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Global Lifestyle Medicine Week: Society Of Lifestyle Medicine Of Nigeria Identifies Solutions To Stress.

Society of Lifestyle Medicine of Nigeria, SOLONg, has described stress as a global health challenge that is inevitable and can affect anyone.

The society in a statement signed by its president, Dr Moyosore Makinde and general secretary, Dr. Mimi Osad Osamwonyi in commemoration of the 2024 Global Lifestyle Medicine Week however said there was high prevalence of the menace among employees in Nigeria.

The professionals who explained that stress which can be in stages in human health system was detrimental to Health and can be a significant factor in the development and perpetuation of chronic diseases.

“Chronic stress impacts the body through hormonal changes, immune system dysregulation, metabolic disturbances, and negative behavioral patterns, all of which contribute to the development and progression of the aforementioned chronic diseases. Stress can manifest in various forms, encapsulated by the acronym S.T.R.E.S.S.:

“Social or Work related Stress: Arising from poor interactions with others, whether at work, home, or in social settings.

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“Time Stress: Feeling overwhelmed by the demands on our time.

“Relationship Stress: Stemming from conflicts or tensions within relationships.

“Environmental Stress: Caused by factors in our surroundings, such as noise, pollution, or clutter.

“Self-Induced Stress: Often resulting from our own negative beliefs or thoughts, unhealthy behaviors, or lifestyle choices.

“Situational Stress: Triggered by life events such as the loss of a loved one, illnesses, or circumstances like insecurity, economic stressors, job changes, or financial difficulties.

The society however identified a strategy known as “The D.R.E.A.M.S”, as an effective stress management that was essential in preventing and mitigating the impact of chronic conditions in human beings.

It explained that, to address stress and promote overall health, Global Lifestyle Medicine Week advocates for the D.R.E.A.M.S’ approach which represents diet, relationships, exercise, avoidance of psychoactive and mental well-being

“Diet and Healthy Nutrition: Emphasizing predominantly whole, plant-based foods, minimally processed foods, and limited consumption of dairy, red meat, poultry, and eggs.

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“Relationships: Fostering healthy, positive connections with individuals, family members, and colleagues and avoiding toxic, abusive relationships.

“Exercise: Encouraging regular, organized physical activity such as brisk walking, dancing, skipping, or jogging for at least 30 minutes on five days of the week.

“Avoidance of Psychoactive or Toxic Substances: Discouraging the use of alcohol, tobacco, and street drugs.

“Mental Wellbeing and Effective Stress Management: Promoting stress-reducing techniques to enhance mental health, including the following tips:

The society also identified other solutions such as building a strong support network of friends and family, challenging negative thoughts and replacing them with positive affirmations, staying present in the moment and practicing mindfulness techniques like deep breathing or meditation as some of the factors can manage stress.

“Prioritizing tasks, learning time management, and delegating when necessary. Maintaining a nutritious diet, getting regular exercise, and prioritizing adequate sleep for overall well-being.

“Spending time outdoors in natural environments to rejuvenate and reduce stress. Learning to say no when necessary and prioritizing your well-being.

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“Addressing issues calmly and respectfully, focusing on finding solutions rather than placing blame, Identifying actionable steps to address situations rather than dwelling on stressors. Reminding yourself that stressful situations are temporary and focusing on aspects of life that bring joy and fulfillment.

Global Lifestyle Medicine Week is being celebrated from May 18 to 24, every year and has the 2024 theme as, “Beat STRESS with D.R.E.A.M.S.”.

The theme focuses on empowering individuals with the knowledge and tools to combat stress and chronic diseases through evidence-based lifestyle interventions.

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