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7 Reasons Why You Might Be Suffering With Low Mood

No gentleman wants to go about his day feeling tired and fatigued, but in some point of our lives low mood will affect all of us. But what if you could easily identify what was causing your low mood? More shockingly, depression now affects 1 in 4 people. And the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 is suicide. What’s even more scary is, us as men, are struggling to deal with our mental health more than ever. With 79% of all suicides recorded last year being men. We’ve turned to mental health speaker Paul McGregor for his expert advice, he advocates identifying what’s causing your low mood as soon as possible, and here’s his 7 reasons to start with.

1. Low testosterone 

A recent study showed that levels of testosterone amongst men are lower than they’ve ever been. A lack of testosterone can lead to low sex drive, hair loss, increased body fat and low mood. So, when was the last time you checked your testosterone levels? To do so, speak to your doctors or use a service such as Medichecks to do the test yourself from home. There’s various different ways you can increase your testosterone levels, and every man’s different. But focus on exercise (weight training), eating well and getting enough sleep.

2. No meaning 

In the book “A Man’s Search for Meaning” Viktor Frankl said: “Those who have a why to live can bear with almost any how”. When you lack meaning in life, it becomes very easy to just accept it. To give in to normality, to follow the rules and as I like to say… exist rather than live. When you have meaning in your life it drives you forward, it makes life more exciting and it gives you more purpose to live. Meaning also helps with motivation, attaching the reason why you’re doing something will always make you more motivated. A common example is when actors get into shape for a role. They’re extremely disciplined with training and diet because the why motivates them. If they fail to get in shape, the role might be passed to another actor, someone else who will get the pay cheque, the exposure and the credit. What’s your ‘why’? What’s your purpose in life? It can be being the best Dad you can be, the best Son, Husband, or trying to impact people in a certain way. “Man’s main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life” – Viktor Frankl.

3. A lack of support  

How many people can you rely on to help you through the tough times? How big and reliable is your network of people that you can turn too? At times of extreme low mood, feeling isolated can be dangerous. Feeling like we have no one to turn to, to talk to, and more importantly help us get through it can make us feel alone. How many friends do you feel you could turn to for help? Who in your family would be there for you? Is there anyone else you can get support from? A lack of community is more prevalent now than ever before, with more time being spent connected on social media and neglecting real life relationships. Community is important, so build out your support network.

4. A Lack of sleep 

An obvious one that doesn’t need much explanation, sleep deprivation will contribute to low mood. There’s a huge rise in men stating that they’ve pulled all-nighters or are sleeping less because they’re hustling to become successful. But a lack of sleep isn’t cool, it’s nothing to brag about… it’s dangerous. Sleep is all about quantity and quality. You might be getting 9 hours sleep a night but is it good quality sleep? How many times are you waking up through the night? Are you falling asleep with Netflix still playing on the TV? Is there a chance that you’re sleeping too much? Experiment with your sleep, apps like Sleep Cycle make it easier to find what works well for you.

5. Bad nutrition  

If you eat badly, you’re going to feel rather bad too. Your body needs fuel, and if your body isn’t getting the right fuel, it’s not going to perform well for you. Treat yourself like a brand new Ferrari. You wouldn’t go and spend money on a brand new luxury sports car, drive it, and then fill it up with the wrong Petrol. Make sure you have a balanced diet, eating well for at least 80% of the week and treating yourself occasionally.

6. Bottling things up  

Does talking about how you feel make you weak as a man? There’s a huge misconception that expressing how we feel makes us weak, but in all honesty it shows strength. Some of the most successful, powerful male leaders are all very open with how they feel. They’re extremely self-aware. So, don’t be afraid to dive deeper into how you’re feeling and more importantly express how you’re feeling. This point alone could be a strong reason why suicide amongst men is so high, because we simply bury painful emotions, replace them with short term pleasure (cars, clothes, drinking, girls and work) and those buried emotions come back to haunt us. Telling your 9 mates down the pub that you’re struggling with low mood is pretty daunting, but there’s so many avenues to try. Find an outlet which suits you where you can express how you feel. Whether it’s to a loved one, a friend, barber a counsellor or even using a hotline such as the one provided by the charity CALM.

7. A Lack of vitamin D 

Finally, a lack of Vitamin D can also cause low mood. If you’re from the UK, sunshine is very rare. So, make sure you take a daily Vitamin D supplement during the winter season and make time to be outside for a short while each day during the summer months. Research has shown that Vitamin D (The Sunshine Vitamin) isn’t just good for bone health, it’s also good for combating depressive symptoms and fatigue.

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