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My First Blog Post

Hypertension

Happy Sunday to you all

I already feel great that you are reading my blog. Thank you. You have made my day!!

This is my first blog

Hypertension is referred to as the ‘Silent Killer’

This stems from the fact that it dose not WARN the sufferer!!

All other diseases give a warning recognized as symptoms of the disease. Common symptoms of diseases include pains, fever, cough, vomiting, difficulty in breathing , jaundice, weight loss ETC. Hypertension on the other hand does not give any symptoms. it gradually damages the blood vessels and some organs in the body.

The blood pressure is recorded as two numbers eg 120/80. An elevation of more than 140 for the numerator or 90 for the denominator is regarded as Hypertension. Many persons are not aware that they have hypertension because they may never have checked.

You can check you blood pressure in any nearby clinic, health centre of hospital. it is as easy as ABC

The point for today is ‘ CHECK YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE’

Please ensure that you check your blood pressure.

Have a great week

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

Conclusion on Stress Management

Hi everyone

Today is the conclusion on Stress Management.

The following are the other steps principles in the management of Stress:

1. REST AND RELAXATION:
In today’s busy world, the concept of ‘rest and relaxation’ looks a bit impractical. There is virtually no time for anything else after work, caring for the children, caring for a sick family member, other social or spiritual responsibilities. However, you still need time for rest and relaxation. You can reduce your work load as earlier discussed to get some rest. You can also get snatches of rest at work. This can be a 15 minute nap in the office, just bending your head for some few minutes. Ideally there should be a lunch break at the office. This period is important to not only have lunch but also have a 10 minute rest.
It is very wise to relax with persons whose company you enjoy as earlier written. This is in the form of visitations, birthday parties, weddings and other celebrations. It is wise to avoid wild parties riddled with alcohol and recreational drugs as these situations lead to alcohol abuse, substance abuse, rape and other social vices with consequent Stress.

2. SLEEP;
Sleep is extremely important. William Shakespeare called in the ‘Balm of great minds’. Sleep is refreshing and restorative. The duration of goodnight sleep ranges from 2-3 hours in new born babies to 4-6 hours in the elderly. Most adults require 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Inadequate night sleep leads to headaches, poor concentration, poor performance at work, irritability and all. Please find the time to sleep.

3. GOOD FOOD
Once again, good food is very important in the management of stress. We have already discussed the importance of good food in the prevention of hypertension, Dementia, Stroke and Breast cancer. Ensure that you eat the ‘Healthy African Diet’. Features are fresh, unprocessed food, no additives, plant oils, fresh fruits and vegetables and lots of water. Remember to reduce salt intake.

4. EXERCISE
Sedentary life style is the bedrock of numerous diseases. You need to exercise for at least 30 minutes three times every week. Registering in a gym is wonderful. However, this may not be feasible for most of us. Hence we can incorporate exercise in our everyday activities: a concept known as NEAT (Non exercise Activity Thermorigenesis). This includes using the stair case instead of the elevator, walking, standing to take calls, watch TV, do domestic chores ETC. Deep breathing exercises are effective when there is acute stress; it helps in immense relaxation.
Some other people believe in some other principles like yoga, acupuncture and meditations: I do not know how they work; hence, I do not practice these principles.

5. FINALLY EMBRACE CHRIST AND FAITH IN HIM.
I am a Christian by the grace of God. I believe in the saving power of my Lord Jesus Christ. I believe in Faith in Christ and that Prayer can move mountains. This does not mean that your life will be ‘A bed of Roses’. It rather means that with ‘Jesus in your boat’, it is Peace be still. In addition, MIRACLES may happen and I have seen quite few. My writing this blog is one such.

In conclusion, I have shared the little I have learnt of Stress and Stress Management. I hope you found it useful in the reduction of your Stress.

Thanks you so much for reading

Further steps in Stress Management

Hi everyone

We are still `looking at the principles in Stress Management. Some other principles are as follows:

1. SUPPORT SYSTEM
Everyone needs a support system. People who have a good support system can pull through a lot of challenges. Members of the support system include the following;
Family: Family members are a great support system. This is because of their love and care for many years. They know your strengths and weaknesses and generally want the best for you. Granted, some of the stress may arise for family feuds, most members of the family form a great support system. They are particularly supportive in cases of works stress, poverty and illnesses.
Friends: Good friends are wonderful in times of trouble.
Support Groups: Support groups are extremely effective. It gives you the opportunity of meeting persons who had similar challenges. These include Alcohol anonymous, Stroke or Cancer survivors, Groups against violence, Veterans association……….
The Church: The members of the church also form a great support group because of similar beliefs. Spiritual leaders like pastors generally love, care and support their members. Painfully, in some cases, the members are judgmental. This is terribly wrong. If you can’t do any good, please do not do any harm.
Others are colleagues, mentors, neighbours ETC. Note that it is always wiser to choose your support (friends, family, church, Spiritual leaders, church members) from the same sex as yourself. This ensures safe boundaries; inappropriate relationships have been formed in time of trouble leading to more stress and disastrous consequences.

Share the problem with your support system.
Having noted that we all need a support system, it is wise to confide in someone. Sharing the problem goes a long way: a problem shared is half solved! Some persons keep all the issues to themselves. This ‘bottling up’ is very common in cases of domestic violence, sexual abuse, errant or badly behaved children. Granted sharing personal issues may be wrongly handled or blown up; confiding in someone is a risk. However, it is very beneficial to confide in one or two trusted persons. You may get some insight on how to navigate your own challenges and issues. In some cases, you may hear of worse cases making your own issues pale in comparison. This therefore gives you the strength to face the challenges.
Spend time with those you love (family, friends, colleagues). Spending valuable time with those whose company you enjoy is awesome. You have an opportunity to laugh again. Remember that ‘LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE’. Learn to laugh irrespective of your situation and circumstances.

HELP OTHERS
Helping others is a wonderful way of handling your stress. It takes you out of yourself. Wrapping yourself inside a package makes a very small package. Going out there to help others in whatever you can enlarges you in many ways. There are many ways of helping others. Financial help is just one way and it helps remarkably. Some of these include school fees, rent, transport fare, hospital bills and the like. Other ways of helping include running errands, babysitting, laundry, teaching, praying or just LISTENING. As often as possible, make yourself available to help others who are undergoing challenges.

Thanks for reading

Healthy Management of Stress 3

HEALTHY MANAGEMENT OF STRESS 3

Hi everyone
Welcome to a new week as we conclude on Stress Management. Today we will be looking at some other principles as follows:

1. ACCEPT THINGS YOU CAN’T CHANGE
This principle is difficult to discuss; I can hear some of us saying ‘It’s not my portion, there must be a change’. The painful truth is that some sources of stress are UNAVOIDABLE. Bad experiences and events happen and they happen to people. Painful as this is, you may have to accept them because they can’t be undone. These include death of a loved one or serious illnesses, Economic recession, Rape, betrayals, late marriage, infertility and others. I am sorry but you have to accept these. You will note that in the Holy Bible, Apostle Paul had a certain besetting issue. He called it a messenger of Satan. He prayed fervently three times and the reply of the Lord was ‘My grace is sufficient for you , my strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor 12: 8, 9). In essence, the prayer was never answered; Paul had to live with it. The death of a loved one is very painful and alters a lot of the family dynamics. However, you can’t live your whole life on if only my father, mother, sister or husband was alive, If only my father did not divorce my mother, I should have married so so and so person. If only I didn’t have the accident where I lost my leg, if only I did not lose my job ETC .

Can we remember the Serenity prayer written by American Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) ht
God grant me the
Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
and Wisdom to know the difference.

Another thing you may have to accept is the behaviour of people. The painful truth is that People do not change. Hence, please do not try to control the behaviour of other people. Bad behaviour causes a lot of stress. This is the reason you take time to train children and impart values to them early in life. Once children have the right values, they usually grow up as responsible adults. On the other hand, adults who are already formed rarely ever CHANGE!!11. Only the Almighty God can change any man/woman. The expectation that the person will change and become what you wish causes a lot of stress especially in relationships. It is wise to change your own attitude and change your expectations.
Forgiveness is very important when it comes way of accepting and moving on. Hmmm, this one is tough. Forgiveness is not always easy (believe me I know). There are certain experiences that pain no matter how much you try. The thoughts and pains never seem to go. However, forgiveness makes it easier to move on.

2. THINK POSITIVELY
It is wise to think positively in most of the cases. Having ‘supposedly difficult’ colleagues or relationships eventually prepare us for us for future relationships. If you are overworked, you are actually being prepared to handle difficult and bigger challenges in the future. I have seen persons who had horrific bosses being grateful many years later for being passed through fire. In addition the situation will give you the opportunity to learn new skills at work, discipline, leadership skills, time management ETC. Hence think positively and look at the big picture. You may be going through stress today, but years later you will find that you are grateful for all the stress.
Thanks for Reading

Healthy Management of Stress 2

Healthy Management of Stress 2

Hi everyone

Today, we will look at some other ways as follows:

1. ALTER THE SITUATION
Another method of handling stress is to alter the situation and make it nonexistent. You need to figure out what you can do to change things so the problem doesn’t present itself in the future. Like noted yesterday, the first step is to have an honest appraisal and assessment of the source of your stress.

In order to alter the situation it is pertinent to ‘Plan and Organize’. He who fails to plan is actually planning to fail. There is every truth in the above statement. Some of the issues that cause us so much stress stem for our lack of plan and organization. I fondly remember my mother’s organization and planning. We grew up in the days of ‘Christmas clothes’ for children. My mum always bought ours by the last week of August. She avoided the ‘season rush’ for clothes, other apparels, Christmas decorations and even groceries when the prices of such goods tripled. We therefore wore quality but ‘cheap’ (cheap because they purchased very early) clothes. In fact I have a friend (a medical Doctor in the US) who waits to buy clothes when they are on sale. That is wisdom and prudence!! It takes off a lot of financial Stress is almost nonexistent when you plan well. Plan your finances (I am guilty here), timing, preparation for examinations and interviews and all. Just getting to the park or commencing the journey early makes for easier ride when the road is challenging. It is wise to get to the airport early and avoid ‘missed flights’ which cause a lot of stress both financial and otherwise.

Compromises may be needed in some cases. Note that ethics, standards and quality should NEVER be compromised. The compromise should be in the area of personal opinions or views. Inability to compromise is one huge cause of marital crises and stress. Family decisions like where to live, children’s schools, the church to attend, culinary styles surprisingly cause a lot of marital disharmony and stress. These issues should be discussed amicably with both parties ready to make some compromises.
Time management; Time management is a bit like plan and organize. Some of the issues that give us stress arise from time overload. Some of us take on too much as already noted yesterday. Please it is wise to manage your time better. Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber was an officer in the US military, pursuing her Masters degree as well as contesting for beauty pageants. She credits discipline and effective time management for her ability to do all three. Please manage your time well; it reduces a lot of stress.

2. ADAPT TO THE STRESSOR
Another way of managing stress is to adapt to the stressor. In essence, if you can’t change the stressor, then change yourself. This is especially important in the home. Granted we all have our individual differences and preferences, there are situations where you can adjust to the other party. Note that this does not mean to lower your standards and learn to steal, lie , sleep around or use drugs. It means that you can learn to sleep with lights on, wake up early in the morning, learn to cook the meal a bit differently, adjust to a smaller house or car ETC.

In some cases, most of the stress is caused by unmet expectations. We all have our expectations of marriage, relationships, jobs and all. Having another person do the same thing differently may cause us a lot of stress. It is not wise to compare one person with another. Please note that we are all different individuals. Your mother does it this way and so your wife must do it same way. The last pastor, HOD, teacher, supervisor, roommate, colleague, friend ….did it in a certain way and that becomes your expectation of the next person. What the next person is doing may not necessarily be wrong but just different. You may need to change your attitudes and change your expectations.

Finally, please set realistic attainable goals. It is not easy to have a busy job, parent your children, run a business, get more degrees and pastor a church all at the same time. I am sorry, there is going to be a ‘Give’. One or two will suffer significantly amidst the stress you will go through. Please set attainable goals. Goals and deadlines are good; it falls into the category of ‘Good Stress’.

Thanks for reading

Healthy ways of managing Stress 1

Hi everyone

Yesterday, we discussed the unhealthy ways of managing stress. These ways cause much more harm on the long run. Today we will start discussing the steps in managing our stress in a healthy manner.
You are welcome.

The healthy steps often involve some personal life style changes. We will discuss two of these today.

1. IDENTIFY THE SOURCE OF STRESS
The first step is to have an honest assessment and appraisal of yourself (strengths and weaknesses). What is the cause of the stress? Oftentimes, we have a way of dissociating ourselves form the cause. We prefer to identify some other person, situation or condition for our stress. Start by looking closely at your habits and attitudes.

In the case of stress caused by poverty or lack start by looking at your earning power and potentials. The reason you are in lack may be because you have not explored all avenues of earning. Some of us keep waiting for white collar jobs; or certain types (or class) of jobs. Please pick any available job no matter how small; it is a start (you can grow). Any little earning will reduce the stress of poverty. Perhaps, you are waiting for ‘Big Business’? It is not easy to raise loans these days. Those who got loans (some from money lenders) are still suffering under the burden of the debt. Please do not wait for big money: start with ideas. Are you overspending? Some of us overload ourselves with bills. We make so many purchases (most are unnecessary) on credit.

If there is stress in the home (bad marriage, divorce, separation, poorly behaved children, domestic violence ETC) it is wise to look at your won contribution. It takes two to tango. The same goes for stress in the workplace. You can complain about your horrible boss; how about your are coming, your numerous errors, your lackadaisical attitude and poor work ethics. You have to accept responsibility for your role in creating or maintaining it, if not, your stress level will remain outside your control. A little change in your self may just be what you need.

2. AVOID UNNECESSARY STRESS
This is akin to the first step. Many of us overload ourselves with activities and responsibilities at work in church, socially or otherwise. We have too many fish to fry. For some it is in expenditures. WE must have our babies abroad, go on holidays, send our children to the most expensive schools, live in high brow areas, drive the most expensive cars, wear designer wears and generally keep up with the Joneses. Please you must know your limits and stick to them. You will spare yourself a lot of stress. Please learn to say ‘NO!!.

In the place of work, it is wise to delegate duties some of the duties. If there is any other person who can do it, let him or her do so. Women please delegate some house hold chores to your children. They may not do it well, but they will learn and gradually take over the chores; the sooner, the better.

It is wise to avoid red-button topics. Issues of race, religion, ethnicity, family, alumni, denominations ETC are discussed with so much passion. Nobody wants to admit that that which he/she belongs to or believe in is not good enough. Wars, religious and race riots have been caused by ‘supposedly simple’ conversations or actions. Another common cause of stress is the traffic. It is wise to find a way around it. This may include a new route, earlier timing, relocation ETC.

Painfully, you have to avoid people that stress you: this may not sound ‘Christianly’ but there are persons who give you ulcers. Please let go of such toxic relationships or keep away for awhile.

Thanks for reading
We will continue tomorrow

Unhealthy ways of managing Stress

Hi everybody

From the foregoing, you will agree with me that so many of us are under stress. This may arise from our homes, academic activities, relationships, office, business, deadline to meet and so on and so on. There are many ways of managing stress. Some of the methods are healthy while some are unhealthy.

Today, we will start discussing these various ways. You are welcome.
Unhealthy ways of managing Stress

1. Alcohol: The use of alcohol is probably the most common way of managing stress. Many people who do not take alcohol actually start drinking alcohol when under stress. Those who drink alcohol may start drinking more. A common saying is ‘Drowning my Sorrows’ in Alcohol. Painfully, it is not only the sorrows that are drowned. Most persons eventually drown themselves along. Taking Alcohol is a terrible way to handle stress.

2. Using substance/drugs; The use of substance and or drugs is another unhealthy way of handling stress. Most of the abused medications usually make the person to ‘feel good’; some relieve pains and aches or help the person to sleep better. The person therefore keeps taking more and more to feel good. Eventually the person becomes an addict. Drug or substance addiction is a terrible situation which eventually destroys the person.

3. Overeating/Under eating; Many people response to stress with either excessive or reduced consumption of food. This is common in those who have depression. The persons who overeat end up with obesity and obesity related diseases. The ones who under eat end up with ulcers and malnutrition (Vitamin deficiencies are very common).

4. Excessive Sleep; Some others handles stress by sleeping excessively. These people are generally referred to as ‘lazy people’. It’s like they just go to bed to avoid ‘seeing the next day’. They are like the ostrich who buries his head in the sand to seeing danger. Clearly, this method does not work as the danger looms and eventually catches up with the ostrich. Please, do not go to sleep, you need to wake up and face the issues.

5. Procrastinating; Procrastination is another unhealthy way of handling stress. As I write this sentence, I realize that I am guilty of this procrastination: Yes ooo, writing this blog doesn’t make me perfect). It means that I do not know it all and so I make mistakes also. However, I am ready to accept my mistakes as well as share what I have learnt thus far.

6. Filling up every minute of the day to avoid facing problems; This is another unhealthy way of handling stress. Some persons ensure that they are too busy. They fill all the hours with one programme, activity or another. This is another way of putting the head in the sand.

7. Taking out your stress on others: This method is common also in those who are under a lot of stress. This includes lashing out, angry outbursts, violence (physical, emotional, psychological, sexual violence and all). The unlucky recipients are usually members of the family (spouses and children), co workers, colleagues, friends and other close persons. This method destroys not just the person but it also destroys wonderful relationships.

8. Suicide/Murder: Painfully, this is the worst ways of handling STRESS. Some persons totally loose it and either kill themselves or others. Lately in Nigeria we have heard of persons who either jumped into the lagoon or taken ‘Sniper’ to ‘End it All’. Is there someone out there who thinks that it is over?
PLEASE IT IS NOT OVER UNTIL IT IS OVER!!!!

Let’s start talking about the HEALTHY WAYS tomorrow.
Thank for reading

Negative effects of Stress

Hi everyone

You are welcome to a new week

We started discussing Stress last week. Today, we will be looking at some of the many negative or bad effects of stress.

The general effects of stress include impaired cognitive performance, the suppression of functions of the thyroid gland, blood sugar imbalance and reduced density of bone and muscle. Others are increase in blood pressure, poor wound healing and increase in abdominal fat (yes, increase in abdominal fat). This increase in abdominal fat may arise for poor feeding habits, alcohol ingestion and or poor exercise.

Specific effects of stress are as follows:
Effects on the mental functions include forgetfulness, poor concentration, poor judgment, anxiety, constant worry and seeing only the negatives. In essence, the person under stress does not function optimally at his or her job. Such a person makes many mistakes or generally under performs.

Emotional effects include moodiness, irritability, short temper and inability to relax. The person feels overwhelmed, lonely, isolated, depression and unhappiness. Such a person is difficult to be around; family members and friend start complaining.

The physical effects are aches and pains, diarrohea or constipation, nausea, chest pains, dizziness, frequent colds, loss of sex drive ETC.

Some of the effects on the behaviour include eating more or less (weight gain or loss) as well as sleeping too much or too little. Others include isolation, procrastination or neglecting responsibilities. Some persons may have nervous habits like nail biting, pacing around and excessive fidgeting. Some resort to using alcohol, cigarettes, or recreational drugs; these lead to addictive disorders.

It is worthy of note that Stress plays a huge role in triggering or worsening diseases.

Some of the common disease that are affected by stress are as follows:
Hypertension (elevated blood pressure): Hypertension also called the ‘Silent Killer’ as noted months ago in this blog. Hypertension destroys the blood vessel with subsequent destruction of the eyes, kidneys, heart and brain. This leads to other diseases like Stroke, Heart Failure, Heart attack, kidney failure —–. Stress also leads to abnormal heart rhythms, palpitations, headaches and sleep disorders.

Stress also leads to allergies, Diabetes, thyroid disease, skin conditions, lack of menstruation and sexual disorders.
The poor appetite may lead to ulcer, while over eating will lead to obesity and further health issues. Others diseases are cancers; Stress predisposes to many cancers.Furthermore, there may be dependence disorders like Alcohol, smoking, and drug addiction.

In children, stress can cause difficulties in speaking and learning. Such children do not do well at school. Stress in the home as well as bullying at school cause poor performance in children. In addition the children may also develop behavioural issues. In view of this, it is essential to ensure that the home is a comfortable and safe haven for children.

Thanks for reading.

Types and Sources of Stress

Hi everyone

Welcome

Today we will go further to discuss the types and sources of Stress.

TYPES OF STRESS
There are basically two types of Stress; EUSTRESS (Good or positive stress) and DISTRESS (bad or negative stress)
Eustress /good stress exerts a healthy effect and makes us to feel good. It only occurs for a short period of time and gives us the ability to generate our best performance or maximum output. This is the most recognizable type. It commonly occurs when there are deadlines to meet, examinations and interviews, accidents, sudden illness or bad news in the family ETC.

In these situations, the ‘Normal stress response’ is activated. Such a person is has extra strength, agility, focus and concentration. The person is able to navigate and achieve great feats.
When the stress becomes overwhelming, such a person has DISTRESS.

DISTRESS
There are three types of Distress: Acute, Acute Episodic and Chronic

Acute Stress
Common causes of acute stress have already been mentioned like deadlines to meet, examinations and interviews, accidents and sudden illness. The stress is worse when there are two or more events at the same time. Some of the features are anger or irritability, anxiety, and depression. There may be headache, back pain and jaw pain. The person may also have heartburn, acid stomach, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation. The blood pressure and heart rate increases. Others are sweaty palms, palpitations, dizziness, cold hands or feet, shortness of breath, and chest pain.
Acute stress can crop up in anyone’s life, and it is highly treatable and manageable.

The second type is Acute Episodic Stress.
This type is seen in Type ‘A’ individuals who take on too much. They are always in a hurry, disorganized, short tempered, anxious and tense. The painful thing is that they underachieve. This type is also seen in ‘Worry warts’. These persons worry over everything. Hence they are always anxious and tense. They also underachieve on the long run.

Chronic Stress
Chronic stress is the most severe form of stress. It stems from the stress of unrelenting demands and pressures for seemingly interminable periods of time. The grinding stress that wears people away day after day, year after year and gradually destroys bodies, minds and lives.

Sources of Chronic Stress
There are many causes of stress. Stress in the home may arise from bad marriage, separation or divorce. Stress may also arise from an illness/ death of spouse, family members, near relative or friend. Other common causes are poverty, in-laws, lack of pregnancy, sex of the baby, children’s behaviour or poor performance, violence and sexual abuse. Stress in the home is often destructive and actually kills since the person contends with it every day. Most persons will benefit from counseling.

Stress at work arises from meeting demands and deadlines at work, excessive work pressure, poor relationships with colleagues, favouritism and sexual harassment. Other sources include, threats: physical threats, social threats, financial threat, other threats and fears setback to your position in society/status quo. Stress in the office may be better managed especially after promotion or transfer.

Thanks for reading

Stress Management 2

Hi everyone

Welcome

This week, we are discussing Stress Management
We have noted earlier the ‘Normal Stress Response’ by the human body. This response is seen once there is danger or threats like running from a lion or snake, in the war front, when there is a fire outbreak….. . In our modern society however, stress doesn’t always let up as the source of our stress may not be this ‘Primitive’. Many of us harbor anxiety and worry about daily events, relationships, finances etc. Therefore, the stress hormones continue to wash through the system in high levels, never leaving the blood and tissues. In essence, the stress response that once gave ancient people the speed and endurance to escape life-threatening dangers runs constantly in many modern people and NEVER shuts down.
Hence, many people are under a lot of stress.

Noteworthy is that stress is highly individualized and depends on many variables. Such variables include the following:

1. The novelty; The novelty or newness of the experience matters. It is easier for someone who has had or witnessed a similar experience to bear the stress than when the experience is entirely new. A person who had experienced poverty and thrift in management of funds as a child is more likely to cope with joblessness or economic recession than one who was born with a ‘Silver Spoon’. Such a person has had a prior preparation. This explains why Nigerians and students from the developing world perform extremely academically well when they study in the developed countries. This is mainly because they had withstood terrible conditions in their home countries to acquire an education. Being in a better academic environment, these students excel having overcome more dire challenges; they have been well prepared.

2. Genetic makeup and temperament: Human beings all differ in their nature and temperaments. We all do not respond or react in the same way. Hence some persons may go into depression after a traumatic experience while another person may bear it and even establish a foundation based on the bad experience.

3. Rate; The rate of the events also impart greatly on the individual. Having recurrent issues can be overwhelming for any human being. The rate of occurrences is often an issue.

4. Intensity/Degree; The more intense the event, the more stressful. Ill health causes a lot of stress in the family. However, a mild flu is a far cry from cancer. The intensity of the pains, suffering and incapacitation differ significantly and as such cause different levels of Stress.

5. Duration: This is self explanatory. Just having a stressful condition for few days differs from having a problem that lasts for years or even decades.

6. Socio-cultural factors; Our cultures, religions and beliefs also affect us significantly. In a religion or culture that practices polygamy, a woman may not be upset when her husband takes a second or third wife. It is normalcy to her; in fact it is actually expected. This is in contrast to the woman whose religion and culture believes and practices monogamy. Another common issue is that of child bearing. In the African culture, children and posterity mean so much to us. As such a childless African marriage may actually be hotter than hell in itself. On the other hand, in the western world, some persons make a decision not to have a child. There may be neither stress in that marriage nor any stress from the relatives.

In essence, what gives you stress and what gives me stress are not the same. Please, do not berate anyone for his or her response to the life issues. We all respond to stress differently because the VARIABLES differ.

Thanks for reading

Stress Management

Hi everyone

Welcome
Please let me apologize for my absence in the last month. Hmmmm, it was a hectic time with a lot of stress; work load, broken down car, ….. Let’s just say that it was a “November to Remember”.

You remember that the last series was on Stroke. On the last day (October 31st) I promised to discuss Stress management; as part of Stroke prevention. This topic is pertinent with all the happenings in recent times in Nigeria and the world in general. The Nigerian economic recession has put a lot of financial burden on most families. Superimposed on the economic hardship are issues with security, ill health and all. Many of us are almost losing control; some are coping in all the wrong ways.

In view of this, we will discuss STRESS MANAGEMENT this week.
You are Welcome
Stress is a common everyday word and concept. I am under a lot of stress…. I don’t want any stress… ETC

What is Stress?
Stress is actually a psychological process that is set off by certain events which threaten or harm us as human beings. It results when the circumstances exceed available coping resources It is characterized by psychological responses that are directed towards adaptation Results from physical or/and mental ‘positive or negative pressure’ to overwhelm adaptive capacities.

One of my favourite quotes is by Donald Tubesing. He said “”Stress is like spice – in the right proportion, it enhances the flavor of a dish. Too little produces a bland, dull meal; Too much may choke you.

This gives us the knowledge and understanding that stress is part and parcel of life. There is a level of stress that makes for ‘Normal Life’; everybody needs and actually goes through this type of stress.

Normal stress response
The body responds to stress by releasing certain hormones. The most important of these is Cortisol: also called the stress hormone. These hormones equip you to ‘fight or flee’.
In this scenario, the stress hormones speed through the body causing breathlessness, pounding of the heart leading to increased speed and strength. In addition, the concentration becomes focused, reaction time is quicker. There is also marked reduction of pain. Such a person is primed to ward off or flee from an impending threat. Those fleeing from threatening situations keep running even with severe injuries and only stop when they are safe from the harm.

Magnificent feats are achieved when the stress response is activated. Some of will remember the story of the Malian illegal immigrant who scaled a building from the ground to save a child on the fifth floor in France last year. That degree of strength, speed and agility was because of the ‘Stress Response’. In fact, women have been known to single handedly push off a loaded bus about to crush their baby. A young child may actually carry an ailing parent away from serious harm like a burning house. Such persons will usually say’ I don’t know where the strength came from…… This is because they had an unusual power; not commensurate with their age, size and usual strength.

When the stressful situation ends, the hormonal signals switch off the stress response and the body returns to normal. The enormous strength goes down and the person feels sapped. The person also begins to feel the pains and note the injuries.
This is the normal stress response.

Thanks for reading