(Hilary Valdez)

“When you replace ‘Why is this happening to me?’ with ‘What is this trying to teach me?’ everything shifts.” – Unknown

Currently people seem to be cut off from the old-time ethics that guided our social courtesies of a few decades ago. We are living in a time of insecurity, where our emotional nature is on a pendulum. There is a lot of free-floating anxiety in today’s world. Men might feel constrained or restricted by life as it is today. Most everything feels like an obligation to them, while coping with life’s limitations.

Our emotions are powerful. How we handle out emotions is a tough issue for many people. Some experts say, “Control your emotions.” Others say: “Let it out, don’t hold back,” or “Release your emotional blocks.” But when feelings and strong emotions occur, we can lose our focus as to what is important and become overwhelmed. Your emotions are sensitive instruments for living a meaningful life and alert us to important events happening around us. Yet some men have difficulty managing stressful events due to poor role modeling in childhood and didn’t learn healthy coping mechanisms. Maybe we repeat the mistakes of our father?

A man’s self-esteem is often connected to his work; his smile is in proportion to his paycheck. Receiving a pink slip is a frightening experience. This can lead to depression and anger. A lot of men display one emotion: anger, they’re angry every day, all day. Anger hides a lot of emotions and prevents the expression of other feelings. Anger is a dangerous place to stay. Underneath anger is pain. Underneath pain is frustration. Underneath frustration is hurt and grief. The main issues affecting men are depression, anxiety, illegal drug use, alcohol abuse, anger and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“Conflicted men are depressed men. The worse the conflict, the deeper the depression,” Dr. Glenn Good, psychology researcher who currently serves as a dean at the University of Florida. “Male gender conflict affects most men at some level. Men fight a lifetime of powerful messages - be a man, big boys don’t cry, compete. For some men these messages and related conflicts are troublesome.”

Living with stress and anxiety can be overwhelming and affect your daily life, causing problems at work and at home. “Common Emotional Stress is: loss of interest, feeling overwhelmed, being demoralized, sorrow, irritability. Critical Stress is: Apathy, loss of emotional control, suicidal ideation, panic states, depression, rage, phobic reactions, and guilt,” said Dr. George Everly of the Critical Incident Stress Foundation.

Everyone experiences anxiety sometimes. But when anxiety feels extreme and gets in the way of your daily life, this might indicate an anxiety disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), anxiety disorders affect one-third of adults in the U.S. These disorders take natural human reactions of nervousness, fear and worry to excessive levels.

Many men may hide much of their real selves for fear of rejection, risking vulnerability, transparency, and fear of labeling. If a man is expressive, he is regarded as unmanly, and heaven forbid, feminine. Some men are blocked by pride, and they don’t disclose their despair. However, if you can feel it, you can heal it.

Each person in life needs emotional fulfillment. But the male role requires a man to appear tough, objective, striving, achieving, unsentimental, and emotionally unexpressive. Yet, men don’t always want advice, they want understanding. This clashes with the male taboos of don’t cry, worrying about failing, and their masculinity. When a man shows compassion, tenderness, sensitivity and is emotionally expressive this doesn’t make him feminine, it makes him healthy.

“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” – William S. Burroughs. Have a nice day!


Hilary Valdez is a freelancer living in Tokyo, Japan. He is an experienced Mental Health professional and Resiliency Trainer. Valdez is a former Marine and has worked with the military most of his career and most recently worked at Camp Zama as a Master Resiliency Trainer. Valdez now has a private practice and publishes books on social and psychological issues. His books are available on Amazon and for Kindle. Learn more about Valdez and contact him at his website or email. Follow his YouTube channel Hilary’s Quick Talk for more insights.

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