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How to tackle stress and burnout with one simple step

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

First Step Men's Therapy helps men across Ontario, Canada develop healthier relationships with themselves and others. We offer individual, couples, and group counselling to men and their families online using our secure telehealth platform.

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Men often mask their stress

Stress and burnout are affecting more and more men as the impact of internal and external stressors take their toll on our mental, social, economic, familial, and emotional lives. While acute stress can be something that might even motivate one to perform or excel in certain areas of their life, or to take action, for others it may be chronic or more extensive and lead to physical or mental health concerns or conditions. While statistics for men typically show lower rates of stress when compared to women, often women tend to seek help or assistance for their stress while men tend to internalize, hide, or mask their stress.

Often, stress leads to anxiety, which often leads to avoidance. When one is stressed, the body might go into flight, fight, or in many cases, freeze mode. This environment might lend men to feel helpless, or to feel that it would take a big decision or event to change circumstances or reduce stress and anxiety.

So what is this simple step?

One way to reduce stress might seem obvious or certain to many, however, it can often help to reduce one's stress and take actionable steps towards better stress reduction. Let's take an example of someone who is stressed about their marriage. One might feel stressed about how they are feeling towards their partner, how they work with their partner, or how they communicate with each other. This situation might produce fear, anxiety, and stress. It might also cause insomnia or other conditions, such as substance use or anger. One step towards reducing this stress might be to go online, search for a couple's therapist, and book an initial consultation with a therapist specializing in this area. For some, the simple act of calling or setting up an appointment might reduce the anxiety or stress significantly.

How does taking an actionable step forward help?

Our brain constantly searches for ways that things might not be working or going well. The act of taking initiative and action on a particular problem shifts our focus away from the problem and towards a solution. The act of booking a therapy consultation tells our brain, "here I am doing something about this problem". While this shift might be temporary and short, it can be enough to get us motivated towards reducing stress and moving towards actionable behaviours.

Think back to times when you were in stressful situations or felt burnout by where you were at. Now think of how you got out of that situation. Perhaps you searched for a new job and applied when you were unhappy with your career. Maybe you booked a session with a personal trainer to work out and lose weight. Lastly, you might have bought some healthy food from a local market to make dinner instead of ordering out. Change happens slowly - but taking the first, small step can be a great way towards lasting change.

Therapy can help you to stay focused on the solution and better understand the challenges. You can also find therapy useful for stress reducing strategies and better coping skills.

Need help? Here are some resources/information on our services:

Anxiety Therapy: Click here

Depression Therapy: Click here

Low Self-Esteem Therapy: Click here

Men's Issues Therapy: Click here

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First Step Men's Therapy is a 100% men's mental health clinic operating across Ontario, Canada. We work with men on a wide range of mental health concerns, including therapy for anxiety, depression, grief, sex addiction, porn addiction, substance misuse, low self-esteem, anger, first responders and veterans, and sexual anxiety/erectile dysfunction. We offer therapy to men in Toronto, Mississauga, (and everywhere in between).

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