Nigerians say they are stressed and take it slightly without knowing how severe stress can be. Yet, dealing with stress is an integral part of everyday life Nigerians need to be exposed to.
Stress is the response to one or a combination of a stressor and actual stress. A stressor is a person, place, or, more often, a situation causing you stress.
Stress can be acute, chronic, sound, or harmful. Acute stress is short-term and doesn’t affect the body as long as you can quickly relax. However, on the other hand, chronic stress is long-term and can harm your body and health. Most times, chronic stress leads to psychological stress, and then one must visit a therapist for help.
Is it surprising that stress can be good? Good stress is a type of stress you have encountered severally without realising what the feeling was. So how can you differentiate good stress from bad stress?
This article will enlighten you on what you have to know regarding stress and tips for dealing with stress.
A Quick Insight into Good and Bad Stress
Good stress, also known as distress, is stress you feel when excited. For example, you might feel this stress when you exclaim in excitement and feel good about it. Good stress motivates you and enhances performance.
Some examples of good stress include:
- Going on a first date
- When you compete in a game
- When you learn something fun
- Going mountain climbing for the first time
Good stress is relative; it can be defined by the effect it produces. Bad stress, however, is the type that tires you out and is detrimental to your health. Bad stress can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term).
Whether acute or chronic, dealing with stress is crucial. Chronic stress can cause pain, headaches, increased high blood pressure, depression, and other health issues. Various reasons cause stress: personal, employment, money, study, etc.
Some Causes Of Stress
- Lack of employment
- Living in poverty
- Poor living condition
- Starting a new job
- Health problem
- Losing your job
- Family problem/ relationship problem
Major Causes of Stress for Nigerians
- Parenting: This is more stressful for working Nigerian mothers trying to make ends meet and take care of the family. Having children and taking care of them is not an easy task.
- Work: Nigerian employers tend to overwork their employees by giving them more work than they can handle, leading to stress. Problems with the boss at the office can also stress a worker. Entrepreneurs are dealing with stress in running the day-to-day operations of the business.
- Low income/standard of living: Low-income earners tend to get tired when dealing with stress. Low income affects the standard of living of people living in Nigeria, hence increasing the risk of stress.
Stress has become the norm of the day. As a Nigerian, dealing with stress is essential to live a healthy life.
Signs Of Stress every Nigerian should Look out for
In terms of feeling, you know when you’re stressed. For example, you feel anxious and irritable and sweat a lot when stressed. Other signs of stress include:
- Break out on the skin: When you are stressed, your body produces more oil that gets bound In hair follicles, dead skin cells and dirt, and pimples. The relationship between stress and acne has to do with hormones. If you are experiencing this, dealing with stress should be among your top priorities.
- Poor skin: Stress gets evident on your skin. The skin becomes dull and looks unkempt most times. Your body cream stops working well when you are stressed.
- Hair loss: You tend to lose your hair when stressed. As said earlier, there is a relationship between stress and hormones. Stress can trigger the hormones controlling hair growth to malfunction.
- Difficulty sleeping: Stress causes insomnia most times. This is a severe sign of stress which should be attended to by a therapist. When you don’t get enough rest or sleep, your brain can’t function well, therefore, leading to different health issues.
Effects Of Stress
Stress can take a heavy toll on your body, mood, and behaviour. Some common effects include:
- Lack Of motivation
- Social withdrawal
- Sleeping difficulty
- Change in sex drive
5 Great Tips For Dealing with Stress as a Nigerian
There are several ways to deal with stress; you just have to pick the one that works best for you. Before you can deal with stress, you must identify the source first.
Love yourself, cherish your life, and set aside time to care for yourself. It is an essential part of dealing with stress. Some of the routines include:
- Exercising, stretching
- Eating a healthy meal
- Going for walks
- Choose and practise a hobby
- Get a massage
- Relax more
Spend time with friends and family
Support from friends and family may help you overcome stressful periods and cope with stress. Having someone to support you is vital for your mental health. Socialise with people and have fun. You tend to feel relaxed around your loved ones.
Learn to say no
Do not take on more than you can handle. Taking more responsibilities can stress you. Your stress load can be reduced by saying no to unnecessary things. Avoiding people who stress you and taking control of your personal life can help reduce stress and help your mental health.
Another way to deal with your stress is by getting your priorities right and avoiding procrastinating. Procrastination most often leaves you working under pressure to catch up, which increases your stress level. But, as the saying goes, make hay while the sun shines. Do the right at the right time to prevent stress.
Know your body
Our bodies react to things differently. Therefore, it is to your advantage to know more about your body, what affects your health, things to stay away from, and the like. Do not push yourself to do what your health or body can’t withstand. Practising this will help in dealing with stress.
Other tips include:
- Spending time in nature
- Creating a way to laugh
- Finding a balance in whatever you do
Stress is an inevitable part of life. Nevertheless, do not let it take a toll on your health, dealing with stress should be an important part of your life. As much as there are various ways to reduce stress on your own, it is imperative to get help when it becomes unbearable.
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