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