Almost everyone is dealing with some kind of stress these days. But when you see that your guy is under a lot of stress, he may not want or be able to talk about it, and you may not know how best to help.
The things that women enjoy to relieve our stress may not do much for the man in your life. He probably doesn’t need mothering. And who has ever heard her man ask for chocolates, a cuddle and a bubble bath? Instead, you need ways to help that don’t look like you’re helping. You can silently lead by example. And you can be a best friend. Here are a few ideas on how to help your guy deal with stress.
Make lovemaking a priority. Honestly, almost every man I have ever known would say that the best way for them to relieve stress is sex. There, I’ve said it. They don’t have to talk about it. They don’t have to analyze their feelings. They just do it, and they feel better. Better enough even to face their day, or communicate more with the people they love.
But for many women, we get distracted. After all, we have so much to do. The kids, the house, the office. And if we are not careful, lovemaking starts slipping down our priority list to somewhere between another load of laundry and cleaning out the hall closet once and for all.
No one has expressed this mismatch of priorities better than Woody Allen, in his classic comedy Annie Hall. When their individual therapists ask how often they have sex:
Annie Hall: “Oh, all the time. At least once a week.”
Woody Allen: “Hardly ever. Like once a week.”
Not only will giving intimacy the status it deserves help your guy deal with stress, but it strengthens your relationship on many levels, and its fun.
Get a joint or family gym membership. If your guy already runs or regularly thrashes a buddy at racquet ball, then he’s found a good method to work off a lot of stress and frustration. But if stress is turning him into a couch potato, you may need to provide some exercise support.
He may resist going to the gym with you, at least for a while, but don’t push it. If he notices that your energy levels and mood improve, he might come because he’s curious. When you start to look more toned and sleek, he may just follow you to be where you are. Plus, some guys are just competitive enough that they will go just not to be outdone.
Macho men do meditate. In the colorful world of comic book super heroes, there are few tougher than the Wolverine. I mean seriously, this is the last guy you would ever see getting a manicure. And how does actor Hugh Jackman prepare to battle enemies and his own dark side on screen? He practices Transcendental Meditation twice a day.
Of course, nagging your guy to meditate is never helpful. But Jackman has been quoted about the difference TM has made in his life in several popular news outlets and men’s magazines. Notable athletes meditate to improve their performance, as do many top CEOs to stay sharp. If you should happen to leave a page open on the coffee table….
Meditating yourself, and feeling better because you do, is your best advertisement for how your guy could use it to deal with his own stress. If nothing else, when you are less stressed that means less stress in your home and eventually less stress for your man as well.
When you deal with your own stress, you make it okay for him to do so too. If you value a less stressful lifestyle, you give your guy permission to discover stress relievers on his own, and he will feel encouraged to make changes that suit him best.
Overall, you can do a lot to help your guy deal with stress, and you never have to say a word.