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A high-stress job must mean you’re a super-achieving, super macho, super man. Right?

Wrong. In fact the more stress a man has, the less macho he’s going to feel, because he will literally be losing #testosterone on a daily basis.

You might feel like you’re simply doing what it takes to become King of the Corporate Jungle, but the reality is you’re gradually destroying the very thing that gives you your drive, power and strength.

That’s because high stress totally wipes out a man’s testosterone levels, and when your T-level is low, it’s more than just your manhood that starts to droop.

So how does stress decrease testosterone?

Let’s imagine for a moment that a game-changing presentation has just been moved 3 hours earlier. Suddenly you’ve got to leap into action: documents must be ready, people need to be notified, transport needs to be rearranged, everything has to be repositioned to this new deadline.

Your body responds by activating your Fight-Flight mechanism and pumping you full of “stress” hormones (adrenaline and cortisol). You feel instantly more alert, super focused, totally energized. You. Are. Excited. Totally pumped! You give an awesome presentation and once that’s done your body gradually starts to stand down. It can release the DEFCON 1 alert, and return to homeostasis aka a healthy, balance system.

There's good stress, and there's bad stress.

In the 1930s, the endocrinologist Hans Selye coined this example as being ‘eustress’ or ‘good’ stress, since it actually has a very positive effect on our overall health. Our organisms are designed to cope with this kind of short-term, manageable ‘challenge’.

However, the opposite of ‘eustress’ is ‘distress’ – whereby the challenge is considered greater than our organisms can healthily respond to.

If, for instance, your deadline peak was then superseded by another ‘challenge’ and then yet another and another (as is common in today’s always-on business world), your body will quickly become overwhelmed, and your DEFCON 1 status remains jammed on. This means your body is perpetually flooded with powerful adrenaline and cortisol, and this then starts to negatively impact your overall health.

Where has all my testosterone gone?

Cortisol specifically suppresses testosterone production, so the longer this is coursing through your blood stream, the longer your body is not replenishing its testosterone levels. Gradually you deplete your reserves and become testosterone deficient which triggers a domino effect into ill health.

What are the medical effects of low T?

Low testosterone doesn’t just affect your sex drive, over a sustained period of time it also impacts how you look, feel, and think.

- Loss of muscle mass

- Loss of bone mass

- Erectile dysfunction

- Decreased sex drive

- Infertility

- Slow hair growth or hair loss

- Increased body fat

- Gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue in men)

- Extreme fatigue – low motivation to exercise

- Mental fogginess / lack of focus

- Irritability & mood swings

- Depression

Just in case you were wondering, going for a few drinks after a stressful day at work does not help - Brewers droop? Yep, alcohol also lowers testosterone levels.

So what can you do to increase Testosterone

and lower your stress?

Low testosterone levels are not only caused by high stress, so if you suspect your levels are low then you should see your doctor to check.

But if you think stress is a factor, then resetting your Fight-Flight mechanism through regular TRE sessions will allow testosterone to start synthesizing again. Here are some other ways to help you lower your cortisol levels:

- Sleep is very effective at lowering cortisol levels. Aim for 7 to 8 hours per night.

- Meditation & mindfulness exercises

- Yoga; the current number one cure-all, but it works.

- Walking in nature: forest bathing, hiking - just breathe in the green!

- Gentle exercise – but make sure not to stress yourself out! We’re not kidding… overdoing it with the weights can tip your balance the wrong way again. Know your edge.

Covid-permitting, there's nothing as healthy as a

12 second Hug.

Humans are social, tactile animals. For men who are working around the clock, or working away from home, they may go weeks, even months without getting a good hug from anyone!

It must be held for 12 seconds to activate the benefits. At 12 seconds, a hug releases oxytocin, which decreases cortisol which allows testosterone to synthesize, which increases your male health. Simple.

So next time you’re out with a male colleague, do both of you a favour and go in for a big, manly, 12-second, bear hug.

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