STRESS:
THE DEADLIEST DISEASE!
Overtime
we’ve heard and had deadly diseases both within and without our community,
killed and deformed so many ranging from the likes of AIDS/HIV, SARS, Ebola
virus, Cholera etc other once such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, etc. But, we
often shy away from the deadliest of these diseases, STRESS! As tiny as that
word sounds, it’s the deadliest in human nature and history! Sometime ago I
said I was going to share some philosophies with you, like the Philosophy of
Frustration, stress did fall under philosophy of frustration.
Stress
isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and
motivate you to do your best. But when you’re constantly running in emergency
mode, your mind and body pay the price! Yes, and the price are always way too
expensive to pay off! If you frequently find yourself feeling frazzled and
overwhelmed, it’s time to take action to bring your nervous system back into
balance. I’ll liken this to your phone; Emergency Mode on your phone, there is
no network from your provider, but do you know that your battery consumes
faster in this mode? (if you don’t know now you do!); that is stress! But when
you put your phone on airplane mode, you save your battery, that is relaxation!
Both of them take off your network but one is conserving your energy while the
other is consuming, eating you up!
Can
you define stress?
Stress
is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or
thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body’s
reaction to a challenge or demand. In short, stress can be positive, such as
when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline, at least you can remember putting
that in your CV/Resumé: I CAN WORK UNDER PRESSURE
The
pressure there means stress!
But
when stress lasts for a long time, it may harm your health. You can protect
yourself—and improve how you think and feel—by learning how to recognize the
signs and symptoms of chronic stress and taking steps to reduce its harmful
effects.Your nervous system isn’t very good at distinguishing between emotional
and physical threats. If you’re super stressed over an argument with a friend,
a work deadline, or a mountain of bills, your body can react just as strongly
as if you’re facing a true life-or-death situation. And the more your emergency
stress system is activated, the easier it becomes to trigger, making it harder
to shut off. In psychology, we simply call it STRESSOR (Dr. Animashaun: Dept of
Counselling, University of Ibadan).
If
you tend to get stressed out frequently, like many of us in today’s demanding
world, your body may exist in a heightened state of stress most of the time.
And that can lead to serious health problems, and trust me, death!
Chronic
stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can suppress your immune
system, upset your digestive and reproductive systems (that’s why sometimes you
might find it difficult to eat when you’re stressed), increase the risk of
heart attack and stroke, and speed up the aging process. It can even rewire the
brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other mental
disorders like hallucination, amongst others.
According
to Dr. Animashaun (2016), there are two main types of stress:
Acute
stress.
This
is short-term stress that goes away quickly. You feel it when you slam on the
brakes, have a fight with your partner. It helps you manage dangerous
situations. It also occurs when you do something new or exciting. All people
have acute stress at one time or another.
Chronic
stress.
This
is stress that lasts for a longer period of time. You may have chronic stress
if you have money problems, an unhappy marriage, or trouble at work. Any type
of stress that goes on for weeks or months is chronic stress. You can become so
used to chronic stress that you don’t realize it is a problem. If you don’t
find ways to manage stress, it may lead to health problems and even death.
STRESS
AND YOUR BODY
Your
body reacts to stress by releasing hormones. These hormones make your brain
more alert, cause your muscles to tense, and increase your pulse. In the short
term, these reactions are good because they can help you handle the situation
causing stress. This is your body’s way of protecting itself.
When
you have chronic stress, your body stays alert, even though there is no danger.
Over time, this puts you at risk for health problems, including:
High
blood pressure
Heart
disease
Diabetes
Obesity
Depression
or anxiety
Skin
problems, such as acne or eczema
Menstrual
problems
And
if you have a health challenge before now, chronic stress will surely worsen
it!
SIGNS
OF TOO MUCH STRESS
The
most dangerous thing about stress is how easily it can creep up on you, you can
hardly tell when it’s off, because it create that comfort zone for you. You get
used to it. It starts to feel familiar, even normal. You don’t notice how much
it’s affecting you, even as it takes a heavy toll.
Let
me burst your bubbles, many people think that once they sleep and wake up the
stress will be gone, na lie! Big fat lie!… That’s why it’s important to be
aware of the common warning signs and symptoms of stress overload.
Cognitive
symptoms:
Memory
problems
Inability
to concentrate
Poor
judgment
Seeing
only the negative
Anxious
or racing thoughts
Constant
worrying
Emotional
symptoms:
Depression
or general unhappiness
Anxiety
and agitation
Moodiness,
irritability, or anger
Feeling
overwhelmed
Loneliness
and isolation
Other
mental or emotional health problems
Physical
symptoms:
Aches
and pains
Diarrhea
or constipation
Nausea,
dizziness
Chest
pain, rapid heart rate
Loss
of sex drive
Frequent
colds or flu
Behavioral
symptoms:
Eating
more or less
Sleeping
too much or too little
Withdrawing
from others
Procrastinating
or neglecting responsibilities
Using
alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
Nervous
habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)
Stress
can cause many types of physical and emotional symptoms. Sometimes, you may not
realize these symptoms are caused by stress. Here are some signs that stress
may be affecting you:
Diarrhea
or constipation
Forgetfulness
Frequent
aches and pains
Headaches
Lack
of energy or focus
Sexual
problems
Stiff
jaw or neck
Tiredness
Trouble
sleeping or sleeping too much
Upset
stomach
Use
of alcohol or drugs to relax
Weight
loss or gain
There
are lots of stressor in our everyday lives. The causes of stress are different
for each person. You can have stress from good challenges and as well as bad
ones. Some common sources of stress include:
Getting
married or divorced
Starting
a new job
The
death of a spouse or close family member
Getting
laid off
Retiring
Having
a baby
Money
problems
Having
a serious illness
Problems
at work
Problems
at home
Relationship
problems (trust me, this one ehn, I no go talk) Lol.
Now,
the question is, how much stress is too much?
Because
of the widespread damage stress can cause, it’s important to know your own
limit. But just how much stress is “too much” differs from person to person.
Some people seem to be able to roll with life’s punches and lemons thrown at,
while others tend to crumble in the face of small obstacles or frustrations.
Some people even thrive on the excitement of a high-stress lifestyle.
Factors
that influence your stress tolerance level include:
Build
a support network.
A
strong network of supportive friends and family members is a great slayer
stress like Buffy; the vampire slayer. When you have people you can count on,
life’s pressures don’t seem as overwhelming. On the flip side, the lonelier and
more isolated you are, the greater your risk of succumbing to the dangers of
stress. Even just a brief exchange of kind words or a friendly look from
another human being can help calm and soothe your nervous system. So, spend
time with people who improve your mood and don’t let your responsibilities keep
you from having a social life.
Your
sense of control.
If
you have confidence in yourself and your ability to influence events and
persevere through challenges, it’s easier to take stress in stride. On the
other hand, if you believe that you have little control over your life—that
you’re at the mercy of your environment and circumstances—stress is more likely
to knock you off course. Just like the spoken words I did some time ago, SOME
MOUNTAINS HAVE TO BE CLIMBED ALONE, SOME RIVERS HAVE TO BE SWAN ALONE…
Your
inlook and outlook.
The
way you look at life and its inevitable challenges makes a huge difference in
your ability to handle stress. If you’re generally hopeful and optimistic,
you’ll be less vulnerable. Stress-hardy people tend to embrace challenges, have
a stronger sense of humor, believe in a higher purpose, and accept change as an
inevitable part of life.
Your
ability to deal with your emotions.
If
you don’t know how to calm and soothe yourself when you’re feeling sad, angry,
or troubled, you’re more likely to become stressed and agitated. Having the
ability to identify and deal appropriately with your emotions can increase your
tolerance to stress and help you bounce back from adversity or jinx in life!
Improving
your ability to handle stress:
Get
moving.
Upping
your activity level is one tactic you can employ right now to help relieve
stress and start to feel better. Regular exercise can lift your mood and serve
as a distraction from worries, allowing you to break out of the cycle of
negative thoughts that feed stress. Rhythmic exercises such as walking,
running, swimming, and dancing are particularly effective, especially if you
exercise mindfully (focusing your attention on the physical sensations you
experience as you move).
Engage
your senses.
Another
fast way to relieve stress is by engaging one or more of your senses—sight,
sound, taste, smell, touch, or movement. The key is to find the sensory input
that works for you. Does listening to an uplifting song make you feel calm? Or
smelling ground coffee (I love this one, people that know me well, knows how
much I love just perceiving the aroma of a prepared coffee, lol) Or maybe
petting an animal works quickly to make you feel centered? Or drawing? Or
writing? Everyone responds to sensory input a little differently, so experiment
to find what works best for you.
Learn
to relax.
Boss
man Boss lady learn to go for vacation! You don’t have to travel to UK, you can
travel to your village. Sha pray before you go, so that as you go there go
relax dem no go use you com relax! Lol. You can’t completely eliminate stress
from your life, but you can control how much it affects you. Just as I said
earlier on, that stress doesn’t go away by merely sleeping and waking up.
Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing activate the
body’s relaxation response, a state of restfulness, that is, the polar opposite
of the stress response. When practiced regularly, these activities can reduce
your everyday stress levels and boost feelings of joy and serenity. They also
increase your ability to stay calm and collected under pressure.
Eat
a healthy diet.
This
cannot be overemphasized. The food you eat can improve or worsen your mood and
affect your ability to cope with life’s stressors. Eating a diet full of
processed and convenience food, refined carbohydrates, and sugary snacks can
worsen symptoms of stress, while a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables,
high-quality protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, can help you better cope with
life’s ups and downs.
Get
your rest.
Feeling
tired can increase stress by causing you to think irrationally. Let me tell you
how this happens, do you know that it is when you’re even more tired that you
find it difficult to sleep. Probably you must have left the, or even night
vigil, and you’re telling yourself, I’ll so sleep immediately when I get home.
Trust me when you get home, you will find that sleep tire! That is a symptom of
stress. All you need at that point in time, what works for me though, get off
your bed, take another shower, even if you’ve had one before then, don’t towel
dry your body, just lie down like that, and keep your thoughts out! Tahdaaaah!
Off you go to the dream!

Source:
Mccollybright.blogspot.com.ng

About
The Author: Adeshile Adekolajo
Adeshile
Adekolajo is a graduate from the University of Abuja, He works for Ntel Nigeria
and we owns – Mccollybright.blogspot.com
He
is a writer, blogger and poet, to read more of his interesting and educative
articles, please log on to – mccollybright.blogspot.com.ng

Oluwole Olusanya
Oluwole Olusanya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the fastest-growing lifestyle and entertainment website in the country. He is a banker, writer, blogger, public affairs analyst and a tax consultant. He anchors Trending Topics on SHEFFA where he shares his thoughts and opinions on trending issues. He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He has diplomas in Banking and Finance, Investigative Journalism, Creative Writing, and Linguistics from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.