Stress and anxiety can cause a number of health issues, which leads to a vicious circle – you get stressed, which causes sickness, which makes you more stressed and so on. It can also sneak up on you little by little until suddenly you feel like you can’t cope.
However, by tackling the initial cause of your anxiety head-on you may be able to prevent any further issues and plan for a healthy and happy future.
We spend a massive amount of time at work or getting to work and it provides us with our income, so it’s no wonder we get stressed about it. According to the Health and Safety Executive, last year there were 487,000 cases of work-related stress or depression, accounting for 39% of all work-related illnesses. It’s a very real problem.
How to beat it: As with many stress-related issues, admitting you have a problem is the first step. By sharing your concerns, you can help relieve the pressure. Talk with your boss or colleagues if you’re feeling overwhelmed – you might find that you’re taking on too much. If you’re still having problems, see if you can take a break. When you do take a break, make sure to tie up loose ends before you do and then turn off your phone. Working from home can also be helpful as then you can work at your own pace and not feel pressured by colleagues.
Work and money are linked, so often work stress can actually be stress about money. There’s always those few days at the end of the month where you’re hoping that you don’t go overdrawn.
How to beat it: If money worries are getting to you, sit down and have a good look through your finances. See what you’re spending against what you’re earning to highlight any gaps. If you are spending more than you earn, see if there are areas to make savings. Making a plan can help relieve the stress.
As you get older, you might start to worry about your pension and retirement. Now is the time to take a look at your pension plan and see what it’s worth. If you can, could you pay a little more into the scheme or maybe you pay more towards your mortgage to get it paid off early.
Even for the fittest of us, as we get older illness starts to weigh heavily on our mind.
How to beat it: The best advice is to try and stay as fit as you can. Regular exercise has been proven to help reduce the risk of a number of major diseases from heart problems to cancer. It’s also worth paying a visit to your GP for a check-up. They can test for cholesterol levels, blood pressure, diabetes and various types of cancer.
It’s not just you that you have to worry about, but also your children. As they get older and become more independent, you can feel like you have less control over them.
How to beat it: If you have concerns about your children, sit down and talk with them. While you might not be able to directly control their lives, you can make sure they are prepared if things do go wrong. Help them to plan their own futures by giving them financial tips and some numbers to call if they have any issues, and let them know that they can talk to you about anything and that you won’t judge them.
Whether you’ve been with your partner for decades or are just starting out on a new journey, relationships can be stressful. Problems from losing the spark to keeping a new partner interested can cause anxiety.
How to beat it: Like your children, the best way to deal with the issue is to be open and honest about it – after all, you’re both in the same boat. If you genuinely don’t think the relationship is working, then say so. Or if there are other issues, air them out. If you dwell on them, small problems can become big issues. If it’s got to a point where you can’t talk to each, you could try seeking advice from a counsellor.
Hair loss in men
Even though it’s usually a natural part of ageing, hair loss can be hard to handle for many men. However, it happens to the best of us – just ask Bruce Willis – and is nothing to get stressed about.
How to beat it: You can try treatments like Propecia (or its generic equivalent Finasteride), a prescription-only hair loss treatment. And while surgical transplant options are improving, the best way is often to embrace it. Don’t try and hide the fact as that only makes it worse.
While it can be embarrassing, the fact is that most men will suffer from erectile dysfunction at some point in their life. Worrying about often makes it worse.
How to beat it: Estimates suggest that only 33% of men who have erectile dysfunction seek help and advice about their problems. Being open and honest with your partner can help, and if it’s still a problem there are many different treatment options, from prescription-only medicines and physical treatments, to counselling. See Erectile Dysfunction Treatments for more information.
It’s also important to realise that ED can be part of an underlying health condition. Common underlying causes of ED include obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. In order to treat ED, these conditions will need to be resolved; you should speak to your GP about the best way to do this. This is especially important as men with ED and these conditions are at higher risk of heart disease.