We will all be dead soon and nothing is worth feeling miserable about all day every day. The good news is that even if you are stuck in negative thinking patterns this is simply your mind working exactly as it was designed to do in response to a perceived threat.
Threats used to be obvious — an enemy or predator — but they are far harder to understand in the modern world. We need the vocabulary to talk about them and explore their power over us.
One threat could be the risk of a loss in status, reputation or earnings. Men can have a problem with money because although we hear a lot about equal pay, men on the whole are still picking up the bill for dinner. So certain expectations haven’t gone away, and it’s not easy to articulate what this feels like, especially if things aren’t going well at work.
Another threat might be problems with access to children after a divorce, depriving a man of the intimacy him and his children need. Evidence published recently in The Boy Crisis shows that not having a father around affects the mental and physical health of boys most severely, and the effects can be permanent.
The body’s reaction to any perceived threat is always the same: fight, flight or freeze. If this happens repeatedly the stress hormones become toxic. It’s a living hell, and talking can be a route out.