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Causes of Stress - MEN

Understand key causes and get insights into unique stressors for men, to help manage stress effectively, for a healthier, and more balanced life. Woman may suffer similar or the same stressors, we get that, but this page is about men.

Causes and levels will vary by individual. Check out the Old Bull Pain Scale score* for each. 

What if the causes of stress could be positives?

Each of these can bring joy, happiness and gratefulness if done right. Think about it.

Men at work:

Factors that contribute to work-related stress in males include:

  • Career pressures: Pressure to succeed, get promoted, earn more, deal with office politics and competition, follow uninspiring leaders can all create stress.  A great job you enjoy with an inspiring leader can have just the opposite effect. (Old Bull Pain Scale - 7)
  • Work-life imbalance: Balancing the demands of work, personal life, kids, aging parents all add up. You can also change with better time management and thinking outside the square. (Old Bull Pain Scale - 4.8)
  • Finances: Providing financial security for oneself and one's family. The responsibility of managing financial obligations. You either have this issue or you don't. On average most of us want to earn more and live beyond our means from time to time. (Old Bull Pain Scale - 7.5)
  • Job insecurity: For most of us a job can be a false sense of security and the pressure to perform to maintain social and financial obligations can be overwhelming. Perform well, make yourself irreplaceable and it can be the opposite and you deal with the stress of leaving. (Old Bull Pain Scale - 3.8)


Relationships issues can bring productivity to a standstill. Sometimes they do need a little work.

  • Conflict: Communication breakdowns, conflicts, or feelings of disconnection and growing dislike of behaviours or values. But relationships can also be great and make you happy. (Old Bull Pain Scale - 6.3)
  • Sex: Lack of intimacy, or the withholding of intimacy can create self-doubt and frustration which leads to stress. (Old Bull Pain Scale - 7.3)
  • Break-ups: Affairs and separation by either party create significant hurt, stress and anxiety especially where there are children involved and/ or there has been a lengthy relationship. The stress levels can make it hard to even work, let alone get out of bed. (Old Bull Pain Scale - 8.5)


  • Young kids: Dealing with a lack of sleep, constant care can impact work and relationships. Or they sleep well and you just love being a parent, all the time. (Old Bull Pain Scale - 6)
  • Parents: Parents requiring care, living with you, or needing financial support, can impact not only relationships but also finances if not managed carefully and be hard to deal with and riddled with conflict and guilt. In-laws can also generate a level of stress. (Old Bull Pain Scale - 6.8)
  • Parenting responsibilities: Balancing work and family obligations, managing the demands of parenting, and meeting the expectations of being a father. Not always easy and takes some skill and support. (Old Bull Pain Scale - 6)

Societal expectations and norms:

    • Emotional suppression: Men are not all great at expressing their emotions or talking about their feelings. The pressure to appear strong and unaffected can contribute to heightened stress levels. (Old Bull Pain Scale - 3.3)
    • Competitiveness and performance pressure: The constant need prove themselves, compete, and achieve success in the various domains of life. (Old Bull Pain Scale - 6.3)
    • Social isolation: Men may be less likely to seek support due to a reluctance to appear vulnerable or dependent. (Old Bull Pain Scale - 5)

    Health and body issues:

    • Health conditions: Coping with chronic health conditions, injuries, or managing weight-related issues. The impact on daily life, limitations, and fears about the future should not be underestimated. (No score allocated)
    • Body image pressure: Pressures to conform to certain body ideals, especially as a teenager can lead to body dissatisfaction, and low self-esteem. (Old Bull Pain Scale - 5.8)

    Managing stress:

    Managing stress effectively is crucial for maintaining overall well-being. Managing stress generally starts with a couple of key areas.

    1. Moving to a healthy lifestyle.
    2. Exercise and physical activity
    3. Social support and connections
    4. Mindfulness and relaxation
    5. Self-care

    Read more on coping with and managing stress here.

    * Old Bull Pain Scale is something we developed to build relativities into stress levels. Includes score on how long term the effect might be, the perceived stress level, the effort and time put into managing the stress and the ability to change it. Much of this is subjective and may be specific to individual situations.

    Disclaimer: The information provided by Old Bull Health in this article is for informational purposes and should not replace professional medical advice. Our content is not intended to be medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and thus reliance should not be placed on it. If you are experiencing symptoms, please consult a healthcare professional.


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