A salient question needs to be asked before the commencement of this discussion:

What is Stress?

In Nigeria; Stress is…

Traffic, Early Monday meetings, sighting the police at a checkpoint before they even stop you, entering okada, Telling your boss you are leaving and he says ” wait one more minute!”,  Monday( on its own)…

The day already seems horrible before it even starts!

Stress occurs when faced with important pursuits or difficult challenges. It’s the only way the body prepares its self against dangers; during stress hormones are secreted to prepare the body.

Stress greatly affects our mood, attitude to work, relationship with people and things around us. Imagine sitting in traffic for close to three hours or being given a task at a very short period of time with little or no space for completion. However, stress is not often a bad thing as it can be a source of motivation and it is said to be very essential to our survival.

How…you ask? Well, the “fight or flight” mechanism also called the acute stress response. This is a physiological reaction, which is a response that occurs when a harmful event is perceived, attack or threat to survival. This was first described by Walter Bradford Cannon.

It is important to note that the environmental factors which trigger this  is called Stressors. People react to stress in different ways but too much stress at once can affect the mental health.



There are some bodily functions which reduces because of stress such as: the immune system and the digestive system. When stress occurs all  the body resources  is concentrated on rapid breathing, alertness, blood flow and muscle use.

The body however, is affected and changes in various ways during stress:

  • Breathing is rapid
  • Tensing of the muscles
  • slowing down of the digestive system
  • rise of pulse and blood pressure rate
  • decreasing of immune activity

Stress can not be completely avoided or erased because as existing human beings, its inevitable but not to worry, there are some measures which can be employed to tackle stress:

  • Nutrition: Fruits and vegetables maintain the immune system at times of stress. In other words, a healthy diet is of importance as a poor diet will lead to ill health and additional stress.
  • Reduction of alcohol, drugs and caffeine as these substance will not help prevent stress but would make it worse.
  • Exercise: Studies have shown that exercise can benefit a person’s mental and physical state.
  • Talking: Yes talking! To family, to friends, work colleagues and even your boss about thoughts and worries. As this would help you let out some steam and also you realize people have gone through similar situations.

Stress can not be completely avoided but proper management of stress could prevent the body from different problems, most especially mental health issues like depression.


Have a stress-free week!