It’s considered un-African for men to cry. According to African culture, men are created to be strong and are therefore not supposed to show any sign of pain or weakness. However, hiding one’s emotions can be very unhealthy. We tell you why
From a tender age, men are trained to be tough and to stick to their guns no matter what comes their way. It’s not a wonder then to see people laugh and make jokes out of men who express their feelings in public. This only affirms the unrealistic culture that has haunted the boy child silently since time immemorial. However, it’s healthy to get angry, hurt, fearful and disgusted. It’s also very healthy to convey your emotions provided that you do it in the right way.
Failure to do so may lead to suicide, alcoholism, mental illness, stress-induced heart attacks, as well as drugs and substance abuse. It is worth noting that men make up the majority of suicide statistics. Suppressing emotions could also lead to psychosomatic diseases – conditions in which psychological stresses adversely affect physiological functioning to the point of distress. Examples include migraines, chronic fatigue and tension, among others.
It is also common for one to suffer from upset stomach, nausea, constipation and diarrhoea when they suppress their emotions. This is because the brain and the gastrointestinal tract are linked. Suppressing emotions can also lead to weight gain. This is because the stress hormone cortisol is released when your body goes into ‘stress mode’. Cortisol causes one’s appetite to increase, making you eat more.
Here are reasons why men should not be afraid to express themselves.
Understand that you are not a superior being
Men need to be in agreement with the fact they are human and challenges are part and parcel of life. At no time is a man supposed to feel as a lesser being because he cried in a public forum, or got angry and people were not happy with him. Expressing your feelings gives you inner peace hence enabling you to live a healthier life.
You find relief when you express yourself
They say a problem shared is a problem half solved. While people may take this lightly, it’s true. When you offload a problem, you become free in your heart and you are able to face the day with boldness. Shying away from sharing the challenges will only hurt you and sometimes end up hurting others.
You prevent emotional numbness
When you get used to suppressing your emotions, you become numb. This will see you accept everything and anything that comes your way hence living a very difficult life.
Failure to express your feelings makes you lose your values
A simple research can reveal that the number of men indulging in alcohol and drugs is higher than that of women. The reason being most men don’t know how to express their feelings and the end result will be seeking solace from drugs hence living a reckless life. Burying one’s head in the sand will not help you: you have to confront the bull by its horns, as this is the only way out.
Emotions are what make us humans
They give us the ability to rejoice, to grieve, or to regret a wrong we have committed. By suppressing their emotions, men could be systematically cutting themselves off humanity. On the same note, ignoring one’s emotions has led many men away from seeking professional help in case of sickness, which is detrimental to their health.
While men are encouraged to open up, it’s not recommended to blow up with every emotional response. It’s advisable for one to let it out slowly with some thoughts on it. Speaking up is the best form of emotional liberation; practice it with wisdom.