According to a study published by Bloomberg 2015, ranking 74 countries based on the stressfulness of their living environments. Results reveal Nigeria is the most stressful country in the world. Does this surprise anyone? Not at all, as we are even used to it. Stress is part of our day to day life, following from news we get from the government, the epileptic power supply, with caricature poor road networks and never-ending traffic, to the erratic public transportation, workplace stress, high cost of living, the list goes on.
Did you know that eighty percent of modern diseases has its origin in stress? It’s no wonder the life expectancy in Nigeria, is a mere 53 years old compared to 78 years old in more developed countries like the United States. This alone answers the question to why men die faster than women in the country. For over 8 years, topping the list MONEY and WORK were the top two sources of stress for adults. Other common contributors included family responsibilities, personal health concerns, health problems affecting the family and the economy.
The National Institute of Mental Health defines stress as simply “the brain’s response to any demand.” Given that definition, not all stress is bad. It is simply a response. How harmful it ultimately depends on its intensity, duration and treatment. While its short-term consequence may include Fatigue, Irritability, Headaches, Intestinal problems, such as constipation, bloating or diarrhea, Anxiety or depression, Weight gain, Increased blood pressure, Low libido, erectile dysfunction or problems with regular ovulation or menstrual periods, its long-term results are more grievous.
Since stress has a major effect on overall health and wellbeing, it is worth exploring how it can be properly managed to avoid associated ill-health and untimely death.
1. Exercising is key
Even a brisk 10-minute walk can help you feel better equipped to deal with everything that lies ahead. “Exercise secretes endorphins, the hormones that improve our thinking, concentration, and mood,” Nesheiwat. Even better: There’s evidence that regular aerobic exercise may help maintain brain size and function as you age.
2. Don’t undervalue the power of sleep
Our body heals and regenerates when we rest and if you don’t get enough shut-eye, your body will actually increase its output of stress hormones. Make conscious effect to aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
3. Eat well
“What we eat fuels our system,” pay attention to what you eat daily. Always go for whole grains, fruits, and veggies, which contain complex carbs that boost production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps level out your mood. Avoid canned and processed food, junks and eat natural. Consume fruits in their season, as they help fight off free radicals and “vitamin C also helps to lower cortisol.”
4. Take care of your health
Stress is sometimes due to not what’s going on around you, but internal stressors, such as depression or diabetes. Always go for thorough medical evaluation at least twice a year
5. Reach out to friends
When you socialize and feel supported, your body produces more oxytocin. This “feel good” hormone reduces anxiety and generates a sense of calmness. It also has the power to reduce those cortisol levels.
6. Give your brain a break
Sometimes we should know when to take a break, shutting down from all the worries of life. This can be achieved through; Going for vacations, have shown to be of physical and psychological health benefits. Mindfulness exercises like yoga, relaxation, and meditation won’t magically make your stress evaporate, but they can help you better manage it.
While the worries of life seem to be never ending, and stress may be an unavoidable part of life, of what use is making all the money and no health to enjoy it? It’s no badge of honor staying stressed, but take necessary actions to reduce stress from your life.
We are faced with enough stress of life, most of which are self-inflicted in one way or another, sometimes without even realizing it. Too much pressure can make a lot of us angry, fed up or sad and even affects our health negatively. This pressure comes with lots of...