There are so many different aspects to discussing men’s health. A lot of people look at these mainly as eating correctly, being active, and making good choices. All these examples are good when generally discussing the topic, however there are many more layers to being healthy. I think one of the biggest areas that men need help with is in the mental aspect of health. In discussing mental health, there are numerous problems that men encounter over the years. In my recent experience, there are certain techniques that I have used in helping myself to deal with the situations that I deal with on a daily basis such as meditation. This isn’t something that is widely well-known or used in region of the world, but in Asia it is practiced on a daily basis.
Why would one meditate or what are the benefits from meditation? The basic thought process behind mediation is that it allows us to calm our minds. For example, if we get what we want, such as a new possession or a new partner, we become excited and cling to them tightly. However, since we cannot have everything we want, and since we will inevitably be separated from the friends and possessions we currently enjoy, this mental stickiness, or attachment, serves only to cause us pain. On the other hand, if we do not get what we want, or if we lose something that we like, we become despondent or irritated. An example of this would be if we are forced to work with a colleague whom we dislike, we will probably become irritated and feel aggrieved, with the result that we will be unable to work with him or her efficiently and our time at work will become stressful and unrewarding.
I think that the benefits that come with meditation are self-explanatory. A sense of inner peace, a calm mind, and clearer thinking are some of the benefits. So why are these benefits so crucial towards men’s health? While there is little research on the situation, it has been recommended that medical benefits from practiced meditation may include the following: anxiety, asthma, cancer, chronic pain, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, sleep problems, and tension headaches. A lot of these side effects are related to the daily stresses that we encounter all the time, so having a method of being able to cope with these stressors is one of the biggest keys to improving overall health. It is a lot easier and cheaper to practice meditation after a rough day than for men to head to the bar or liquor store.
The biggest thing that I think keeps mediation from being a more wildly known health treatment option is that people are misinformed of what it really is being practiced. The stereotype behind meditation is that it involves a person sitting in a room with their legs crossed listening to funny music. While yes, that is one form of meditation, there are numerous other examples of how to get the same practice of calming yourself in a meditative state. In general, the main idea is to put yourself in the most comfortable position, whether it be sitting or laying down, and then focus your thoughts on yourself. Yoga is one of the more popular forms that people can relate with, or at least women more than men. Which leads to another stereotype, that yoga is designated as women-only thing. While yes, women do mainly practice this, it is not just designed for women. Men need to be more open to trying new things and being a male myself, I can definitely speak up for the rest of us. Whatever the case may be, whether it be attending yoga classes, or simply taking a few minutes out your day to think about the things that are causing you to stress can pay off in the long run.