Men’s mental health Fact No.7: Creating a healthy lifestyle

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Be A Man Who Takes Care Of Close Relationships

Close relationships are essential to our happiness and well-being. Decades of research have also shown that they are predictors of physical health. By close relationships, we are referring to those people who matter most in life: a spouse or partner, family, children, and close friends. Maintaining these relationships takes effort. Checking in, initiating a catch-up, doing something nice for someone, just because. In the busyness of life, relationships can be neglected but those who prioritise social connection with a core group – even one or two people – have a greater chance of boosting happiness and reducing negative mood cycles.

Be a Man Who Does Things He Loves

Making time to do more of the things we enjoy, can help us be happy and mentally healthy. Your interests may be creative, athletic, academic, or something distinctly personal. You may choose a hobby that you can do alone or as part of a group. According to Health Direct, taking some time to do the things you really enjoy can boost your mental well-being as “pleasant events can lead to positive emotions that can cancel out negative feelings”.

Be A Man Who Spends Time Outdoors

The power of being outdoors is universally accepted as nature’s way of creating mental health benefits. This is why so many successful mental health programs are taking men out of their living rooms, away from the distractions of a ‘normal’ routine. This might be by way of a weekend gathering out of town, joining a cycling club, or camping with family and friends. But you can also get outdoors in a more localised way. A walk, long or short, brings mental health benefits, hence the rising popularity of the Man Walk movement which has groups springing up Australia-wide.

According to the Queensland Government, spending time in nature has big benefits for your mental well-being, with studies showing improvements in mood and reduced stress levels. One of Qld Government’s key mental well-being initiatives is to encourage people to embrace nature.

Be A Man Who Gives And Who Receives Help

We know helping others can keep men mentally healthy. If you have a mate who appears to be facing challenges of any description, let him know you have his back. Offer to help, listen to him, check in regularly, and do something practical depending on what he needs. Small gestures go a long way. It’s equally important to get help and support from people you trust or a mental health professional when you are struggling or doing it tough.

All of these factors contribute to creating a healthy lifestyle, one where you are maintaining close relationships, staying connected with mates, exploring your passions, getting outdoors, and asking for help when you need it as well as giving an ear to others when they seem troubled.

If you think you, or someone you know, has a mental health condition, see your GP for a referral to a mental health professional.



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