By Kingsley I. Ilechukwu, Correspondent Lagos
To mark this year’s World Mental Health Day, Nigeria’s caring telecommunication brand, 9mobile, recently held the 3rd edition of its Health Talk Series, focusing on the theme “Managing Stress to Increase Productivity”.
According to the telecoms company, the session is in furtherance of its efforts to continue to raise awareness around mental health related issues, given the devastating effect on the wellbeing and productivity on individuals.
The session which was streamed live via Instagram influencer page, Olorisupergal, was facilitated by Dr. Egemba Chionanso Fidelis, a certified medical doctor, writer, vlogger, public speaker, popularly known as Aproko Doctor on social media.
In his presentation, Dr. Egemba remarked that stress is normal and the body’s way of responding to any form of demand or threat. However, it becomes unhealthy and life threatening when it becomes chronic. According to him, chronic stress shrinks the size of the brain overtime, therefore reducing productivity level of the individual as he or she has to deal with difficulty in concentrating and making decisions.
He added that stress could also increase the risk of conditions like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and depression. He said, “There is a close link between chronic stress and mental health. When sustained over a long period of time, it can lead to irritability and anxiety. If this continues without proper management, depression sets in.”
Dr. Egemba noted that given the fact that stress is a part of life, there is a need to learn how to manage our response to it such that we are able to keep it in control.
“First things first, be aware that you are stressed. Exercise is key in helping to manage stress. Aside the fact that it helps you lose weight and stay fit, exercise releases endorphin, a happy hormone that helps you reduce stress and pain. I cannot overemphasize it; healthy eating should be a habit in addition to practicing relaxation techniques like taking deep breaths when you are stressed. In summary maintain healthy social interactions as well,” he stressed.
Commenting on the session, Executive Director, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, 9mobile, Abdulrahman Ado, stated that there is no better time to sensitize the public about the need to master the act of managing stress in order to live a productive lifestyle. According to him, stress is a common phenomenon in modern life and must be managed properly. He said, “Mental health is one issue that needs to constantly be on the front burner because of the impact on human lives. As a customer-centric brand that cares about the wellbeing of Nigerians, we are doing what we can to increase awareness through advocacy and ensure that the conversation around mental health is sustained, hence the need for the 9mobile Health Talk Series.”
It is on record that global stress level reached 40 per cent in 2020. The sharp increase from 35 per cent in 2019 to 40 per cent shows that many more people have experienced stress. This can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic which has raised serious concerns about stress from a global perspective.