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Stressed? I Bet You Are!

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  • Can stress be avoided especially if you live in today’s Nigeria (surviving Buharinomics)?
  • Is stress psychological or physiological?

What is Stress?

  • Stress is a combination of physiological and emotional (psychological) responses to an event.
  • Stress is an emotional/bodily reaction to physical, psychological or emotional demands.
  • Stress in itself isn’t necessarily harmful. Everyone needs goals and challenges but too much can be damaging

Causes of Stress

  • Expectations we place on ourselves (wanting to be like the Joneses?) & Expectations of others
  • Our physical environment (noise, movement, traffic, work environment, weather, etc.)
  • Our internal environment (academic pressure, frustration, not enough time, decisions, social life and work)
  • Stress could also be caused by insomnia (lack of sleep) resulting from excess exposure to gadgets (phones), and exposure to WIFI (http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/10-shocking-facts-health-dangers-wifi/)

Symptoms of stress:

  • Increased irritability, Heightened sensitivity to criticism
  • Signs of tension, such as nail biting, Difficulty getting to sleep and early morning waking, Increased use of alcohol or cigarettes, Indigestion, Loss of/increased appetite, Headaches, Crying, Loss of concentrations and avoidance behaviors, Increased heart rate and blood pressure, Fatigue and depression

Causes of Work Related Stress

  • Relationship with colleagues
  • An unsupportive boss (the shredder types)
  • Too much pressure and unrealistic targets/deadlines
  • Poor working conditions (late night meetings or even all night meetings)
  • Being in the wrong job/profession (corporate slavery syndrome)
  • Feeling undervalued
  • Insecurity and the threat of unemployment
  • Too much interference with private, social or family life (poor work/life balance)

How to Manage Stress

Stress management is the ability to maintain control when situations, people, and events make excessive demands.

What do you do to manage your stress?What are some strategies?

  • Talk it away (discuss with friends, family, or Spiritual leader)
  • Take a few days off (learn and practice relaxation skills)
  • Use music to alter your moods (inspirational music)
  • Reframe an experience
  • Keep physically active (exercise regularly, breathe well, walk loosely and walk more)
  • Recite spiritual affirmations
  • Have a thorough medical examination
  • Take time to play (don’t take things too seriously, have a sense of humor)
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Get enough sleep
  • Avoid self-medication or escape
  • Set realistic goals for yourself
  • Avoid extreme reactions
  • Change the way you see things, selectively change the way you react
  • Develop a thick skin
  • Do something for others
  • Don’t overwhelm yourself, change your job or profession

Attitude is Everything

  • Be confident, be positive, be punctual, be patient (some things just take time to do), Believe in yourself (you are unique in this world, and so are your talents, set goals for yourself: then work hard to achieve them, get fun out of life: don’t take issues too seriously, Have faith in God

Stress quotes:

  • The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” – Sydney J. Harris
  • “Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.” – David Allen
  • “In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.” – Lee Iacocca
  • “It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” – Bruce Lee
  • “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”– William James
  • “Doing something that is productive is a great way to alleviate emotional stress. Get your mind doing something that is productive.” – Ziggy Marley
  • “Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there.’ – Eckhart Tolle
  • “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye
  • “If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you’ll die a lot of times.” – Dean Smith
  • “If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.” – George Burns
  • “One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.” – Bertrand Russell
  • “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  • “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.”– Winston Churchill
  • “Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff.”– Robert Eliot

How to Test Your Stress Level

To test your stress level, take the tests at the following links:




Forum Discussion

You work in Victoria Island in Lagos and you live in Okokomaiko or Ikorodu. Using a stress test score what percentage do you think traffic contributes to your total stress level? Will the score be the same for a commuter and someone who is chauffeur driven?



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