A Nursing Officer in General Hospital, Ijede, Oluwatoyin Akindele, has described stress as the way humans react both to physical and mental changes as events unfold in their lives.
Akindele, who stated this at the monthly Continuous Medical Education (CME) organised by the hospital for members of staff, added that stress releases hormones such as Adrenaline and Corticosteroids that affect body metabolism, immune reactions and other stress responses that can lead to increased heart rate, hypertension, depression and suicide among others.
Pointing out that certain occurrences or changes of lifestyle/ habits such as getting married, changing jobs, illnesses, divorce and death of a relative or loved one are some of the frequent sources of stress to humans, the Nurse said that such conditions can lead to severe headache, fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, hypertension, palpitations, inability to focus or lack of concentration, anxiety, sexual problems, sleep disturbances, sweating palms and shaking hands.
She affirmed that the unsettling effect of change, increased work or academic demands, financial responsibility, temptations, exposure to new people, the feeling that an outside force is challenging or threatening to one, awareness of sexual identity or orientation, fear of losing personal control are some of the causes of stress in humans.
Her words: “Stress is a fact of life, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, we cannot avoid stress but we can learn to manage it effectively as well as keep it under firm control”.
While noting that stress can lead to behavioural changes such as irritability, transferred aggression towards others, disruptive eating patterns, increased smoking and excessive intake of alcohol, Akindele maintained that such behavioural patterns can affect one’s productivity in the workplace, and relationship with others and increase health risk.
She listed living a healthy lifestyle, eating healthy food, taking enough rest, accepting change as part of life, spending quality time with friends and relatives, prioritising one’s time wisely, and spending time on main responsibilities as some support systems in stress management.