Disclaimer: All of these views are my own from my own experiences. I am not a man hater & what I have observed may not apply to all men.
Stress was a very important emotion which kept humans and many other living beings alive through the ages. The ages where the world was savage and all about survival. But fortunately for most of us, stress is not a primary emotion anymore. Nowadays, usually it is an emotion which gets created when a human is storing many other repressed emotions inside their body-mind complex. It’s very interesting how men and women store stress differently in their bodies.
So how do men store stress? They usually store it in 4 places : Jaw, Shoulders, Lower back and Feet.
Jaw and Shoulders: Have you seen a man clenching his jaw? There might be a big chance that this man is not speaking his truth, and usually it is not because he is scared or inauthentic – but because he has a lot of responsibilities to fulfill which he thinks might get jeopardized if he expresses himself in his most authentic form. This is related to the throat chakra (Vishuddha Chakra). Also, check if the guy always keeps his shoulders slightly raised up instead of keeping them relaxed – another sign that he is stressed.
Lower back and Feet: Let me tell you a secret, men get hurt too. I frankly feel most men have fooled themselves into thinking that ‘they don’t feel hurt – because they are a man’. This is not their fault though, evolutionarily men were the hunters, the gatherers, the protectors, the warriors, the soldiers and therefore, it was indispensable for them to be a bit unemotional, a bit indifferent to hurt. Again, fortunately most men in the world today might not have to physically endanger their life to provide for others. However, different feelings come up in life, but men seem to have lost a way to express it over the ages and due to societal conditioning.
The primary feelings that come up in men (or boys) are usually heart based feelings – feeling of hurt, being abandoned, feeling betrayed, feeling taken advantage of – but they try not to feel these, deny them and repress them. This results in a blockage to the energy flow from their heart chakra (Anahata Chakra) and due to repression this energy usually goes back to the solar plexus chakra (Manipur Chakra). Here it expresses itself as anger.
Now, anger is an emotion that most men seem to be ok with. They are able to express it, but expressing anger incorrectly can do irreparable damage. So overtime, they start suppressing this anger too. This is the time when any emotion that is too heavy to handle will quickly turn into stress. This results in lower back pain.
Feet get affected too because in all of these repressions – a man is still trying hard to be a solid foundation, appearing cool, collected and be grounded in the midst of this chaos that keeps brewing inside of him.
If you have a male in your life who maybe in a stressful work environment or any other stressful environment and you want to try reducing their stress – I highly recommend giving them massages in the following areas :
Problem Area : Clenched Jaw and non-relaxed shoulders. Give him an upper body massage. Maybe shoulders, back, hands, jaw and forehead.
Problem Area : Lower back and feet. Give him a full shoulders and back massage, followed by a foot massage.
And if you are a man reading this, please notice these signs in yourself and please go easy on yourself. Lifting crazy weights and pushing your body endlessly might transmute some of your anger but it is going to leave your body sore and agitated. So it has to be done only in moderation.
Take care of your inner world and don’t worry about always trying to be ‘strong and silent’. If you are acting from your awoken part – you are going to be our hero, always! <3
Image credit : Warner Bros.