Emotional Health Guide For Men
Depending on what you hear, there’s either way too much talk of men’s emotions these days, or far too little. While there may be plenty of opinions floating around about the state of men’s emotional health and awareness, there’s clearly not enough substance.
This is a shame, because emotional intelligence is crucial for success in all fields of life, and many men struggle with this. Mixed signals from the media and health outlets either tell men to be emasculated husks or overly aggressive buffoons. Men are starved for guidance and answers.
The recent worldwide resurgence of hate groups and fascism is one of the indicators that modern society is failing men at an alarming rate. There are no support groups, no male bonding, and an extreme lack of healthy “male spaces.”
You might be from the camp that thinks such things are absurd. “Men don’t need special spaces, they just need to toughen up,” is a common line I hear.
However, if you look at our species, and the traditional rites and rituals of men, you will quickly realize that healthy male spaces are few and far between, and yet they are very necessary for proper male development.
When Yin, or female energy, is unbalanced, it turns in on itself and becomes depressive, bleak, and manipulative. To be sure, society has a problem with this kind of energy. Unbalanced yang, or masculine energy, however, expresses itself outwardly and has been out of control for most of modern recorded history.
In some respects, attempts have been made at righting the balance of energy at the expense of male dignity and happiness. Men are overwhelmingly taught to be confined and conformed. Some of these tactics work to a fault, but for the most part, it seems men have lost their way without proper elders and teachings to guide them.
Emotional Health and Physical Health are One
You can’t have one without the other. If you are overly burdened emotionally, your physical health will suffer. Likewise, extreme physical duress will leech upon your emotional state unless you have a rock-solid mindset.
Stress, for instance, is one of the worst states for your physical body – it is an unnaturally prolonged flight-or-fight response that given enough time will give you everything from ulcers to high blood pressure and everything in between. It hinders digestion, slows metabolism, and can even aid cancer cell growth.
So if you’re a man and you’ve been taught that emotions don’t matter and you should ignore them or disconnect from them, you could be dramatically destroying your physical well-being. Stress isn’t the only dangerous emotion. Anger, too, disrupts the body and is considered in esoteric circles to be an unnatural emotional state indicative of negative energy and fear.
You cannot excel in life if your emotional state is off balance.
Disgruntled or unbalanced emotions are often signs of a weak mind, and mental strength is the key to all self-mastery and success.
When you realize this is all connected, your perspective on everything changes. You cannot ignore one facet of your being for another. Your emotions are just as important as any other aspect of your Self.
For example, some men are “highly functional” in society but deep inside they are always angry, always making excuses, constantly stressed (and looking for ways to mask that stress, such as with alcohol), and are inwardly traumatized and thus base most of their decisions from a place of fear.
No matter what you accomplish in this state, your capacity for success will always be hindered. More often than not, men in this state will make a few strides toward success only to implode a few years later. Does this sound familiar?
Recognizing that your emotional states are important and play a key role in your health and well-being is the first step toward making the necessary corrections and balancing your life.
Take Control of Your Emotions
To do this, first you need to understand what emotions are.
This might sound somewhat corny, like you really want to delve into what emotions are.
I’m with you, this is something that is typically not worth talking about. The typical approach to emotional work is psychoanalytical, which if I may be so blunt, is complete garbage and only helps people superficially.
We’re not here to “talk about emotions,” we’re here to balance the body.
First of all, “talking about emotions” is one of the most useless, “circle-jerk” kind of activities modern humans engage in. It’s pointless ego stroking that almost never leads to any substantial self-mastery or personal progress.
You don’t fix and balance emotions by “talking about them.” You fix them by processing them, or otherwise balancing the body.
This is because emotions, by their very nature, are out of your purview. They are primarily bodily states regulated by biochemistry and the ego-mind.
Higher emotions, like ecstasy, love, and the like, are still filtered versions of positive energy states that we “feel” via interpretations by our biochemistry. The real essence of emotions are energy states that are better “felt” through deep work, like meditation. Bodily emotional states are fleeting and almost always not worth time contemplating – just experienced.
That being the case, you can talk about an emotional state all day long and still not process it. In fact, due to the nature of emotions in general, talking about them usually results in internalizing them and making them even stronger.
Oftentimes your ego desperately wants you to cling to and talk about a certain emotional state, because such energies are what egos feed off of.
So it’s a pointless activity to dwell on and discuss an emotion. You only give energy to something that is already unhealthily dominating your energy field and mind.
Instead, it’s far better to manually take control of your emotional states by directing your mind.
Many unhealthy emotions felt by men are internal clusters of unprocessed anger driven by fear. This is what you want to expel.
But to do so, you can’t “talk about it.” You have to feel and release it, but in a healthy way.
In times past, elders and other teachers would be there to guide young men on mental journeys and trainings that would help them deal with their own shortcomings and emotions the right way, but our society almost completely lacks this.
Meditation is the key to processing your emotions. It works by silencing the ego and tapping into the subconscious.
Once you are able to access your subconscious and “sit with your thoughts,” so to speak, you have a chance to deal with and process your thoughts and their related emotional states that have been bottled up, without the ego running interference.
Many men have overly-developed egos that prevent them from doing personal work on processing their emotions. “Dealing” with energy is something men are taught to not do, so the result is clusters of emotional baggage trapped in your energy field. This clouds your space and limits your capacity for happiness, and over time results in a constant feeling of stress and anxiety.
You have to minimize the ego and allow your Self to come to terms with everything you have always wanted to “feel” and process. This includes childhood trauma borne of embarrassment, regret, pain, and inadequacy.
This kind of deep work is not for the feint of heart. You may fail a dozen times before you can penetrate the ego and get anything accomplished.
Often, the first time you experience a deep meditation, it can be an emotional experience. Unbidden feelings of sadness, fear, or even joy may permeate you, and because the ego cannot shield you from it, you will be forced to deal with it, and the results can be quite strong.
You may experience hot flashes, spontaneous feelings of nausea or tightness in the chest, and even abrupt bouts of crying. You want to embrace whatever comes, because this is your body-mind processing the pent-up energy.
Emotional health is the ability to process the energy of all events and thoughts that occur moment by moment, but to do so properly, you must first confront your past.
How to Meditate Effectively
You may not even know how to meditate. Don’t be discouraged.
Meditation is one of those skills that’s easy to learn and hard to master. For our purposes in processing emotion, you only need the most rudimentary of meditation skill.
Children are taught these techniques in traditional cultures, as well as in martial disciplines. You only lack the skill because you were never taught and made aware of it.
Here is a quick rundown of what you need to know in order to meditate effectively:
- Put away all distractions and set aside the necessary time.
- Sit up straight, with your spine aligned.
- Breathe evenly through your nose. Never mouth-breathe. Fill your diaphragm completely with each breath.
- Don’t beat yourself up when your mind races, this is normal. Just let thoughts pass calmly.
- Be patient, you may not make progress even after hours of attempts at peaceful meditation.
- Monitor your breath and visualize pure white light or energy entering your body with each inhale.
- Once you are able to feel your own energy and go prolonged periods of time without ego interference, deep work will begin.
The time it takes to reach this stage differs for everyone. Don’t get discouraged if you find meditation difficult.
There is no magic “ah ha!” moment when learning to meditate. After enough practice, you will simply find that your ego is quieter and that you feel more at peace. Emotions and thoughts will begin to “float” into your sphere of awareness and you will acknowledge and “process” them. They will shortly disappear afterwards.
Once you get used to deep meditation, you will be able to manually “ask” your Self why certain things bother you, such as emotional triggers, points of anger and such, and process them at will. With every cluster of anger or fear you process and let go of, the healthier your emotions will be.
With enough work, things that once angered you won’t anymore, and situations that would normally stress you out will have no effect.
This is what it means to be a man with “healthy emotions.”
It doesn’t mean dwelling and wallowing in and on your “feelings.” That psychoanalytical fluff will get you nowhere.
Deep work means actually processing the energies you have held on to and releasing them. It means bypassing the ego and teaching your Self to deal with situations maturely and with a balanced mindset.
The side-effect of such work is that after awhile, you will be far more mentally fit. You will recognize and appreciate truth at a much higher rate, your intuition will be stronger because your thoughts won’t be muddied by the ego, and most of all, your responses to situations and problems will be much better.
This will help you excel in all aspects of your life, from business to relationships and beyond. A healthy man is one who faces all problems with a clear, strong mind not burdened by pent-up emotion.
Keep in mind that many of the men (man-children) walking around out there who insist that they don’t have to process or deal with their emotions actually work from a place of extremely exaggerated and unhealthy emotion.
Nothing more emotional than a man caught up in his ego. They are delicate and weak-minded, can’t take criticism, are easily embarrassed, overly reactionary, can’t take a joke, are always trying to make themselves look good, constantly lie to create false narratives, and endlessly complain and use pity to manipulate people around them.
No matter how “outwardly” masculine they may try to appear, they are working purely from a place of unbalanced emotion. This is what happens when you refuse to process your emotions and take control of your own mind.
You have to perform Self work, otherwise your ego will call all the shots and you will be far less effective in life. Eventually this comes back to bite men, which is what I call the implosion: unhealthy vices, obsession with low-rung activities, disgruntled demeanor, diminutive posture, always complaining, and completely lacking in self-awareness or empathy.
Don’t allow yourself to become this weak. Take control of your mind and balance your emotions. Success will follow.