3 Simple Strategies For Managing Stress, Anxiety, and Overwhelm | Dean Pohlman | Better Man Podcast Ep. 090

3 Simple Strategies For Managing Stress, Anxiety, and Overwhelm | Dean Pohlman | Better Man Podcast Ep. 090

For whatever reason, men are particularly bad at managing their stress, anxiety, and overwhelm. I’ve struggled with this myself. Everyone struggles with this. 

But why? 

As men, we’ve been discouraged to give our emotions the validation they deserve. Instead of confronting issues, we avoid them by turning into workalcoholics or exercise junkies. While these can be beneficial activities, they cause your emotions to bubble behind the scenes… Until you unleash them at the worst possible times. 

But there’s a better way to manage uncomfortable feelings like stress, anxiety, and overwhelm, so you actually overcome them. 

In this episode, you’ll discover: 

  • Why avoiding your emotions is a bigger problem than you think
  • 2 prerequisites you must have in order to confront and address discomforting emotions 
  • 3 simple, yet wildly effective strategies to address and conquer stress, anxiety, and overwhelm 

Listen now!

The Better Man Podcast is an exploration of our health and well-being outside of our physical fitness, exploring and redefining what it means to be better as a man; being the best version of ourselves we can be, while adopting a more comprehensive understanding of our total health and wellness. I hope it inspires you to be better!

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify

Use the RSS link to find the Better Man Podcast on other apps: http://feeds.libsyn.com/404744/rss

Episode 090 Highlights

  • Why “pushing through” stress like you would a tough workout makes it fester under the surface until you explode (even if it works in the short-term) (1:18) 
  • How men use exercise as a crutch to avoid uncomfortable emotions (and how to use your endorphins as a tool instead) (4:23) 
  • Do your thoughts keep running around in a circle like a dog trying to catch its tail? Here’s how to break free of this endless worry loop (10:41) 
  • How physically writing down your worries “deletes” them from your headspace (11:32) 
Episode 090: 3 Simple Strategies For Managing Stress, Anxiety, and Overwhelm - Dean Pohlman - Transcript

Hey guys, it’s Dean. Welcome to the Better Man podcast. Today’s episode is a solo episode, and I want to give you guys some tools in this for managing stress, anxiety, and overwhelm. If you listen to my previous podcast, you will understand. You’ll know that these are things that I’ve struggled with. You’ll know that these are things that pretty much everyone struggles with, whether they admit it or not.

And I think this is an important topic to cover, particularly in the world of men’s self-development, because I think there’s a tendency in this world, particularly for men, to use strategies that just go around, worry, that go around the stress, the anxiety, the overwhelm, and instead of dealing with it, you just force yourself to do something else. And this is a good short term strategy, but it doesn’t address the issue at the source.

It also doesn’t work if you are doing something that isn’t super masculine. If you’re doing something like trying to be a present partner, if you’re doing something like parenting, if you are doing something that doesn’t require, masculine qualities, like, I don’t know if it’s if it’s work related, if it’s pushing through something, if it’s pushing through a workout, those are things that you can, you know, you can push through or you can’t push through anxiety and get to the action.

But if it’s something that’s requiring you to be present with your partner, your wife, your spouse, your husband, whoever it may be, or be present with your kids, those are just I’m drawing these examples from my own life. Then just pushing through that stress doesn’t make it go away, and it prevents you from being present, prevents you from connecting with other people.

So while this strategy can be helpful in certain situations, it’s not a long term solution. And it’s also, not going to make those things go it’s not going to make that that stress, that anxiety or that overwhelm. It’s not going to make it go away by ignoring it. So instead, I want to give you guys some tools, some strategies that you can use to help confront those worries.

Head on and then be able to move through them. So instead of ruminating about them, or instead of continually worrying about them, instead of instead of just avoiding them, instead of actually dealing with them, we’re going to actually deal with them. So, that’s what we’re going to do in this really quick solo podcast. So these things may or may not be new to you.

They’re probably things that I’ve covered in the past here on the betterment podcast are probably things that you’ve heard about. But the reason for that is because these are basic, but they’re effective. They work. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel in this situation. These are things that you just have to be reminded to do because they’re effective and they work.

And if you can remember to do them when you are feeling stressed, worried, anxious or overwhelmed, then these can help tremendously. So, there are two prerequisites I will mention two being able to confront this anxiety, this stress, this overwhelm that you’re experiencing. The first thing you have to do is to stop distracting yourself. So there’s a lot of ways that we distract ourselves in order to deal, in order to not deal with these stressful feelings, the anxiety, the overwhelm, the worries.

So. And a lot of these activities that we do to distract ourselves are actually, I would say, beneficial activities or positive activities. Those are things, like exercise. Right. That could be a great distraction. It could be a positive activity or a beneficial activity, but it is a distraction, right. And the that’s not to say that you shouldn’t do it, because actually exercising or doing yoga or lifting weights, going for a run, going for a walk, these are things that can put you into a state where you are much better prepared to deal with the stress or the anxiety.

So what is actually a good idea to use? these activities, but recognize that this is not going to address the issue itself. All you’re doing is all you’re doing is distracting yourself. You’re or you’re putting yourself in a better state to be able to handle it. But if you just use the endorphins from your exercise or your workout and you avoid the worry or the anxiety that was being that was, that you were experiencing, then you’re just you’re just kind of shoving that away.

You’re shoving that down. Your compartmentalize. And yet for the for the for the short term, and it’s going to come back up later on. So it’s a good idea to use something like exercise to put you into a state where you can deal, with these uncomfortable feelings, but not to avoid them. Once you’ve done the exercise. a lot of ways that we distract ourselves, this could be, other activities, could be watching TV.

it could be using things like porn. It could be, drinking alcohol, using drugs. These are all things that we do to distract ourselves. So recognize that you should not be distracting yourself. the the way to move through stress, anxiety, overwhelm is to is to go through it, to confront it. And so just recognize if you are using strategies to cope with it to avoid the feeling of discomfort.

And, and don’t do that. The second thing is you need to put yourself in a situation where you can be present to experience this. So if you are, if there are a bunch of things going on, if you’re trying to have conversation with other people, if you are watching your kids, if you’re trying to listen to your spouse, talk about a problem that he or she is having, then you’re not going to be able to deal with this.

So you need to put yourself in a situation where you can be fully present with the struggle that you’re going through, and if there are people involved, then they should also be present with it. or at least be willing to if you want to send them an email, if you want to send them a text message, because those are helpful strategies.

I’m going to talk about that in a second. Here. But just make sure that you’re doing that with someone who’s going to give you the support that you want, who’s going to help you empathize with the situation rather than tell you to not think that way, and to just look on the bright side, because that’s not helpful. I know that for me, that was how I that was the environment that I grew up in.

Right? If you, if you have something that’s, that’s going on that you’re struggling with, then you talk about that and then in response, the people around you say, oh, well, it’s not that bad, because look at the bright side. And that’s a way of totally, that’s the opposite of acknowledging, what’s going on. So, you want to be acknowledged.

So make sure that if you are reaching out to somebody or you’re having this conversation with someone, that they are someone who is going to help you acknowledge what’s going on, to, to reaffirm that you’re experiencing what you’re feeling rather than just looking on the bright side, because that’s not helpful. So all right. So you need to be able to put your number one.

You need to you need to make sure that you’re not distracting yourself. you can use a distracting activity like exercise to put yourself in a better state to deal with the worry, but, watching TV, drinking those things are not going to help you dealing with the stress. that’s just going to, help you not deal with it in the present.

And then the second thing is make sure that you are in a situation where you can be present, where you’re not distracted. And if there are people that you’re doing this with that they are present and, in a good place to support as well. All right. Now we’re going to get into three really basic strategies for helping to manage stress, anxiety, worry and overwhelm.

Now, the first thing is really simple. Like I said, these are really simple strategies, but they’re effective. The first one is talking about it with a friend sharing your struggle. And I find that this happens. This works best when you share it with somebody who can empathize with that situation. So with that situation. So for me, if I’m having a, if I’m having some sort of anxiety or stress about money or about finances or about work related things, I’m going to reach out to friends who are also entrepreneurs or business owners.

So that’s so I’ll reach out to them. if I’m having, I don’t know. That’s that’s that’s that’s the example for me. But if you’re having a, if you’re having a struggle about, let’s say it’s about weight loss, then it can be, or if you’re worried that you’re not going to lose weight, if you’re worried that you’re just that that the process isn’t working, then you’re going to want to reach out to somebody who is also attempting to lose weight at the same time.

Or if you are worried about increasing your flexibility with a yoga program and you’re just kind of frustrated by the results, then it’s a good idea to reach out to other people who are also in a yoga program with you. So you want to make sure that you’re talking about it with a community or with people who can relate to that struggle.

And and if necessary, it’s helpful to explain to them what you’re hoping to get from this interaction. So if you are looking for, hey, I’m just looking for support. I’m like, hey, I’m not looking for advice. I’m not looking for a solution. I just want to say, hey, I’m really stressed about this and I’m looking for your support to help me with this so you can be direct with that and ask for what you want.

because nobody likes getting, unsolicited advice when you’re looking for support. So strategy number one here is to just talk about talk about it with a friend, share the struggle. And ideally you do it with someone who can empathize with whatever struggle you’re going through. The second strategy is to journal. And you guys know I love journaling.

I’ve talked about this a lot, and this is particularly helpful if you find yourself ruminating about something. And by ruminating about something, I mean that you find yourself in this loop without end. So my personal example of ruminating, would be when my dog died in July of 2023, I found myself ruminating on this over and over again.

It just didn’t make sense. And I kept having the same thoughts. And you think about it, and eventually you think you’re getting to a conclusion, and then you don’t get to the inclusion and you just start back over again. So if you find yourself ruminating about something, just the thoughts keep going in circles in an endless loop. Then I find that journaling is is really helpful for this.

another way that you can use your journal, as this is a strategy that I started using recently that was recommended to me by a new therapist. I’m seeing is to write all your worries out in a journal. And this is not a new strategy. This is something that, that I’ve heard from multiple people. Ryan Holiday, the author, stoic author, come to mind as well as Ryan Muncy, who’s, a friend of mine who wrote a book called, Fuck Your Feelings.

which is not what it sounds like, but, two strategies. The strategies here are to write out the things that are worrying you before you go to bed at a, at a, at the latest, before you go to bed and at a better time would be at the end of the workday, so that you can be fully present in the evening so that you can be more relaxed in the evening, more connected with the people in your household in the evening.

So this is something that I’ve been doing recently. I found a lot of benefit in doing this. Usually takes me about five minutes, and then by the end of me writing out all the different things that I’m worried about, I’m usually feeling a lot more present, a lot less stressed. And this is a really simple strategy. You just have to sit down, be present and do it.

So I’d highly recommend this. And then the last strategy that I’ll talk about and this is strategy number three is about I would define this as getting curious about the anxiety or the stress or the overwhelm. So instead of just looking at the surface level of whatever it is you’re going through, it’s good to have a sort of level of self-awareness, to be able to understand what is the deeper insecurity that it represents.

So if you’ve done any sort of self-awareness work to better understand yourself, you’ll probably know that that means better understanding. certain certain experiences from your childhood, childhood, maybe some defensive mechanisms that you adopted in order to feel safe, secure, and loved. So, for example, if you lived in if you grew up in an environment where negative emotions were, discouraged, where you felt like you couldn’t be connected if you shared negative feelings, maybe your parents didn’t know how to deal with them themselves.

And so whenever that happened, they would kind of shut you down. then you probably have some sort of baggage about experiencing negative feelings. So if you are going through some sort of worry, some sort of stress, some sort of anxiety, that is about experiencing something negative, quote unquote negative, because emotions are just emotions. They’re not Nazis.

They’re not negative. They just they just are. Then it could be that it’s a stronger feeling or that you’re ruminating on it, or that it just feels more significant than it does because it’s tied to something that happened when you were a kid. It’s tied to something that felt really uncomfortable for you as a child, and that’s why it’s as significant as it is.

So it’s a good idea to to get curious about the things that you’re worried about, to understand that, yes, there is a surface level, or there is, there is a there’s an immediately recognizable reason for the stress that has to do with something that’s happening, you know, in your life that day. But there is a deeper level to that, something that stems from a more significant experience from you when you were younger.

So being able to have that self-awareness of yourself, being able to analyze yourself, being able to to look back at significant experiences that you had as a child. or being able to to tie that to values that you may have certain things that are really important to you. then it it’s a it it helps you deal with that a lot more.

So a good example of this, I love talking about this because I had a really good experience with it. But going, going back to my experience of doing a solo retreat for myself, at the end of 2023, something that I realized about myself during that time was that, I, I had this I had this kind of insatiable need to continue to be doing things, doing things, doing things because I needed to get things done in order to feel like I was worthy of being loved, like I was enough.

And so as a result of that, I was constantly doing things, constantly filling my time, constantly trying to be as productive as possible. because I thought that if I could get a certain amount of things done, that I would reach that point where I felt worthy, and then I’d be able to just sit down and relax and say, I’ve made it now I can be loved.

And this is all things that I didn’t realize unless I actually sat down and thought about them. But the point of me saying this is that if you can tie whatever you’re worried to, to a deeper value, to something that has a a deeper meaning to you, then it helps it just it just helps make some sense of things and it helps you deal with it better.

So really quick again three super basic strategies. And these are things again nothing new but super basic and effective. Number one, talk about it with a friend. Ideally somebody who can empathize with the struggle and someone who, is is a good person to discuss this with someone who can actually empathize and be supportive. Number two, journal about it.

Write down things that are that are worried with you. Ask yourself questions. get really specific on what you’re worried about and why. And then number three, going a little bit further is to analyze that worry, to be really curious about it, to be able to tie it back to something that happened when you were younger, to be able to tie it back to a value that you have.

Try to understand why that issue or why that current stress, that anxiety, that that worry, that feeling of overwhelm, understand why it’s so powerful for you. And when you can do that, when you can name it, when you can associate it with something, and then when you can ultimately experience the feeling instead of running away from it, actually experience it with sit with it, recognize what’s going on in your body.

Recognize where the tension is in your shoulders, your neck, maybe in your solar plexus. It could be your head, maybe even your hips. Recognize feel what that discomfort is and then you’ll be able to move through it. So super simple podcast guys, but I hope you found that useful. These are things that I use in my day to day life that I found really helpful.

These are also things that, basic strategies that I’ve read about, that I know other people are using as well. And I think that, that’ll be helpful for you guys. So I hope you guys enjoyed this quick solar podcast. Hope it was beneficial for you. We’ve got a lot of great interviews coming out, over the next few weeks, so make sure to subscribe, however you’re listening to this and, so you don’t miss out.

We’ve got some good ones on on relationships coming out. We have some good ones on, communication coming out. I’ve also got some, some, some good solo podcasts scheduled. So lots of good stuff coming out here. make sure is so make sure you’re subscribed. And then if you enjoyed this podcast, be sure to leave a review for it on Apple Podcasts or on Spotify.

All right, guys, that’s all I’ve got for you today. Thanks for listening. I hope this inspires you to be a better man, and I’ll see you on the next episode.


Want to improve your sexual wellness, get stronger erections, and last longer in bed? Then join the FREE 7-Day Sexual Wellness Challenge here: https://shrtlnk.co/uA27H 

Want to unlock more flexibility and strength, reduce your risk of injury, and feel your absolute best over the next 7 days? Then join the FREE 7-Day Beginner’s Yoga for Men Challenge here: https://ManFlowYoga.com/7dc

Tired of doing a form of yoga that causes more injuries than it helps prevent? The cold, hard truth is men need yoga specifically designed for them. Well, here’s some good news: You can start your 7-day free trial to Man Flow Yoga by visiting https://ManFlowYoga.com/join.

Like what you’re hearing? Sign up for the mailing list:

Rate & Review

If you enjoyed today’s episode of The Better Man Podcast, hit the subscribe button on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen, so future episodes are automatically downloaded directly to your device.

You can also help by providing an honest rating & review over on Apple Podcasts. Reviews go a long way in helping us build awareness so that we can impact even more people. THANK YOU!

More Podcast Content

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Copy link