CURE ALL MOD­ERN ILLS

Di­a­betes! Can­cer! Al­co­hol! Pol­lu­tion! Glance at the head­lines and an un­timely death is seem­ingly one pint, ba­con sand­wich or road­side com­mute away. But you needn’t live in fear. With some fairly in­nocu­ous life­style pre­scrip­tions, you can out­ma­noeu­vre the

Men's Health (UK) - - In This Issue - WORDS BY TOM BAN­HAM - PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY HEARST STU­DIOS

Your guide to sur­viv­ing the com­ing health apoc­a­lypse…

01\ ANX­I­ETY!

The Fear Brexit. North Korea’s build-your-own­mis­sile kits. How many likes your av­o­cado frit­tata got on In­sta­gram. No won­der we’re liv­ing in the so-called age of anx­i­ety. In fact, it’s now the se­cond-largest men­tal health is­sue world­wide af­ter de­pres­sion, with al­most 17% of UK men af­fected. And with Trump’s fin­ger above the big red but­ton, our im­pend­ing an­ni­hi­la­tion is only fu­elling the fire.

The Truth Ac­cord­ing to Har­vard Health, not only does anx­i­ety come with the ob­vi­ous so­cial and men­tal im­pli­ca­tions, but it’s also been linked to gas­troin­testi­nal dis­or­ders such as ir­ri­ta­ble bowel syn­drome, chronic res­pi­ra­tory dis­or­ders and heart dis­ease. In fact, ac­cord­ing to a Nurses’ Health Study, peo­ple with high lev­els of anx­i­ety are 59% more likely to have a heart at­tack. But we are get­ting bet­ter at deal­ing with it. “We’re now see­ing an in­creased de­mand for sup­port,” says Nicky Lid­bet­ter, CEO of Anx­i­ety UK. “There is a grow­ing open­ness and hon­esty around men­tal health con­di­tions such as anx­i­ety.” Which isn’t to say your care­fully fil­tered brunch snaps don’t play a part. Uni­ver­sity of Chicago re­searchers found so­cial me­dia to be more ad­dic­tive than cig­a­rettes, while a Uni­ver­sity of Pitts­burgh study warns those on more than seven plat­forms – in­clud­ing Youtube and Linkedin – triple their odds of de­pres­sion and low self-es­teem. Un­like!

The Plan The an­swer is to get rid of your playlist. Not be­cause do­ing so sig­nals a re­turn to a prelap­sar­ian, anx­i­ety-free utopia, but be­cause when it comes to calm­ing down, there’s only one song you need. Weight­less, a track writ­ten in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Bri­tish Academy of Sound Ther­apy, was found by neu­ro­sci­en­tists to re­duce anx­i­ety symp­toms by up to 65%, ac­cord­ing to sub­jects’ heart rate, blood pres­sure and brain ac­tiv­ity, mak­ing it the most re­lax­ing song of all time. It might sound about as rock’n’roll as head­bang­ing to Cold­play, but when the forces of holis­tic reck­on­ing are con­verg­ing against you, a lit­tle respite can help you avoid the end of days, to­day and to­mor­row.

MEN­TAL TROU­BLES CAN FLY UN­DER THE RADAR. IT’S TIME TO TAKE AIM

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