Nigerians go through stress

Nigerians go through stress everyday!

Yesterday, I was stuck in traffic on the highway for about two hours. I mean a day-light-sunny-afternoon traffic, in fact I slept in the bus and by the time I woke up, we had only moved a few inches. I couldn’t cry, as a big girl that I was.

When we eventually got to the end of the traffic, I saw that a truck fell into a small ditch and was having trouble coming out.

Last weekend, I told myself that I was never going to leave my house for any reason during this rainy season, not even to the cinema (which I love to do very much). I spent four hours on a one hour journey. The whole community of Ikeja and Agege were blocked and when I finally got home, I was having serious aches and pains on my body.

People go through this everyday, especially in Lagos where the number of people out numbers the number of buses and the buses are too much for the little amount of good roads we have. Lagos itself is a den of traffic, a conglomerate of vehicles conveying angry passengers and a number of car owners rushing home to rest from the day’s work before waking up in the early hours of the next morning only to repeat the events of the previous day.

Stress has become a major part of people’s lives. Some take up jobs that they hate just so they could feed their families. Others can’t put food on the table without a day of hustling and bustling. We have found ourselves in a stress-filled world or perhaps, we made it that way, it’s hard to tell. Wherever we live and whatever we do, no matter how peaceful it is, stress always finds us. It spreads like wild fire, it’s a virus and we have all contracted it, whether we notice it or not.

We are being stressed

We have contracted the virus of a stress-filled world

We are going through stress

We have brought it upon ourselves

Frustration wells up in every corner and we become argumentative. We fight one another, we quarell with the bus drivers, we hurl insults at passersby, and shout obscene words at the other vehicle owners who cross our paths without asking. Bosses take it out on their employees and employees grumble and seethe. Our workload piles up and business owners fume at the sight of loses.

Stress is a thief, and it has come to steal our joy, laughter and good health. We must recognize it and deal with it.

Major causes of stress

I guess it’s safe to say that sometimes we cause ourselves stress by

(I) Getting upset over things we cannot change, such as what people will think about us, the traffic on the highway, the rate of inflation of the prices of products in the country and so on.

(II) Getting worried over things that may or may not have a solution, like our cars breaking down on the freeway, the intensity of the rain or the bad reports we submitted at work.

And the list goes on.

The best you can do is to acknowledge that there is nothing you can do at that moment to change the situation, rather than getting frustrated and upsetting yourself.

Other causes are: not resting properly, lack of sleep, over thinking, not getting proper nutrition, and not being able to say no to things that are not productive in our lives.

The effects of stress are dominant in our physical and emotional lives. They include

Headaches and muscular pains, fatigue, restlessness, lack of motivation, anxiety, worry and fear. It could also affect our behaviours, such as the ones we see on the road among the drivers and passengers and car owners.

In my quest to find out how I can detach myself from the stress that has so filled our world, I have discovered some methods, I have practiced them, they have worked and I have decided to share them here.

De-stressing methods you can adopt

1. Don’t fret over what you have no control over

2. Don’t live in isolation, there’s comfort in being with people, family and friends, the local church etc.

3. Eat well, get enough sleep, and schedule time to relax

4. Plan your day extremely well before you leave home

5. Learn to say no, don’t try to please people and displease yourself.

6. Detach yourself from every unfruitful hustle that you engage in.

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