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8 THINGS EVERY LAGOSIAN NEEDS TO COMBAT STRESS
Lagos is indeed very stressful with all the “hostool” and “bostool.” Little wonder it has been listed as the third most stressful city in the world. In spite of this, however, we owe it to ourselves not to get caught up in all the wahala. Here are a few tips on how to keep sane in the midst of it all:
- An Attitude of Gratitude: Things may not be going as you had hoped, but they really are not all that bad. If only you’d take some time to think deeply, you’ll find that there’s at least one thing to be thankful for. Where you are today may be someone else’s dream. You need to lift your head out of the sea of negativity and breathe in the fresh air of the beauty around you. Focusing on the things that are working, no matter how few, gives us hope that things will get better. Quit complaining and comparing yourself with all your friends and colleagues that you are “monitoring” on social media. Wake up each morning and be thankful for a brand new day! At the end of each day, make a list of three things you’re grateful for.
- Humour: One of the wisest kings that ever lived described a cheerful heart as good medicine! What is a cheerful hear without laughter? You need a daily dose of laughter to help keep your heart pumping right and your mind healthy. Laughter helps to boost your energy and helps you relax and recharge, so you can focus better. You feel relaxed because your blood pressure is lowered, your heart rate drops and tensed muscles are eased. Are you having a bad day? Take your mind off the current situation, go watch a funny movie or video clip. Get on YouTube or Instagram, there are loads of comedians and funny pages/channels to help cheer your heart. Here are a few to check out on IG: @krakstv, @frankdonga_, @k10vidz, @michaeldapaah_ @majimb.o and @taaooma.
- Talking: We usually tend to underestimate the power of talking. Having people to share your burdens with is a blessing and you should make use of this opportunity when you can. When you share your burdens, you feel lighter. Being able to talk to others makes us feel connected and this is one of the basic psychological needs that have to be fed constantly. Having face level “friendships” and conversations will not meet this need. It is important that you have an inner circle of friends and/or family that you can share deep things with. Talking is good for you! It’s a very vital part of relationships; it strengthens your bonds with others and helps you maintain a sound mind.
- Relaxation: This is something many of us don’t get to do very often. Where is the time? You might ask. Good question! Well, the time won’t be there until you deliberately create it. Quit overworking your body because of the drive to succeed. There’s on so much the body can take, once you get to that point where your stress threshold has exceeded its limit, your body system will give way! Take time out to chill. Spend time with family and friends, go see a movie, read a novel, go swimming, don’t take work home, just lie in bed doing nothing! Whatever it is, just ensure you take time off work. Be sure to incorporate some form of relaxation into your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly schedule.
- Exercise: This sure isn’t a word many of us like to hear. But truth be told, it’s a life saver! Besides the possibility of developing abs and six packs, regular exercise relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts your overall mood! A thirty-minute workout or walk can help produce this effect. Ensure to incorporate regular physical activity in your daily routine. Use the stairs instead of the elevator, when you go to the mall, park far away from the entrance so you can walk! Draw up an exercise schedule that works for you.
- Adequate Sleep: Given the nature of work around here and the infamous mainland-island commute traffic, this sounds like a farfetched luxury! However, as it is for achieving any goal in life, you must work towards this intentionally. If you can, take power naps during the day, with traffic time factored in, try to schedule a specific time to go to bed and stick to it, even on weekends. Avoid blue light (light from TV, phone, tabs and computer screens) a couple of hours to bedtime; do away with the dang device!
- Smiling: Have you observed that most times when you smile at someone they smile right back? That’s because a smile has a powerful effect on the brain that makes it almost impossible to look at a smiley face and not mirror the action. Smiling trains the brain to be positive by creating a positive thinking pattern. A smile always generates a positive feeling from within. Therefore make it a point of duty to smile even when you don’t feel like it! Make a list of things that make you happy and look to them each time you need to generate a smile. Before you step out of the door today, look yourself in the mirror, smile real wide and activate smile mode!
- Spiritual Development: We are a deeply religious people, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Spirituality describes a sense of connection to someone/something bigger than us, acknowledging the presence of the Divine; a supreme being. When you find yourself overwhelmed with all the stress, a simple prayer to the One greater than you will go a long way in easing your stress!