This week, we were shocked to read a news report highlighting how one lawyer found himself ‘penalised, isolated and alone’ after reaching out to his firm asking for mental health support.
The message we hear in the media is about how men should be allowed to be sensitive. Yet, according to this latest report, the evidence shows the opposite – and the story uncovers the challenges men still face when discussing their mental health struggles.
We are now in November or ‘Movember’ – an annual event where men grow their moustaches to raise awareness about men’s health issues. It was also International Men’s Day on November 19th, and these events highlight the problems men still face when feeling safe and reaching their full potential.
Culturally, breaking the stigma of male mental health problems is difficult, as many men have been taught to always be strong and are uncomfortable opening up and talking about their issues with other people.
Men may also feel the pressures of work and having to provide for their families, feeling the weight of these responsibilities upon their shoulders.
Along with the perceived sense of shame in asking for help, men are more likely to isolate themselves from group support or services. This isolation and helplessness are leading to a modern epidemic of anxiety and depression throughout society.
Men need to feel safe to reach out and ask for help if they need it. Feeling safe and supported enough to ask for help is the first step. However, there are lifestyle steps that men may want to follow to ensure that they have both a healthy body and mind.
Some of the most important lifestyle steps to consider include…
- Connecting with People – This helps to build a sense of belonging and self-worth. Having someone to reach out to can provide emotional support while allowing you to support others.
- Eating a healthy diet – Choosing plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, along with foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as oily fish like salmon, can help to support the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system, helping you to relax mentally and emotionally. Avoid processed foods and sugar, as these can lead to dips and spikes in your energy levels, which can also impact stress levels and moods.
- Moving regularly – Aside from the physical benefits, evidence shows that exercise can help raise self-esteem and cause chemical changes in your brain, which can help to positively change moods.
- Learn New Skills – This helps to keep your mind active and focused on personal growth, giving you more self-confidence, and helping you to build a sense of purpose.
- Practice Mindfulness and Being in the Moment – Mindfulness can help improve mental well-being by observing your thoughts, feelings, your body, and the world around you. Practising mindfulness can help to positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
- Cold Water Therapy – Research shows that cold water therapy can improve circulation, boost energy levels, reduce inflammation, enhance immune response and even improve mood, amongst other benefits. Try a cold blast of water at the end of your shower or even explore open water swimming if you feel more adventurous.
Nutrients To Support Men’s Mental and Emotional Health
For men, research shows that taking the following nutrients may be beneficial when providing emotional and mental health support…
SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) is a naturally occurring amino acid that studies show can alleviate depression and anxiety without the side effects of prescription anti-depressants. 
Black Maca has been shown to improve mental clarity and focus. Research shows that Maca works directly on two regions of the brain (the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland) to help boost focus. You can read more about the benefits of Black Maca for men here.
As an essential mineral, Magnesium can help you to maintain a healthy mood. Low levels of Magnesium are associated with anxiety, depression and fatigue. One review of 18 studies also showed that Magnesium could decrease anxiety in most participants. 
According to recent studies, taking Melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep patterns, can help with anxiety and improve sleeping patterns. [3,4]
Ensuring you get enough B-Vitamins such as Vitamin B3 and B6 is recommended, as this is essential for normal nervous system functioning and energy support, which can reduce tiredness and fatigue. This helps the body to relax during times of stress.
L-Tryptophan is recommended as research shows that low levels of this essential amino acid may contribute to mood disorders, including anxiety and depression. 
L-Theanine is also recommended for reducing stress and anxiety levels. Studies suggest it does this by boosting levels of GABA, serotonin and dopamine in the brain. This can help to regulate emotions, moods, concentration and sleep. 
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MacaPro® XP Black 18:1 Liquid
A high-nutrition superfood recommended primarily for boosting energy levels, promoting mental clarity and supporting male reproductive health. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Available in the UK online store only.
Ancient Magnesium Lotion Ultra with Melatonin
Ultra-pure Zechstein Magnesium Lotion with Melatonin for enhanced relaxation and improved sleep. Provides topical Magnesium for maximum absorption through the skin. Available from Good Health Naturally.
A unique formula of L-Tryptophan, L-Theanine, Vitamin B3 and B6 to support stress relief and relaxation. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans. 90 capsules.
Rescue Remedy® Spray
For comfort and reassurance, we recommend Rescue Remedy. This is formulated to provide support during times of emotional demand and is easy to take with you when out and about if you need instant support. Available at all good independent health food stores and online at Good Health Naturally UK.