Stress is a major part of everyone's life that's unavoidable, and small amounts of stress can actually be a good thing. The feeling of emotional and physical tension actually makes many of us focus and perform better. But the gains in performance are short lived and as stress catches up with us - the quality of our work suffers, and as tension builds we tend to take those emotions out on those around us. Those outbursts can take a toll on family and relationships leaving damage that is hard to fix.
It's obvious that stress can have major health consequences as well. Usually the signs of stress pop up in the form of acne, headaches, tiredness, disrupted and irregular sleep patterns, a lack of energy and focus, as well as aches and pains that don't go away. Left unchecked, these easily treatable problems get worse and become full blown medical conditions.
Depression and anxiety are some of the early warning signs that you have unmanaged stress that is getting out of control. High blood pressure is one of the big risks you take when working too much, and when your BP goes past 130/80 mm Hg you are opening yourself up to the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and eye problems.
Some cope with stress by eating which leads to obesity and diabetes. Many turn to sleep aids, alcohol and drugs to cope with the pressures of the daily grind and those things just start a whole new cycle of problems. That's why you need to find a healthy yet productive way to relieve stress, but who wants to sit around knitting or crafting? You need a masculine way to blow off steam which is why we have put together this list of 5 manly ways to relieve stress.
Everyone loves music, but actually making music and being creative is a major stress reliever. It does not matter what your musical taste is, music soothes the soul. The good news is everyone can start making music with little start up costs. You could pick up an acoustic guitar for cheap and learn a few chords, then dedicate a few minutes everyday to perfecting your technique. In no time at all you will have a small 'set' of songs you can play for friends at the weekend cookout, or a ballad to break out to impress the girl you have over.
If beat based music is more your thing, many of the current artists in EDM started out with a mixer and basic software to get started. To get your start you could DJ weekend parties, building beats during the week to drop on your audience Saturday night. Rappers need even less equipment to start out - a notebook full of rhymes spit over some free beats available on YouTube will get you started. As you build confidence, drop some of your lyrics on friends to see if you got bars.
A lot of guys work out, and we all know that a good workout makes us feel better. The problem is that a lot of us go too easy in the gym and don't make real progress. That leads to frustration and workouts start becoming optional - we use every excuse in the book to avoid the gym. Eventually many of us give up without ever achieving the physique we want.
That's why taking it up a notch and power lifting is a sure fire way of reliving stress. You can't cheat when you power lift or it's going to show - miss a workout or three and you will not be able to move the weight. Slip on your form and your going to hurt something. Stick to it and you'll see muscle growth like you never thought was possible. Along the way you'll build an intense focus and discipline that helps you to deal with tough projects and cope with stress in all aspects of your life.
Just be careful. Powerlifting isn't something you just start tomorrow. Seek out a trainer or workout buddy to make sure you have the support (and spotter) you need. Also, be sure that you are eating like a powerlifter and getting the nutrients you need.
Build a Project Car or Bike
This is easily the most expensive option on our list, after all speed costs money - so how fast do you wanna go? But if you have the bank roll - restoring a car or bike, better yet building one from the ground up, is a great stress reliever. Many guys choose to build a car that they always wanted in their youth, others choose a ride that fits their lifestyle or that represents a personal story such as a memorial vehicle for a loved one that has passed.
Whatever your reasons, working on a car and customizing it into your dream ride is going to take patience and dedication. Part of that patience will come from saving up for the perfect motor, locating the period correct parts, and planning the correct order for reassembly of all those parts. Along the way you are going to learn a lot about body work, engineering if you decide to build the motor yourself, and spend a lot of money collecting all the tools needed for the job. But by the end of the project, you are going to feel a real sense of pride and accomplishment when you get to cruise the neighborhood in the ride that you built.
Even if you are not the most mechanically inclined, you can still get the sense of accomplishment and build a connection to your vehicle by starting off slow with simple car repairs like oil changes and air filter replacement. Everyone has to start somewhere, and basic car maintenance is where every mechanic first learned their craft. As you build experience, doing small jobs like spark plug replacement and brake jobs will save you money and teach you new things about your car. Eventually, you will have the skill set to tackle a restoration project that is the prefect manly way of relieving stress.
Purchasing a home is a major goal of many people that often requires years of sacrificing and planning to achieve. That's probably why homeowners take so much pride in their homes - they know it represents the focus, dedication, and accomplishment of hard work. Once you own a home though, things require on going maintenance and that's where DIY comes in. Sure, you can hire contractors but that gets expensive quick and the truth is, DIY projects can be a great stress reliever that save you money.
Most of us can't replace a roof or build a couch, but that does't mean you can't add your own sense of style to a home with DIY projects. Even if you still live in an apartment and do not own your house, there are plenty of easy projects you can do to relieve stress. Things like building pallet wood furniture are a great way to learn the basics of furniture construction.
As you gain skill you might feel confident enough to build your own dining table or book case. Others take the customization route and buy things like old dressers to paint, or even hack IKEA furniture. If your collection of tools is small, that's ok. With just a drill, hammer, and other basic tools you can start off by building a window sill planter or spice rack. The only limit is your imagination.
Hit the Range
Getting outdoors or camping is a surefire way of letting go of stress, but to really blow off some steam nothing beats a day at the gun range. We find that most people who are anti gun have never even fired one before, so we encourage everyone to try it at least once before deciding their position on the topic.
We have taken a handful of friends to the range who had never fired before, and they came out of the experience with a big grin on their face and a better understanding of what it's all about. The truth is, once you hold a gun and fire it you gain respect for what it can do. Healthy minded individuals would never use that power in haste or to harm another individual without cause.
If you have never shot a gun before, you don't need to own a firearm to try out shooting. Every range rents guns, and you will have plenty to choose from. Don't be afraid to tell them you're a newbie either - the gun community is an inviting group of people who will be happy to show you the ropes and make recommendations on where to start. Most ranges offer classes as well that you could take to learn the basics of gun safety and usage.
Can You Think of Any Other Manly Ways to Relieve Stress? Comment Below.