Even though psychologist Ron Breazeale reports in "Psychology Today" that researchers typically find men are generally less stressed than women, there are times the stress may simply get the best of your boyfriend. No matter how emotionally strong your man may be, it's difficult to watch your boyfriend struggle as he stresses about his job, family or money. Regardless of the cause, you have the unique chance to help him manage and reduce his stress during these trying times.
Remind your boyfriend that you are there to listen to him vent about his day and process his feelings with you. Not every man is willing to share his feelings, so reassure him you are there to help, but don't push this if he isn't in the mood. Listening to why he is stressed reduces the load he carries himself but pushing him to talk before is ready may have the opposite effect.
Invite your boyfriend to head to the gym or go on a bike ride with you. Not only will you have the chance to spend time with your guy, but according to the Mayo Clinic, exercise results in the increase of both endorphins and body temperature which provide a natural stress reliever.
Cook a romantic meal for just the two of you. Take his mind off of whatever is causing the stress by making him forget for just a few moments as he chows down on your famous chicken casserole with rice. Choose any main dish with protein and carbohydrates, which Mayo Clinic indicates increases serotonin levels, producing a calming effect.
Present your boyfriend a gift basket filled with stress-relieving goodies. Include a few of his favorite snack items like chips or crackers. Also, consider putting a few pieces of chocolate in the basket. While studies are inconclusive whether or not the delicacy actually improves one's mood, it certainly brings a smile to most faces. Further reduce his stress and throw in a bottle of massage oil with a gift certificate for a massage given by you.
Organize a game night with mutual friends. He will appreciate your willingness to take on the role of social planner because he may not have the time to do so himself. Because social interaction can reduce stress, contact some of your closest friends and invite them to your home. Take care of setting up and cleaning up after the event so he can use the time to relax with his buddies.
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- Mayo Clinic: The Food and Mood Connection
- Mayo Clinic: Depression and Anxiety: Exercise Eases Symptoms
- Mayo Clinic: Massage: Get in Touch With Its Many Benefits
- ABC News: Can Social Interaction Help Me Cope With Stress?
- Pscyhology Today: Stress in America
- Pscyhology Today: Men, Women, Emotions and Communication
- Note the frequency of your boyfriend's stress level and encourage him to seek professional help if you notice his stress level is always above normal, no matter the situation.
Based in Texas, Lucie Westminster has been a writer and researcher since 1975. Her work has been published in journals such as "Psychological Reports" and "Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior." Westminster's interests include developmental psychology, children, pets and crafting. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Miami University.