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Anxiety is a word that has become all too common for all of us; a feeling of excessive worry, restlessness and even sometimes fear. These feelings are a normal reaction to any high-pressure situation we may face, whether it’s overwork, social interactions, personal health, finances, and even everyday routine tasks such as going to the store. It’s when these feelings continue to linger and become a daily struggle that it starts to impact your mental health and well-being.

Anxiety affects over 40 million adults in the US each year, which is almost 20% of the entire population. While women are more likely to be affected by anxiety than men, it doesn’t mean that men are immune. Studies have found that about one in five men will have an anxiety disorder during their lifetime. We just may not be as aware of one of our closest male friends or family members having an anxiety disorder, as it can manifest itself in different ways.

Many of us may have experienced a male friend or family member overindulging in alcohol, or seen them lash out on over something seemingly minor. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anger, irritability, and aggressiveness are some of the most common symptoms of anxiety and depression in men. Another common symptom is excessive use of alcohol and drugs; men are more likely to turn to substances as a way to cope with their feelings of anxiety.

Most importantly, anxiety and stress can also take a serious toll on your body. Studies in recent years have shown that men who experience chronic headaches, digestive issues, muscle aches and pains, and difficulty sleeping may actually be suffering from some form of anxiety. So, what can be done to fight some of these symptoms?

Start the conversation.

Men internalize their feelings more often than women, but it’s important to show support and be there for them when they need it the most. Keep the lines of communication open for them to express their feelings when they need to, and be willing to listen.

Stay active.

Exercising is key for both your physical and mental health. Regular exercise has proven to be an all-natural treatment to fight anxiety and depression, and improve your mood. When you exercise, your mind and body relaxes and releases endorphins which triggers a positive feeling in your body.

Eat a healthy diet.

Research has shown that what you eat, and don’t eat, affects the way you think and feel. Therefore, eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated can lead to a boost in your mood.

Get some sleep.

Sleep is directly linked to your mood and mental health, to your productivity and workplace performance. Therefore, it’s imperative to get a good night’s sleep for your body to relax and recover. With anxiety and depression, that may be hard to do.

Weighted blankets such as the Gravity Blanket are proven to reduce cortisol levels, which in turn reduces anxiety and stress. Using the power of ‘deep touch pressure stimulation’ to stimulate the feeling of being held, it increases users’ serotonin and melatonin (the hormones responsible for relaxation). Weighted blankets have been proven to naturally improve sleep as well as users’ physical and mental wellbeing.

At Gravity, we understand that we are currently in some highly-stressful times, so it's ok to feel anxious. When making a big decision or feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath, and try your best to relax. When that doesn’t seem to work or anxiety continues to build, be sure to reach out to a family member, friend, or professional for support.