We all know a stressed man in our lives but is there anything we can do about it? Absolutely, and here are my top 6 guy stresses and how to overcome them today!
All men are different. Some are young or old, family men or career focused, rich or poor, healthy or overweight. We have different guy stresses depending on where we live. Some have added stress just because of their race, nationality, ethnicity, or beliefs.
This will never be a complete list for every stressed man, but it is very likely most average guys are experiencing most of these guy stresses everyday.
I have personally been overwhelmed with these stresses for most of my life. Until recently, have just bared them like a man should. I have focused a lot of time and research about how to overcome them for good, and this article will share what I have learned.
With little doubt, I can say for sure I am a completely different person then I was 2 years ago. I am content and grateful for the little things, and living the life I was meant too. Sorry to say, I have not won the lottery or had any significant changes in my life. I just applied a minimalist philosophy to these guy stresses and got them under control.
Here is what I have learned.
Top 6 Guy Stresses
Personal finances are probably the largest stress in a guy’s life. We are the bread winners in the family and are expected to be career focused and head of our households. We are expected to be able to handle anything!
In reality, we are not supermen, we just act like we can handle everything. We try to contain all our financial guy stresses and hope tomorrow will be better. We have a short term financial plan (Month to Month) and hoping for a better tomorrow never works.
Most families have nothing in their retirement account. They have less then $1000 in savings, and have personal debt over $40,000 (not counting their mortgage).
Many families are in the same boat. We pretend that this is just the normal guy stresses of life. We just live with it. In reality, if you talked with your parents (or grandparents), you will see this is not normal stress. Financial debt stress will kill you and there is only one cure. Paying it off.
What can you do about personal financial stress? Get your personal finances under control by following these personal finance recovery steps:
- First, save $2,000 for Your Emergency Fund today
- Pay Off All Debt (Except the House) by focusing on one at a time
- Save 4 Months of Expenses in a Fully Funded Emergency Fund
- Start investing 30% of Your Household Income for retirement
- While saving for retirement, save for your children’s college fund
- Pay off your home early
The quickest way to work through these steps is to take a minimalist approach to life.
Never buy anything you don’t need because your wants are never-ending. Then, increase your income anyway you can. Get another job, side hustle, or ask for a promotion. Focus on enjoying what you do with your time and work will be fun.
I created 2 separate articles talking about how to build wealth. Added wealth is the key to controlling your personal financial stress. The first article, Avoid Career Burnout and Join the FIRE Movement?, and 10 Stages Of Financial Independence And How To Get There!.
Every year companies are expected to do more, with few people and resources. This means every year we are expected to work longer and harder then we did the year before.
Its no wonder why we are all stressed out from our jobs if this is the expectation from company management. As far as they are concerned, we all need to be “company men”. They expect us to put our family and personal lives on hold. Management believed the company needs must come first!
The older we get, the more we realize family and friends are what we value most in life. Our true relationships are outside of our professional life. We all know we will regret later in life choosing work over family, and need to prioritize and protect family time. But, we need income to afford our inflated lifestyle.
We need to make a choice. The choice between family time or work time (to afford our family lifestyle).
What can you do about Job pressure stresses? Some people will tell you about the latest time management system or becoming more agile in your approach to work. I have tried them all, written many articles about them, and realized I was barking up the wrong tree.
The problem is we rely on the income from these jobs to support our lifestyle. No job equals no income equals no family life. But, if we reduce our lifestyle, then we no longer require that high pressure job. We can still work the high income job, but we no longer have the stress about failing to meet expectations, because there is no relationship between job performance and our family wellbeing.
This means you don’t need to worry about always needing to put more time into work to meet the expectations of management. You can put in your 40 hours (or less), and then spend the rest of your time with your family and friends.
If you are not ready to live on less money (see personal finance steps above) and need the income to pay off debt, you can merge your work/family life by working remotely.
For the past 15 years, I have required my employers to allow me to work from home. This way I can be home with the family, whenever I was needed, and also available to my company and their customers whenever they needed me. This merged company/personal schedule allowed me to be there for everyone and keep my income high to afford to save for the future.
I no longer have these guy stresses of deciding where to put my time.
Fast Pace of Life
There is no doubting it, life is moving way faster today then in any other time in history. Technology and productivity requirements require guys to juggle many things at once, often dropping most of them.
Time really isn’t moving faster, but our impression of time is moving much faster then in the past. Our to-do list is ever growing as we jump from task to task, but we don’t take the mental breaks we need to get control of our stress levels.
Our stress is the cause of having too much to do, and not enough time to do it.
What can you do to reduce stress related to your fast pace of Life? Learn to say NO to anyone and everyone. You are overwhelmed. It does no one any good to say yes only to let another thing fail to get done.
Learning to say no is only part of the answer. The other is taking the 80/20 Pareto principle approach to your task list.
Using the 80/20 rule, you will cut out 80% of your less important tasks while leaving you with just the really important 20% that will make s difference in your life and career.
The other way to control your stress here is to take a mindful approach to your existing tasks and focus on one at a time. When you are mindful and focused on a single task, you are not stressing about the other 10 things you need to do. Practicing being mindful is a skill that will improve now only your todo list but everything you choose to spend time doing.
Sorry to say, being mindful is not easy to do. In order to be successful at applying mindfulness, you must learn to control and clear your mind. This skill is best learned through meditation.
Not only will meditation help you focus, it will also relieve stress by giving your mind a rest. People always are giving their body a rest, but they forget to also rest their minds.
I personally take 15 minutes at the end of each day and meditate to clear my mind and prepare it for a restful night. This way I wake up refreshed and excited to tackle another day. Try it and see if it will help you reduce your time management stress too.
As a husband and a father, we all love spending time with our families. We value the this time above all else (but often our actions don’t reflect this feeling). But the truth is when we are at home, we are overwhelmed with demands on our time from house chores and endless family and kids activities.
Since we are the head of the house hold, often we are looked to provide the family entertainment above our already full work and personal schedule.
Family responsibility stresses are also the stress we feel not being able to enjoy more time with our family because too many other things are taking over our lives.
As men, we have an unending list of chores. We need to take care of the house, mow the lawn, fix anything broken, pay the bills, walk the dog, and an just about anything else can you can think of.
I recently finished a book called The More of Less, By Joshua Becker. The book started out with Josh spending a Saturday cleaning his garage instead of playing with his kids.
While cleaning it all up, he realized if he never bough all the junk that is now stored in his garage and throughout his whole house (never used stuff), he would have a lot more time and money in his life. He realized these are the resources he could be spending on his family instead of constantly reorganizing and maintaining this stuff.
His answer was very simple. He was going to stop buying all this junk. This will also give him a lot of extra time in his schedule that he will spend with his family and friends. He will start to enjoy his life instead of maintain a fake lifestyle to show to the world, and his bank account will be much better in the end too.
How can you better manage family responsibility stress? I think Josh’s approach will work for most people. It has worked well for me.
Stop buying junk you don’t need. This will fix your financial stress, give you more time in your life, and allow you focus on what is really important.
Since you are not spending money on junk or a car lease anymore, you will have more money to pay someone to mow your lawn or paint your house. Then you can spend more time with your kids and family (before its too late and they grow up and leave the nest). This time is precious. Don’t waste it cleaning your garage.
Being the breadwinner in the family, we are expected as guys to earn a living and support the financial goals of the family. As we saw in the number 1 stress family guys have (Personal Finances), it is clear we are under a whole lot of stress to make as much money as we can.
The problem is our costs go up every year but our salary doesn’t. I have never received a salary increase that matched the yearly cost of living increase, meaning I make less money every year. This is probably true for you too.
The only way to get around this is to job hop and get a salary bump that is an improvement over past years. But this means you are always the new person on the team and need to prove your worth constantly. The loss of seniority and what little security exists these days goes out the window. My last layoff was due to this problem. The company had a policy for layoffs, “Last in, First out”. I agree with this rule but not helpful when you have a mortgage to pay.
How can you reduce your Job Security Stress? Live a minimalist lifestyle. If you can reduce your monthly expenses to the extreme, you will have very little trouble making it through the many company downsizing that is so common these days.
Save until you can have 6 months of expenses in the bank. With the added 6 months of unemployment, you will have over a year to find a new job which will be more then enough time.
If your skills are outdated, you have plenty of time to update them. Find a higher paying job at a better firm which doesn’t balance their budgets with job cuts every year.
There is little you can do about having your job outsourced or just getting laid off. What you can do is prepare yourself for when it will happen. Make sure in the end, you will be better off for it. Never be blind to your job security, even managers and self employed guys lose their jobs. The key is to be prepared for it with a healthy savings account and willingness to learn and adjust to a new career.
Some people are plagued with health problems, either personally or someone in their family, and there is little you can do about it; or is there?
I am a firm believer that you are, in part, what you eat. I feel everyone will be healthier if they eat better, sleep more, and can reduce their stress. This doesn’t mean your health problems will go away, but maybe they will be a little better then they were.
Given the issues with health insurance and how difficult it is to maintain and afford, its no wonder this is one of the leading causes of guy stresses in life. It has always been a goal of mine to retire early and enjoy my prime years with the family but if I stop working, I will lose my health insurance. The lack of insurance is one of the leading causes for financial trouble in America today
What can you do to avoid additional health problem stress? Take direction from some of our leading actors in Hollywood. They follow a strict eating and exercise program that totally transformed their healthy lifestyle. They all mostly follow a low carb, high protein diet, do 30-60 minute daily exercise habit every morning, avoid drinking and smoking, and get plenty of sleep. Doing your “Fasted Cardio” exercises quickly burns body fat and gives you super charged energy throughout the day.
Two years ago, I was borderline obese weighing over 200 pounds with little activity (I work on computers all day long). One day, I had enough. I woke up one morning, started doing intermitted fasting, just eating 2 healthy meals a day, and exercised 5 days a week. In 4 months, I lost over 40 pounds and have managed to keep it off for over 2 years.
I didn’t do anything that anyone else can’t do and I no longer stress about my lack of health. Because of this lifestyle change, I feel way better now then I used to. I have more energy, and save a ton of money not buying junk and fast food all the time. Life is great!
If you noticed a theme between the top 6 guy stresses, you will notice they were mostly all fixed when I started living a more minimalist lifestyle. My finances and health improved, I had more quality time with my family, and I created new opportunities in my career due to more time for skill training and more options for jobs since salary was adjustable.
I was able to accept a reduced pay to work from home so I can be around my family all the time. If this worked for reducing my stress, then maybe it will work for you too.
Minimalism is not an ends to itself. It is a path to a stress reduced life. The key to reducing stress in all parts of your life is feeling gratitude for everything in your life. When you do, maybe your guy stresses will disappear too.
When you are grateful, you are content, and its very hard to be stressed and content at the same time!
If you have an additional guy stresses not listed above, please leave it in the comments section. If enough people agree, I will add it to the list. Please consider signing up for my email list if you liked this article and be the first to receive an email about new articles.
Thanks for reading!