A Clinical Psychologist, Dr Juliet Ottoh, has advised that setting right priorities, living healthy lifestyle and accepting changes could reduce stress among Nigerians in the New Year.
Ottoh of Department of Psychiatry, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, gave the advice during the end-of-year get together organised by Lagos State House of Assembly Correspondents Association (LAHACA) in Lagos on Saturday.
The clinical psychologist identified work overload, time pressure and physical danger as some of the causes of stress in the society.
She said everyone must manage their resources, avoid living above their means, eat healthy and put challenges behind them.
Ottoh urged Nigerians to always think of how to reduce stress in their everyday lives.
She said: “Our attitude can lead to stress. The feeling that you have lost personal control can lead to stress – the feeling that outside force is challenging or threatening you.
“How you feel (emotion) – depressed, tired, angry, frustrated; how you behave, react are parts of stress.
“Stress could lead to accidents, mistakes, eating habit, sleeping problems, problematic social behaviour, withdrawal, aggression, compulsive shopping.
“It also shows in how you think, poor concentration and memory.
“It can cause physical disorder, stress can increase hormone which affects your metabolism, immune reaction and other stress responses such as heartbeat, respiration, blood pressure and physical demands on your internal organ.”
On managing stress, Ottoh urged Nigerians to know themselves better, especially on how they react to different situations and what causes them stress.
She added that there was a relationship between depression and stress.
Ottoh revealed that people with depression had similar symptoms with those having stress, adding that that could affect their eating habit, relationships and function at work.
According to her, symptoms of depression included insomnia, loss of appetite, suicide, memory loss, decreased energy amongst others.
Ottoh said people could deal with stress by going on vacation, take time out to rest, avoid scheduling too many appointment or meetings.
“We need to become an expert at managing our time, learn to say “no”, set limits or and minimize stress.
“All Nigerians are depressed, so don’t think you are the only one. You must refrain from problems. We must learn to make excuses for people. Adjust your standard.
“We all make mistakes, we must not over flog ourselves. Practise gratitude. Learn to appreciate people. Make time for fun and relaxation.
“Don’t get caught up on hustle and bustle of life such that you forget to take care of yourself.
“Create time for leisure and make jokes. Do something you enjoy doing everyday. Keep your sense of humour, and take up a relaxation practice,” she said.
Also delivering his lecture, Mr Lekan Otufodunrin, a former Editor with The Nation newspaper, advised journalists to also know the business side of their job by developing capacity towards becoming an entrepreneur.
Otufodunrin stated that journalists needed to become entrepreneurs due to the state of the industry, state of the economy and digital disruption.
According to him, there was need for opportunity to create good products and maximize potentials.
He said: “A journalist could start his own publication or broadcast organization. He should create content and independent production.
“A journalist could do media support services such as providing editorial services, consultancy, public relations, training knowledge and sharing.
“He could go into non-journalism related business. He should also know his skills, knowledge, passion and network. Journalists must change their mindsets everyday,” he said.
Commenting, Chairman of LAHACA, Mr Akinboye Akintola, thanked God for preserving the lives of members of the association throughout the previous year and for making it possible for them to witness another year.