of people that can benefit from fishing is people that have developed post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

It’s estimated that 5 percent of Americans will develop PTSD. This is done to a traumatic event that has left people with a wide variety of issues. The symptoms can include depression, anxiety, mood disorders, sleep deprivation, and emotional numbness.

As we talked about earlier in the article fishing requires a great amount of focus. Focus keeps the mind engaged as opposed to disengage. This keeps the mind from wandering back to life-altering events that lead to the PTSD in the first place.

There are very special groups out there that exist solely to rehabilitate through fishing. One such organization is Project Healing Waters. Project Healing Waters focuses on not just military members that have PTSD but all wounded active and veteran members of the military. If you or someone you know can benefit from a program like this click the link above for more information.

How Can You Begin Fishing Today?

If you have not decided to take up fishing after reading this article then I would encourage you to do more research to learn more. It could change your life! On the other hand, if this article has added a new perspective for you then I would encourage you to learn more about fishing and how you can start.

A great resource for this is a blog dedicated to teaching just that. There are blogs like A Man and His Rod and there you will find information about learning to fish, tips to be successful, and fishing gear to get you started. Revolving around two of the most popular species of freshwater fish, this blog is more than enough to get you on your way to a healthier you.

I would love to hear your experiences with fishing. If this article has inspired you to feel free to drop a comment in the section below. If you know anyone that should read this article feel free to share it on social media.

The post The Benefits of Fishing appeared first on The Relaxed Male.

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This weeks video is by one of the best life coaches around, Brooke Castillo.

She is talking about that most people actually don’t like to experience their emotions. Instead of feeling an emotion they resist that feeling and so they end up feeling that resistance.

When you resist negative emotions you also by the same account resisting positive emotions.

When you deny yourself the ability to feel those emotions manifest themselves in other ways. Which cause us to dodge those emotions even more. This causes over-eating, alcoholism, anxiety, and Overworking.

Brooke also talks about how we often need to be reintroduced into your emotions. Often we feel like we can’t actually handle our emotions. We are afraid that we will be lost in this pit of despair, or that we will get caught up in a fit of rage and we will hulk out and never return to normal. Often we fear that emotions will change us forever and we will not be the same. when in reality we will experience an emotion, then it will go about its merry way leaving you often better than before.

Emotions are nothing more than a vibration created by your thoughts.

How you handle an emotion is you name that emotion. You then talk about what thought created that emotion. From there you are able to realize that you can easily change your emotion by changing your thought.

Emotions are thoughts that are vibrations that travel from our brain through our body and a sensation is a feeling that is started in our body and goes to our brain.

The Life Coach School on Feelings - YouTube

You can also go to The Life Coach School and get a transcript of her video

The post Your Feelings appeared first on The Relaxed Male.

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Ok this week I am getting a little out there in the outdoors area. I have always noticed a big difference between my younger self and the modern self. Often I attributed that difference with my grumpiness and cranky disposition to just getting older. I heard that when you turn 40 your testosterone drops and that makes a guy cranky and grumbly.

Yet I remember back to when I was young I ran around barefoot a lot of times. Then as I got older I started wearing shoes more often to the point that now I hardly ever take off my shoes. My day job requires me to wear big heavy steel toed boots.

This got me to thinking some of what little knowledge I know, mixed with some philosophical thoughts and just what “feels right” I started trying to take my shoes off when I can and just let my feet touch the earth. Sometimes, when I can, I will sit and just dig in the dirt for a bit. I will let sift the dirt through my fingers.

After looking around for a bit I found out that there is a thing called grounding or often called Earthing. The theory behind it is that since we are made up of bioelectricity that we need to be grounded. Often our rubber soled shoes insulate us from the ground. This may keep us from being as healthy as possible.

Some claims are that it helps your posture, also helps balance your mood, and that you perform a sort of natural Reflexology on you as you are strolling around. Which might explain why there are times it hurts like all get out when I walk barefooted.

Walking barefoot, the incredible benefits for mind, body and spirit with this exercise! - YouTube

Is this fully for real? I really don’t know but it is sort of compelling and makes a little bit of sense in my weird mind. So who knows why not go to the park and take your shoes off and walk around for an hour or so for about a week and see how you feel afterward.

The post Why Walk Around Barefoot appeared first on The Relaxed Male.

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Ok, This week we are getting back on track but to do that there is a grieving process. This process is a natural part of coping with the loss of a loved one. Yet many people especially us guy we like to go at it alone and in silence.

This Stoic approach may help us feel noble and strong when we are faced with a moment of weakness. Yet Rachel takes the approach to share your grief. Talk about what you are going through. She poses a very good position on why staying silent isn’t good for you nor those around you.

Against Grieving in Silence | Rachel Stephenson | TEDxCUNY - YouTube

The story of her dad struck home. not that I have had any problem with addition but I have seen people who internalize their sorrow and then slowly lose everything. Often they turn to an addiction of some sort. This manifestation of grief is a good example as to why you want to grieve for the loss in some fashion.

Let everybody know about your grief. Let everybody grieve. That includes your kids. Grief allows everybody to grow stronger. Rachel advocates letting kids grieve alongside the parents. Don’t hide it. don’t sugar coat it. It is a good take and a good talk listen and see what you think.

The post Dont Grieve in Silence appeared first on The Relaxed Male.

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There is a lot of thoughts on why we smile. The benefits have been looked at and studied but scientist and the curious for years. People find smiling faces to be more welcoming and pleasant than just a hello.

We can hear smiles in a person’s voice. It is a social indicator where we are accepted into a group.

Smiling even changes the chemical composition of the brain. So when someone says you just need to smile more to get out of a funk. You cant feel miserable when you are smiling.

There are many quotes covering the power of a good smile.

From Dolly Parton in Steel Magnolias, “Smile it increases your face value”

to “Smile, it’s free therapy.” Douglas Horton

So this weeks video is about smiling and why it is good. It is so good that it is a superpower according to Ron Gutman. Listen to him as he shows how all people have a superpower called Smiling.

The hidden power of smiling | Ron Gutman - YouTube

The post Why do We Smile? appeared first on The Relaxed Male.

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Well, last week didn’t go quite as planned. So I am taking a mulligan for another swing at anger.

I have always taken anger as being an almost useless emotion. in men self-improvement, we have to find a way to address this particular emotion. My original approach to anger was that it does nothing but cause more trouble than it fixes. As I have been learning about the value of emotions even anger has a purpose. The problem is when you mix anger with an action like aggression as mentioned in last weeks video with Tripp Lanier.

This week video is yet another Ted Talk, but we are talking to Russell Kolts who has a different angle for anger. He uses COmpassion focused therapy. Which sounds interesting in my book. since I think that the person you have to learn to be compassionate for is yourself. That whole thought is still being fleshed out so I am going to hold off of going deeper into that rabbit hole, yet it may be that Dr. Kolts and I are on the same road, because we are our own worst critic. So it stands to reason that you would be harder on yourself than anybody else.

As Dr. Kolts mentions at the beginning many people see anger and aggression with the sensation of being powerful and to a point is to understand how it can have that feeling. but many people also don’t like the feeling of lost control when they do lose it and start screaming and yelling and throwing stuff.

So let’s sit back and listen to what Russell Kolts has to say about using compassion access the ultimate form of strength.

Why not thank Dr. Kolts for his talkClick To Tweet
Anger, Compassion, and What It Means To Be Strong | Russell Kolts | TEDxOlympia - YouTube

Photo by Ryan Franco on Unsplash

The post Anger and Strength appeared first on The Relaxed Male.

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Ah, ever wake up for a nice little nap? Be it a 30-minute power nap on a Wednesday or a nice long 2-hour nap on a Saturday afternoon. The feeling after taking a nap is one of refreshment. Especially those ones when you wake up and you have a bit of Sheet face for the next hour. Oh, naps. Yeah, you may hate them as a child but many hit about 30 and it is a glorious time.

Sadly some people look down on napping. They don’t realize all of the health benefits you receive from taking even a 30-minute nap. The US Army has found that a short power nap affects person alertness days after taking a power nap.

We often make fun of Mexico for the siesta’ but they are not the only country that has embraced the joys of a nap. Greece, the Philippines, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Nigeria all enjoy taking a mid-afternoon snooze, or if you’re from Italy it is a Riposo.

So for those scoffers who think it is productive to work all day long. Maybe this will cause you to slow up and enjoy a short break. It isn’t being lazy if it actually helps you become more productive? On top of that, it helps you live longer. So you are working towards world domination you will want to be able to live to a ripe old age.

So here you go, some eye-opening facts about why napping is good for you.

The Facts of Napping - YouTube

The post A Good Nap for Your Betterment appeared first on The Relaxed Male.

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