It is no secret that men tend to have a difficult time talking about their emotions. This can have a major impact on what they share with healthcare providers when they have concerns about taboo subjects. When caught early, people with colorectal cancer have a  5-year relative survival rate of around 80%. Speaking with your doctor about signs and symptoms can be helpful in catching disease or illness early, and so is sharing how you’re feeling with people you trust. 

It’s important for men and women to get an annual well-visit exam with their primary doctor and then follow recommended preventive screening guidelines. For example, it’s recommended that men and women have their first colonoscopy screening at age 45 as long as they don’t have a family history of colorectal cancer or show signs and symptoms. Once screened, your doctor will recommend follow-up screenings according to your personal results and history.  In this article we will discuss a few simple ways men can  practice feeling comfortable talking about their  emotions and health.

Seek Online Help from a Psychologist or Psychiatrist

No matter how hard people try, talking about your feelings and emotions can be difficult. Sometimes, talking about your health can be stressful, especially if you are in poor health, or have been putting off kick-starting a healthier lifestyle, and you may feel defensive.

When you feel stressed out or defensive, you might not want to talk to your loved ones because you feel like you are letting them and yourself down, which leads to further disappointment. A convenient solution may be to talk to an online psychiatrist. Talking to a trained professional about your emotions is a great way to get to the bottom of things that may be causing stress, anxiety, or unhappiness in your life. Speaking to a telehealth psychological professional can be a great outlet to discuss your feelings, and some can also help by prescribing treatment plans if you need it.

Journal

Another exercise to help you become comfortable with your emotions is journaling. Journaling for mental health, where you jot down the events of your day in a diary or write through problems you’re experiencing, can be extremely beneficial as you begin taking steps to  start  feeling comfortable with your emotions.

Journaling helps reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. When you are experiencing extremes in your personal life, a pen and paper is a perfect avenue to decompress and expunge your thoughts. Once you work through day-to-day issues, you may find clarity and peace in the bigger picture.

Writing down your feelings benefits you as you organize your thoughts, manage your emotions, and plan your days to come. Additionally, journaling can assist you in thinking through situations before they happen so that you are less likely to react negatively to challenges in the future.

Speak with Friends or Family You Trust

Speaking to a trusted family member or close friend is an additional way to become comfortable talking about your emotions. Try taking small steps when opening up to family and friends. Talking to people can help you decompress and relieve your stress simply by letting out how you feel with someone who will not criticize your thoughts and emotions

Friends and family can lend a sympathetic ear as they know you best, so they understand you on a personal level. They can provide valuable insight from their point of view that may help you realize how you handle daily stressors or irritants. They may help you recognize things that trigger or upset you,  and they can assist you in coming up with strategies to avoid those things or so you react differently. Remember to share your emotions and feelings when you are ready rather than feel forced to discuss them.

When people avoid speaking up about their feelings, there could be associated health risks. The more comfortable men become talking about their physical and mental health, the healthier they will be. Their relationships may become stronger, their self expression can grow, and they can more easily share their hardships, which may assist with early detection for illness. When you’re comfortable talking about your body, you are more confident to talk about when things don’t feel right or normal. 

Find what strategy works best for you, and then start opening up about your feelings!

For more information on colorectal cancer screening and managing mental health, visit FightCRC.org/mental-health.

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