Men face potential health threats that are often different in symptoms, effects, and severity when compared to women. The biggest threats to men’s health are heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injury. Thankfully, most men’s health risks can be addressed proactively and, in many cases, are preventable through healthy lifestyle choices, such as a proper diet, regular exercise, and commonsense.
Our bodies suffer through illnesses and accidents and some are unavoidable. Taking care of your body also includes scheduled maintenance and screening examinations to detect illnesses at an early stage, which increases the potential for cure and a return to health. Learning to listen to the body's warning signs and symptoms is the same as paying attention to the check engine light in your car, neither should be ignored.
The life expectancy for a man has increased dramatically in the past 50 years. How long we live is important; however, the quality of life is equally important. The ability to enjoy life to its fullest requires investing time and effort into health maintenance and disease prevention. A large part of this is having a positive attitude.
A healthy lifestyle is not just an absence of disease, but an opportunity to enjoy the years of life available to each person. Medical care can help the body maintain its performance as it ages, but psychological care is equally important to maintain a sense of purpose and peace-of-mind. By psychological care, I don’t necessarily mean professional mental health support (which, of course, may be necessary for some), but the willingness to engage in introspection, self-examination, and a robust inner dialog to regularly question what you’re doing and why.
But even with proper maintenance, the human body – like all machines – can and does break down. If you’re a man facing a health crisis, there are a number of issues you must address in order to successfully deal with your illness or injury.
First and foremost is understanding what it is that you face so that you can intelligently deal with it – both with yourself and your loved ones, as well as with healthcare providers. You must always be your most engaged advocate. The more you know, the better you are able to work with your doctor as a partner in addressing your specific health issue so that your treatment is tailored to you and your unique needs. Research enables you to act more effectively to a health crisis instead of reacting to the physical and emotional impact of it.
Immediately behind the need to understand your situation is the need to address its other impacts – specifically your ability to work and earn an income. Loss of income can be devastating and significantly increase stress. The best approach is to think through all of your direct and alternative income sources and ongoing expenses so you can plan for a period of time with reduced or no income. Loans, credit, savings, and even insurance claim settlements are all sources of cash that can see you through a health crisis income drought. Some individuals who work at large companies may have long term care insurance that covers a number of health issues, but often those plans reduce income to 60% percent of the person’s normal income. Thinking through this and other resources and then coming up with a plan can minimize financial stress as much as possible, shifting the focus to getting well.
This is where journaling comes in. Keeping a journal is a great way to not only record your diagnoses, treatments, and progress; it’s a way to explore your thoughts, reactions, and plans to address your health and situation. Journaling can aid in the process of exploring all of the options you can do on your own to improve your underlying health and speed recovery in support of medical efforts.
Diet, exercise, and proper treatment are the fundamentals for addressing the overwhelming majority of health issues. Journaling can be your tool for keeping track of it all and exploring what works and what doesn’t. The process of writing is a highly effective way to peel back the various elements affecting your health and recovery and manageably work on them.
If you’re lucky enough to be healthy now, journaling can still be useful, enabling you to explore a host of “what ifs” so that when a health crisis does raise its ugly head, you’ll be better prepared to attack and overcome it.
Are you trying to managing the stress created by a health crisis? Learn how to manage your emotions and deal with the stress by downloading the eBook titled "The Secrets to Finding the Internal Compass to Power Through Life's Events."