Author Archives: Dang

Childhood Memories: Mamu Tutu Vs Mama Wale cross daggers

I may have told you about Mama Tutu, if you haven’t read about her in any of my previous stories, let me re-introduce her.

We lived in a compound with a story building of four flats Mama Tutu and Mama Ngozi lived on the ground floor while Sisi Mi, our landlady and Mama Bimbo (My mama) lived on the first floor. Mama Tutu’s flat was below ours while Mama Ngozi’s flat was below Simi Mi’s.

Mama Tutu was the only university graduate in our compound and she never hesitated to let the mothers know, and the kids too. This was why we spoke very little vernacular and zero pidgin around her because she would come down on you like a hammer.

Mama Tutu was a bit haughty but beneath all of her haughtiness, she was a good woman. It was environmental sanitation Saturday, which meant the whole street came out to jointly clean our environs.

The men mostly manned the drainages, raking dirt out and piling them in a neat stack while the women shovelled the refuse up in old rice sacs, dumping the sacs at the edge of the street where the Mallam in a large wheelbarrow would clear them up before mid-day.

Environmental sanitation Saturdays were mostly playing time for kids, as we weren’t involved in much except inconsequential errands. On this day, Mama Tutu asked Onyinye, one of Mama Ngozi’s daughters to watch her shovel as she pulled a sack of refuse to the edge of the street.

Onyinye and I were friends, which meant we rolled together at all times. So, when Mama Wale from down the road comes to snatch the shovel from Onyinye, I was right there by her side. “Onyinye give me that shovel, I go return am na na.” Said Mama Wale, the sun had made her bleached skin turn crimson, her brows were bare. During the day when Mama Wale had showered and dressed up, she would draw an arch to replace her brows, beginning at the top of her nose, ascending towards her hairline and suddenly drops very close to her ear.

I thought she looked ridiculous but this was the style in 1992, everyone did it, so I had no say in the matter. “Na Mama Tutu shovel ma. I no fit give you, she never pack the dirty finish” Onyinye said, securing her position as guardian of the shovel.

Mama Wale’s bare brows furrowed, her skin turned redder as she looked at Onyinye in shock for daring to refuse her. “My friend will you give me that shovel! Tell Mama Tutu say na me take am,” She snatched the shovel from Onyinye who looked on helplessly and in fear.

Onyinye knew not to challenge adults so we decided to let Mama Tutu know her shovel had been forcefully taken. “Excuse me ma,”Onyinye called Mama Tutu’s attention as she walked past us. “Yes?” She responded, she seemed to be in a hurry. I noticed Onyinye had gone mute.

“Mama Wale has taken your shovel, she said we should tell you that she took it,” I spoke up for my friend. “Ahn! Ahn! She did what? Why is this woman such a trouble maker?” Mama Tutu turned around towards Mama Wale’s house and off she went, screaming Mama Wale’s name,

Onyinye and I stayed put. We weren’t really ‘arand’ for adult squabbles. “Mama Wale… Mama Wale…” the rest of Mama Tutu’s words had become inaudible but we could see both adults pointing fingers at each other in anger. Soon, Mama Tutu waved at us to come over.

“Ngbo, Onyinye, wetin I tell you say make you tell this woman?” Mama Wale turns her red face on us. Before we could respond, Mama Tutu cut in, “Who is ‘this woman’? I don’t want to believe I’m being referred to as ‘this woman’. Mama Wale address me by name, show some respect.

You can’t bully me like you bully your husband! I will not allow it. Give me my shovel please!” ‘WAWU! This is news. First of all, Baba Wale was nice, so his wife bullies him? Na wa!’ I thought to myself. “Ah!“ Mama Wale scoffs at Mama Tutu,

“Your grammar no mean Shigbain! Don’t insult my husband Mama Tutu, face me, face meeeee” Mama Wale was screaming at Mama Tutu at this time. Me in my mind, ‘But she didn’t insult your husband now. Abi?’ Onyinye and I looked on, ready to pounce if Mama Tutu was losing the battle.

Mama Wale unties her wrapper and reties it, making it shorter so she could spread her legs wider, ready for battle. Mama Tutu had on knicker burger, she was good to go. “And I go make sure say I no give you that shovel today, oya come collect am now… “

Mama Wale stood at ease, hands behind her back, shovel held firmly. Mama Tutu tried to get behind her, but she is shouldered off by the bigger Mama Wale. Onyinye and I took over, we grabbed Mama Wale by the waist, held on tight, she tried to shake us off but we refused to let go.

Mama Tutu then gets behind us, bites Mama wale’s hand which made her yelp and immediately release the shovel. “Ife, Onyinye, run inside, now!” Mama Tutu instructed us as she held the shovel up, ready for war. We released Mama Wale and made a run for it, scared but happy.

Both women’s scream became less audible. As it was the tradition, after environmental sanitation, we would play competitive football in the compound, Boys vs Girls. On this day, as we played, I noticed all the mothers in the compound sat by their balcony, all four of them.

When Mama Wale came into the compound to look for Onyinye and I, they all stood by their territories and asked her to leave. They let her know if she ever touched us, the street would be too hot for her. Us children paused, it was like we were watching Voltron in real life.

Mama Wale turned around and left in shame. Our mothers watched her leave and only then, did they leave their positions at the balconies. I knew then, Mama Wale was a wise woman because how could you not be afraid of such force?!

What Does It Mean To Take It Slow In Relationships? An Expert Explains

Once you’ve met someone who makes you feel all the butterflies in your stomach, it can be tempting to dive into a new relationship as fast as possible. You’re so into them and they’re so into you… what could go wrong? Well, as some of us have learned the hard way, relationships that start fast don’t always have staying power — which is why it’s not uncommon for some people to slow down the progression of a new romance, no matter how into each other they are. But, what does it mean to take it slow in relationships, and can this tactic actually improve the longevity of a relationship? According to NYC-based relationship expert and love coach Susan Winter, taking it slow might not mean exactly what you think it does.

“Taking it slow is normally a request of one partner who’s unsure about their involvement,” Winter previously told Elite Daily. “Perhaps they were deeply hurt in the past and taking it slow would ensure that they’re on solid footing before they claim coupledom.”

If you’ve had less than perfect experiences with love in the past (and let’s face it, who hasn’t?) it totally makes sense that being a bit more cautious could help keep you from dating people who aren’t a good fit for you. However, Winter also emphasized that a request to take things slow can be a sign that someone may not be interested in a meaningful relationship, and if you are, but a potential bae isn’t, that’s something to take note of.

“Alternatively, taking it slow can be a stalling technique,” explained Winter. “One partner may want to tip-toe around the edge of the relationship, so as to not be emotionally accountable when things go south. The relationship is primarily sexual and they have no intention of having it be more.”

Although the request to take a relationship slow might not always come from a place of caution, there actually are some benefits that can come from not rushing into a relationship. “Whirlwind romances are guaranteed to fall apart. They’re built on lust, illusion, and fantasy,” said Winter. Not allowing yourselves to get swept up in the intensity too soon might mean that you can evaluate the relationship potential with a clear head. According to Winter, this is especially true when trying to take things slow from a sexual standpoint.

“In an over-the-top passionate relationship, lust clouds our vision,” said Winter. “By taking things more slowly, we moderate the sexual acceleration so that we have time to think, process, and assess our new partner.

Giving yourselves more time to build a sustainable connection can also give you the opportunity to observe the consistency factor — something Winter believes separates casual relationships from more serious ones. “The difference between a torrid affair and a long-standing relationship is that of consistency,” noted Winter. “Taking your time allows the foundational elements to be baked into the relationship so that consistency (day-to-day loving behavior) can be maintained.”

If taking a tentative approach to love doesn’t sound like a bad idea, then taking it slow might be a good move for you. And if your partner is the one asking to take it slow, remember: The upside is that you can observe their tendencies before labelling the relationship.

Source: Elite Daily

 

How I fell in Love With My Skin Again

For as long as I’ve lived-as long as I’ve been aware-I’ve had spots at the extremities of my body. I always tried to forget they were there but my mother would pull me back to a consciousness of them with her worry. We didn’t know any better.

As a child, in the early 00’s, being exposed to beauty parlours and hair salons, I got a basic description of beauty. It was about bone straight long hair (if not from your head, then extensions). It was about the things you wore (hello kitty and baby phat were all the rave in my childhood). Then it was skin, healthy, spotless skin. I didn’t have that. I have Papular Utricaria, but neither my mother nor I knew what it was at the time. All we knew was it left papules on my body that sometimes later dried to black spots and that it heightened after insect bites, after a change in environment or during the rainy season. But fuck it, I was in love with the rain as a child. I would go out and play in the rain only to come back in the evening scratching my skin out, because those papules were itchy. My mother’s friends would always say the same things, I would outgrow my spots.

Doctors said the same things. As a child, it was that i’d outgrow my spots. As a preteen, it became I would outgrow my spots… but here are some creams and tablets. I never cared, but I cared that my mother cared. So I tried to make some lifestyle changes. I wore leggings, which are now a staple in my wardrobe. I also used Dettol and antibacterials and mosquito repellents as she said I should, as the doctors prescribed. I used Dettol religiously, as though i could dight away the spots. It didn’t help that I was lazy, that up until 14 I only bathed once a day, that I was a weekend washer and scavenged the dirty cloth basket for a decent smelling t-shirt once in a while. But I really thought the Dettol was doing me good, Dettol and hot water.

I remember one time, when I was six and we still lived in my father’s 3 bedroom bungalow, and I shared a room with my siblings and aunty Mary. I closed my eyes before sleep, and I prayed “God please, if I wake up, let my spots disappear”. They obviously didn’t. I distanced myself from them until I couldn’t anymore, in junior secondary school. Back then, I was a fat girl with spotty dark skin and short relaxed hair. It was the perfect formula for a misanthrope. And that I was. I separated myself from fashion, make up, people. It didn’t help that my siblings called me names, or that my classmates called me names. Or that I was the only female I knew with an utricaria and I wasn’t sure what it was.

I never got the answers I needed until this year when I finally visited a dermatologist. I got to find out that its a common skin condition, very common. I also found out that with hypersensitivity of skin, Dettols and antibacterials only make the outward manifestations (papules and dark spots) worse. All I needed was a change of soap, advantan or an antihistamine and a mosquito net. Obviously, I would never wear a mini skirt in my life, but I skip that rule once in a while. I was relieved at the thought of saying goodbye to my spots but then I realised all the time gone into consciously thinking about not thinking about my spots. From praying them away at age six, to watching the way people stared at my legs at age 12 to seeing them fade away now.

I think about the money gone into creams and herbal medicine (I actually bathed with quail eggs once). I think of the time, the leggings!! And I cannot remember a time in those years, when I wasn’t conscious of myself and my looks despite my trying not to be. But who do I blame for that? The doctor? My mom? My classmates? My siblings? Who do I blame for the pictures I didn’t take? It would be easy to blame my mom, she was buying me leggings when she should’ve been taking me to the dermatologist. She was expressing her worry when she should’ve been giving an encouraging word. But I ultimately made the decision to let my skin rule my teenage years. Now, here I am on the brink of adulthood.

There are many teenage girls (and guys) with Papular Utricaria who because of the outward manifestations have lost their sense of self esteem. Your devil might not even be an Utricaria. It could be an infection, cleft lip, fat lips, gap tooth, flat nose, small nose, bad edges, bow legs, k legs, broken teeth, body odour, mouth odour, etc etc. And yes, there are measures we can take to work out these devils but I want to give an encouraging word where my mother did not. And that is, don’t let it rob you off years of beautiful experiences and memories.

I appreciate my aunty Akudo because she said something important to me.  She said its never about what you have, in my case an utricaria. She said, its about your confidence. When you walk with confidence, when you are confident in yourself, the last thing people will care about are the spots on your leg. She would always say, be yourself, free yourself, and be you. And that’s what I want everyone to take from this. Do not be anxious of the little things. Just be yourself. Be you.

Meet Tanzania woman Rebeca Gyumi; Who Fought Tanzania’s Child Marriage Laws and Won

She is popularly known as the woman who fought for an end to child marriages in Tanzania and won.

Tanzania is one of the African countries with the highest rates of child marriage in the world – two out of every five girls marry before their 18th birthday with a prevalence rate of 37% nationwide, according to the country’s national demographic and health survey of 2015/16.

Rebeca Gyumi, in early 2016, filed a petition at the High Court to challenge the Tanzania Marriage Act which allowed girls as young as 14 to get married and won a landmark case that same year that raised the age of child marriage from 14 to 18.

Following the impact of her work, Gyumi was named the 2016 UNICEF Global Goals award winner for her work in advancing girls’ rights in Tanzania. That same year, she was named 2016 Woman of the Year by New Africa Magazine.

Today, the girls rights activist is preparing to receive the 2018 Human Rights Prize awarded by the United Nations.

She tells news site CNN: “I was pretty much shocked. So shocked and caught unaware that I was even considered for such a prestigious prize.”

Growing up, at the age of 13, she realized that some of her colleagues in school were compelled to abandon their education because they were given away in marriage due to pregnancy.

At the age of 20, Gyumi became aware that child marriage was not just a local problem in her community but a national one.

“It bothered me that the age for boys to be married was 18 but for girls, it was 14,” she said.

Sadly, that is the reality in many parts of the African continent including Niger, Central African Republic, Chad, Mali and South Sudan. Each year, 15 million girls are married before the age of 18 and if the current trends continue, the number of girls who marry as children will reach 1.2 billion by 2050, warns Girls Not Brides, a global organisation committed to ending child marriage.

Rebecca Gyuim
Credit: Missie Popular

Girls who marry as children are often not able to achieve their full potential, as they leave school early, suffer domestic violence and do not get access to proper healthcare.

Some even die during pregnancy and childbirth as a result of complications because their bodies are not ready. Child marriages affect the economies of several countries and it is worrying that some countries still allow the practice to continue.

While studying law at the university, Gyumi learned about the Tanzanian Marriage Act of 1971 and realized that there was an opportunity to challenge the law.

Along with her colleagues, she went ahead to do that, especially some years after pursuing law as a profession. What the team did was to petition the Tanzanian High Court to change the Tanzanian Marriage Act which allowed girls as young as 14 to get married, providing ample reasons as to why child marriages should end.

In July 2016, the High court ruled in her favour and declared that Sections 13 and 17 of the Marriage Act were unconstitutional and raised the minimum age to 18 for both boys and girls.’’

Though critics attacked her for promoting a “western culture”, many people across the country welcomed the news but their joy became short-lived when the government appealed against the ruling in 2017, arguing that child marriage can protect girls who get pregnant out of wedlock.

The case is in Tanzanian’s high court at the moment and a verdict is supposed to be out soon. Meanwhile, Gyumi believes that a victory for the government would “look really bad” as “it is not a victory a country can be proud of.”

Being the founder and the Executive Director of Msichana Initiative, an NGO which aims to empower girl children through education, Gyumi says the amendment of the law is not their only focus as their aim is to ensure that the law is being enforced at the local level.

“We need to teach girls around the country to stand up for their rights and continue engaging with communities,” she says.

In spite of the challenges from critics and some government stakeholders, Gyumi is optimistic that winning the 2018 Human Rights Prize would put her and her country on the map.

“It’s a proud moment for me and for the girls I stood up for and for the ongoing global progress that is happening around girls’ and women’s rights.”

Credit: howafrica.com

Today at Toyin street Ikeja, I found a new connect.

I’m on Toyin Street, Ikeja Lagos trying to locate a particular shop. I get down from my car because there’s traffic and I’m running out of time. I can’t locate the street so I stand at a junction to get directions from google maps.

I look up from my phone and I see three men walk intentionally towards me. One of them is unclad from waist up. The remaining two walk behind him, like bodyguards. The unclad man is now standing in front of me, I see now he’s holding a dumbbell of around 10kg.

As I look at the dumbbell and back at him, he smiles foolishly and begins to pump…slowly. What is happeninggggg??? I almost laugh but there are 3 men who have surrounded me, one of them working a dumbbell. “How va?” Dumbbell asks me. His smile looks like he’s about to bite.

I do not respond. I turn around, wondering if my driver is close by so he can save me from the situation. “Ahn ahn. You no wan answer ni? As I see you comot for car I say AH! Omooo ele! Na gym I dey o, but I no fit miss you…” dumbbell is talking to me, still pumping.

It’s time to call my driver. “Akeem, bring the car to where you dropped me off. Let’s go” I say to my driver as soon as he answers the phone. “Ahhhhhh. Your driver name is Akeem. My name is Akeem too o. Everybody know me for here as AK. But is Akeem”.

I still do not respond. I can see my car, my driver is driving towards me. Now one of the mute bodyguards speaks, “They’re talking to you, you’re doing gbonku gbonku. You don’t know who is this?” I look at dumbbell. I don’t care. He’s still working his arms. “Look up!” Commands the bodyguard. I look up. I don’t see anything. “Yinka Bamgbose. You see am?” Dumbbell is speaking for himself now as he points at a street sign directly above me, “Dah is my father name. So dee is awa street. My name is Akeem Bamgbose…”

Dumbell stretches out his sweaty palms. I ignore it. My car is here. “Wo. Psss… I never see you here before, anything you want for this area, eees me you look for. Ask for AK, mo cover è (Translation: I’ve got you)” My driver jumps down from the car and and does a mini jog towards me. He opens the car door and says, “Oya ma. Let’s go,” as he steps up to Dumbbell which made him instinctively step back. As I enter the car, Dumbbell reminds me, “Omo Ele, AK ni o, no forget. Anytin at all” My driver zooms off.

I realise I’ve been holding my breath.

Worldly Riches

Death, they say is inevitable but is it less painful?

I am not an emotional person. I will say it again. I rarely get emotional. So years ago, anytime death was mentioned around me, I never used to feel anything. Maybe I was of the mindset that we will all die one day – I don’t know but somehow, death seemed to be a faraway thing to me.

That was until I read a book – I cannot remember the title at the moment but in the book, a mother lost her Police officer son and it broke her. Permit me to say that I got broken too. Days earlier before I read the book, a friend of mine had lost a relative and even as I consoled her, I knew deep down that I did not understand her grief. But as I read that book, about 6 years ago, I wept.

ALSO SEE: #DANGDoctor Aniebiet Ekong Preventive medicine – the way forward in Nigeria

It was not small weeping. For days, I felt like I was tied down in a fog where I was not given permission to rise. I just kept tearing up at every little thing. I would look at my parents, friends, siblings and start crying. My grief, I could not explain to anyone. No one understood what was breaking me.

Then very recently, the son of a popular musician died and it shook me again. All I could think of was why it happened. I remember saying to my friends, “How will they cope. How do they get over this loss.” Throughout that week, I found myself constantly fighting tears. Sometimes, I’d bow my head down at work just to cry and then pray. Other times, I got so overwhelmed, I’d run into the toilet to cry.

And then just last week, my pastor lost his wife and that, I still cannot understand. I mean they had known each other since University days. They were friends first before lovers. They then married and then started a family – out of love, commitment and all. They gave to each other. Oh, they loved. And then, came death and snatched her away, so coldly.

As I watched him struggle with tears and his emotions during the ‘going home’ service, my heart bled for him. He had lost so much weight, got darker and looked so gaunt. Reading his tribute to his wife, I couldn’t hold back the flood of tears. The only thing I kept thinking of was that he had lost his best friend.

As I left church, My friend said to me “How is he so strong? How is he holding up? I swear I would fall apart.” I voiced out the same thought, telling her how I felt exactly the same way. I mean I don’t know how I’ll live again if I lost my mama. I dread that thought.

We both came to the same conclusion : Do well for that loved one today before it is too late. Share memories, laugh, cry, live, love together. Do not neglect them only to mourn when they are no more.

And for everyone mourning who has just lost a loved one, may you have a thousand and more reasons to smile soon and may your broken heart be mended.

Written by Ayo Al for Diaryofanaijagirl,ng

Being a father chased fear

How My Life Turned Around After Our Full-term Stillborn

 

Dealing with death is difficult no matter the situation.  Unfortunately, it is something my wife and I had to overcome early in our marriage.

Over seven years ago we were expecting our second child.  The pregnancy was going as planned.  The baby was in excellent health, and my wife was feeling as good as possible.

It was all good until my wife went to her last appointment before her scheduled delivery.

At that appointment, she found out the baby no longer had a heartbeat.  We also learned the baby was going to be our second son.

Later that day we went to the hospital to induce labor, and on January 27th, Christian was born.

We got to hold him for a few hours and then I had to plan a funeral.

Everything happened so quickly and those few days are a blur.

After the funeral, it was hard to go back to normal.  We had an empty nursery at the house, hospital bills for a child we didn’t get to bring home, and unfulfilled hope.

Everyday life was hard for a long time after his birth.  A bad situation got worse when we started unnecessarily buying things to fill a void, alcohol flowed smoothly for me, and my weight increased.

A year later, we were in massive debt, our marriage wasn’t like it used to be, I was unfulfilled with work, and I was in the worst shape of my life.

Christian would have only been about 18 months younger than our oldest son.  We had dreams of them growing up close, playing sports with each other, and being best friends.

With most deaths, you have memories of the departed, but with when Christian died we lost our dreams.  That was the hardest part for us.

Getting Out of the Funk

In late 2011, thankfully, we were expecting our third child.  Unfortunately, everything else in my life needed a change because I had to get our family out the mess. I remember sitting in my car during lunch and made the decision to change my life.

As I was thinking how to change, I read a quote from Tony Robbins that inspired me, “the path to success is to take massive, determined action.”

So that’s what I did.

Here are the steps I took that helped me get unstuck quickly.

Personal Development

Almost immediately I started to devour personal development material.  I wanted to learn from those who had experienced success.  Specifically, those who overcame obstacles.

Most people think this would be expensive, but 90% of personal development tools are free.  Here is a list of what I used to fill my mind and soul with positivity daily:

  • Podcasts
  • Library books
  • YouTube Videos (Mostly TedTalks)
  • OverDrive (app to listen to Audiobooks from library)
  • Blogs

Starting this habit helped me immensely.  It is the reason I was able to change careers in the middle of a recession, write a book, sell an app business, start an Amazon business, and develop my blog.

Massive Change

As I was voraciously studying personal development material, I realised I needed a change in my life.  I need something to make me a little uncomfortable.

For me, that was changing careers.

I had been in the financial services industry since graduating college but was disengaged with work for a long time.  I loved helping people with their finances (I still do), but I realised the banks were more interested in their own profits than the customers.00

This change gave me the opportunity to start over.  It was something I needed immensely.

Exercise

Though I had made mental changes, I realised my health was still an area that needed improvement.

In 2012, I decided to start training for a 1/2 marathon.  I’m not sure what sparked that genius idea, but I began training in February and ran my the race in May.

At the time, I didn’t realise all the benefits of exercise. Knowing what I know now, I would have started exercising sooner to help me get out of my miserable state of mind.

Exercising helps change your mindset.  You feel better about yourself because your body produces more endorphins when you exercise.  These endorphins are chemicals in your body that improve your immunity, helps you relax, and is a natural mood booster.

Since that race, I have kept up a pretty steady exercise program.  Currently, I workout at least 4 to 5 days a week. My workouts include:

  • Running
  • Playing basketball
  • Weight training
  • Cardio workouts
  • Swimming
  • Playing with my kids

Being Present

There is an old quote that says, “wherever you are, be all there.”

Before Christian being born (and after), my mind was always all over the place.  I thought work was the most important thing in life and I had dreams of climbing the corporate ladder.

I would put in 12 hour days. When I was at work, I would be thinking about my family.  When I was with my family, I would be thinking about work.  I didn’t even make my wife’s last doctors appointment because I was at work.

After our daughter was born, I realized I needed to be more present.  It was then I started experimenting with meditation to learn to be focused.  Currently, I try to meditate daily for 7-10 minutes.

Learning to be present, helped me concentrate more on my family and, surprisingly, work.  Due to this change, I have better relationships with my kids, my wife, and am more productive.

I’ll never forget our baby boy Christian.  It was a difficult time in my life.

However, I did learn the best way to get out of difficult times includes digesting positive materials, massive change, exercise, and being present.    Implementing all of these actions helped me rekindle my relationship with my wife, pay off our debt within 18 months, and live a life I love.

What has helped you over obstacles in your life?

Source: Possibilitychange.com

Preventive medicine

#DANGDoctor Aniebiet Ekong Preventive medicine – the way forward in Nigeria

 

It’s time that we should decide to take the oars of our health into our hands. It’s apparent that the system has failed and is continually failing, from lack of resources to lack of infrastructure (human, power, hospitals, equipment’s, etc.).

We have watched people die from seemingly small situations that could easily be handled, from lack of insurance, lack of funds, lack of access to proper healthcare or from lack of trained personnel to handle it. Truth is, there is nothing that can be done right now that would not take time and dedication. So what do we do in the meantime? Preventive medicine.

Let’s start with hypertension, until 2004, a review by in the Journal of Nutrition concerning the epidemiology of hypertension in Africans indicated that it was not a disease with high prevalence estimates in Africa. Meaning that a few Africans were diagnosed with hypertension. Now it’s almost in every household and it’s getting worse.

Some people would argue that we didn’t have the right equipment to diagnose and I would say that studies have indicated that hypertension is generally aggravated by obesity and high salt intakes, obesity is a disease caused by urbanisation and wealth. So to indicate that we are wealthy we gain weight. That’s just for hypertension, what of a myriad of other diseases that are now plaguing Africans including diabetes.

ALSO READ: Mental illness in teens is more common than people think

If we cast our minds back, how did our parents live? Long tales of how they would walk distances to fetch water, go to school, play under the moonlight, play in the sand, eat fewer pieces of meat. All of that, although it indicated suffering to us but it basically is a picture of the better times. There was a lot of walking so there was increased physical activity so people did not get too fat, children played a lot in the moonlight so obesity rates in children were reduced. They ate portions they could afford so obesity rates were controlled also.

Back to the present, children are not allowed to play in schools because the schools are competing with others, they are not allowed to play at home because the environment is unsafe or we just want quiet. Parents don’t have time to walk or exercise because we are just too busy, the economy is failing and we have to survive. I understand all of that.

What is the result? Increasing incidences of chronic diseases, which are now coupled with infectious diseases (which we already had by the way) and a failing system.

What do we do? Take it into our hands, practise preventive medicine…allow children to play, walk more, exercise more, eat less, eat a variety of food groups so that it can provide all the nutrients we need, have regular medical check-ups. If there’s no money for that, do the others.

Until the country gets better, we can and we will fight for ourselves and it starts with our health.

Wriiten by Aniebiet Ekong for Diaryofanaijagirl.ng

 

Teenagers and Mental Illness

Mental illness in teens is more common than people think

It’s normal for teenagers to be moody at times. But when are an adolescent’s mood swings a sign of something more—like mental illness?

Mental illness is more common in teens than you think. But many types of mental illness are treatable, and it’s just a matter of pinpointing the diagnosis.

Six Facts About Mental Illness

Here are 6 facts about mental illness in teens that parents should be aware of.

Physicians define “mental illness” differently than most of us do

Physicians look at specific criteria in order to determine if a person has a mental illness.

For a person to be diagnosed with major depressive disorder, physicians generally look for depressed mood or a lack of interest in hobbies or recreational activities. However, in teens, these signs might show up as changes in their grades, a disinterest in friends, or out-of-character irritability. If at least one of those symptoms is present, additional criteria are assessed.

Additionally, five out of following seven symptoms are required for diagnosis:

  • changes in sleep
  • new onset of guilt
  • changes in energy level
  • changes in concentration or task completion
  • changes in appetite
  • changes in motivation
  • thoughts of suicide

If a person has experienced five of those symptoms nearly every day, for at least two weeks, he or she might be diagnosed with major depressive disorder.

READ MORE: I am not a weak person. I am stronger than most can even imagine.

The lesson: If your teen has occasional episodes of anger or stays out late sometimes, it’s probably not a reason to be worried.

On the other hand, if those feelings persist and there are other unusual symptoms, it’s probably a good idea to talk to your doctor.

Warning signs of mental illness in teens vary depending on the condition

For most kids, one of the telltale signs is going to be a decline in grades, but there are other warning signs, as well.

Changes in social habits including pulling away from school, friends, and activities that your child has enjoyed participating in in the past could be another warning sign.

Generalized anxiety, social phobias, and depression also have their own unique symptoms.

Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include:

  • Feeling restless, wound up, or on edge
  • Becoming fatigued easily
  • Struggling with concentration
  • Experiencing irritability
  • Feeling muscle tension
  • Having difficulty keeping worry levels under control
  • Struggling with sleep, such as difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep, or not feeling well-rested

Social anxiety disorder symptoms include:

  • Feeling very anxious at the thought of being around others, and struggling to talk to other people
  • Experiencing extreme self-consciousness and fear of humiliation, embarrassment, rejection, or offending people
  • Worrying about being judged
  • Feeling anxious days or even weeks ahead of a social event
  • Avoiding places where other people will be
  • Struggling to make and keep friends
  • Blushing, sweating, or trembling around others
  • Experiencing nausea around other people

And signs of depression include:

  • Feeling persistently sad, anxious, or empty
  • Experiencing hopelessness or pessimism
  • Struggling with irritability
  • Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
  • Losing interest in hobbies or activities that used to be enjoyable
  • Struggling with fatigue or lack of energy
  • Moving and/or talking more slowly than usual
  • Feeling restless
  • Struggling with concentration, memory, and/or decision-making
  • Experiencing unexplained changes in appetite or weight
  • Having thoughts of death or suicide
  • Unexplained aches or pains that don’t go away when treated

While at least some of these symptoms generally have to be present for several weeks or months before an accurate diagnosis can be made, sometimes, even just 2 weeks’ worth of symptoms is enough to consider a diagnosis.

Mental illness in teens is more common than people think—but also very treatable

Mental illness is preventable. However, in most cases, parents don’t bring the child in until after issues have been going on for months and months because they are in denial. Most parents feel that, “It can’t possibly be what’s happening to my child.”

You should talk to your teen if you’re concerned.

If your teen seems stressed or if there’s been a significant change in their behavior it’s best to address it in conversation with them first. It may not necessarily mean a psychiatric diagnosis like depression or anxiety, but it could still be a sign that there is something going on in their life that is acting as some type of stressor.

Source: Pennmedicine.org

Age-Shaming is wrong

Can Age-Shaming Be the Next Fat-Shaming?

I don’t want to feel bad about my neck. And so far, I really don’t. It looks totally fine. If you saw my neck, you’d agree: There’s nothing wrong with it.

Nonetheless, I’ve been in an ambient state of dread about my neck (and the rest of my aging body) for the last 15 years or so. I’ve been worried on two fronts: (1) That even though I generally feel good about myself, I will grow to hate my own appearance. (2) That other people will hate me because I have stopped being young. I’ve read Nora Ephron; I know how this movie ends. The credits roll and there we all are: accomplished older women, standing in front of our mirrors, pulling at our turkey-wattles, feeling bad.

I bought my first very expensive “anti-aging” eye cream at the tender age of 25. I joked that it was “preventative,” before the term was paired unironically with Botox. I had no sign of wrinkles, but that didn’t stop me from combating them. At 30 I used intense pulse lasers on my sun spots. At 35 I was convinced by an overzealous dermatologist to try glycolic peels and Retin-A. I read about foreskin-stem-cell facials, and instead of horror, I felt intrigued. I researched snail enzymes and LED-light treatments and cryogenic chambers.

Guess what? I still look 40. Maaaaaaybe I could pass for 38 immediately after using one of those terrifying sheet-masks people are always Instagramming.

What’s even more embarrassing than all the prophylactic beauty treatments is that, until very recently, I was engaged in the delusion that I might still be able to get better-looking. I had convinced myself that — through an alchemy of funds, time, self-control, and prayer — I’d finally have all I needed to get my body into what I vaguely referred to as “the best shape of my life.” In my imagined 40s I’d be able to afford Juice Press. I’d find enough resolve to say no to afternoon doughnuts like, “Whatever, big deal, who needs doughnuts?” I’d get enough sleep because I’d be boring and disciplined and never drink on weeknights. Instead of slouching toward decrepitude, I’d be that silver-streaked goddess in the front row at hot yoga. I cringe to admit this, but I looked at how Tina Fey and Gwyneth Paltrow were aging, and I actually thought that could be my trajectory.

I should have seen this line of thinking as early-onset dementia. Instead I took a lifetime of inherited bias against old people and turned it inward. If someone as exceptional as Nora Ephron was powerless to avoid internalized dissatisfaction about her neck, what chance did I stand? And yet, I began to realize, I was more afraid of the feelings that aging would inspire in me, than afraid of the physical changes. After my ridiculous 15-year campaign against the inevitable, I’ve found that I just don’t want to hate my neck, or apologize for my soft upper arms. I don’t want to sacrifice facial expressions any more than I want to be told that a size 12 is too fat.

I’m not expecting BuzzFeed to add an OLDS category with articles like “21 Things Only Postmenopausal Women Know About Necks,” but I do hope that things will get better. I have faith in millennial women to change things because so many of them are going to start to feel the effects of aging soon. Like me, I suspect they are going to find that they don’t want to worry about being invisible and irrelevant and unemployable just because of the way they look. And when their self-esteem crashes against a societal norm, these are women who tend to push back against those norms. My hope is that their readiness to regard all kinds of personal matters as political statements will usher in a conversation about age-shaming to echo the ones they started about slut-shaming and body-shaming.

I’ve spent an awful lot of time worrying about looking old, and I’m ready to give it a rest. Instead of worrying about looking bad, I would rather recalibrate my sense of what looks good. I want the world to recognize the beauty of time on a woman’s face, and if the world never will, I want, at least, to make peace with it in my own life. I want to be like one of those confident older women who walked in Rachel Comey’s fashion show last season — wrinkles, gray hair, and all. Seeing images of older women treated as normal and beautiful has a profound effect on me. Much like scrolling through the feeds of curve models, it recalibrates my sense of the ordinary and expands my visual vocabulary of ways to look.

Lately I’ve been thinking more about how to avoid the things I’m actually scared of about getting old: becoming set in my ways, stuck in my thinking or narrow in my influences. I want to keep my mind-set open, my life full of voices that are vibrant and diverse. That takes a lot of work too, but I’m confident it will have a greater return on investment than all the creams in the world. That was always the case, it just took me getting older to recognize it.

Source:Thecut.com

Living With Your Demons

I am not a weak person. I am stronger than most can even imagine.

It’s like an endless black hole eating me up inside. It’s consuming of both time and energy and I’m not quite sure how to handle it some days. For the most part I have it under control but there are some days where it just takes complete control over me. I do everything I possibly can to keep it under the radar, I smile and laugh even when I feel like falling apart. When I feel myself losing control I excuse myself and break down, but for some reason it’s still my fault.

You tell me everyday that the monster isn’t real but you will never know until you live with it. Until you feel it over power you and control your every thought motion you have no room to talk. The monster is exactly that, it’s a monster. We all have monsters. They live in our heads. They destroy every sense of security we have. They bash in the light bulb and force us to live in the dark so they can be with us forever.

My monster is loud. All I hear is him roaring in my head, slamming his hands and stomping his feet because I refuse to live in the dark, my whole life I lived there. And I hate to say this, but my monster always wins. No matter how hard I fight, I will never be strong enough. My monster does control me more than I control myself and I hate it. I hate how weak the monster makes me.

I am not a weak person. I am stronger than most can even imagine. I am a strong person. I am strong… but this beast inside of me brings me down. It tears me apart. It cripples me. The monster consumes me all day everyday and this is the first time I am able to admit it.

Living with the monster isn’t easy. I cry everyday. I feel it coming over my like a storm cloud filling up the once sunny sky. It’s like I’m drowning every moment of my life.There is rarely anymore moments of happiness because the monster destroyed every piece of it I have ever had. Everyday is a struggle. The monster is fighting piece of will I have in me.

But despite how strong this monster is, I will not let it take me. I will not let it swallow me hole. The thing about living with the monster is that with everyday it consumes you… you are one step closer to strength. I know that really makes no sense, but that’s life. Life doesn’t make sense as is and adding the monster into the mix just makes it even more complicated. But the complications in life helps make the future easier.

Source: Theodysseyonline.com

Losing Interest In Life Tips

When You Begin losing interest in life and start getting confused, you should do this

There are many good answers already. Most of the answers are focused on the action you can take. However, the most important element is knowing the cause. Without knowing the cause any action will only provide temporary fix.

See our mental state is governed largely by what is in our subconscious mind. And our subconscious is largely built up of what we feed it over the years. Think of a bag, if you put garbage in it, you will only find garbage in it later. Subconscious works the same way, if you put garbage in, you will get garbage back. Here are the top 4 garbage items and what to do with them:

ALSO SEE: Why You Should Prioritize Your Health Before You Meet Someone New

  1. TV/News – It is very rare that you see any positive news on TV or other news mediums. The rest is just garbage for your subconscious, and it very likely is adding to your depression. I suggest stop watching TV and stop ready/listening to any news.
  2. Trash Talk – If you are surrounded by people who like to trash talk, weather about their own situation, themselves, their friends/family or about their money or whatever else, that has to be cut off! This means that you need to think about every single person that is around you, their habits etc. This also means listening to your own words, your own thoughts, and anytime you say anything negative/trash etc, stop yourself, think of the same situation but now say something positive.
  3. Food – Just like trash talk, we are hell bent at feeding ourselves trash these days. Make a conscious choice for eating only healthy and fresh foods.
  4. Air – Believe it or not, but the air you breath has a tremendous impact on you. If you stay mostly indoors then you are not getting fresh air/oxygen that your brain needs. If you live in/around a polluted area then going outside is not going to help much. If that is the case, you are better of dedicating a small area inside your home, and grow small plants.

You will not be able to do these things for very long or consistently unless you realise that it is important to change your subconscious paradigm which is attracting the negativity, in turn causing depression.

Loosing interest in life, really means not knowing your own purpose in life. Every living being has a purpose, yet, large population remains unaware of their own purpose. It is very likely that you have been trying to live a life for yourself only, or focused too much on others who didn’t appreciate what you did for them. Either way, time to stop. To truly realise the purpose of your life, you will need to spend some serious amount of time serving humanity, animals or any other cause you feel strongly about without any expectations attached to it.

Here are 3 key things you can do to attract brand new experiences that will drive away the depression, bad thoughts and habits, negative energy and people.

  1. Start meditating. This one is not easy. Many people think that meditation is about reaching complete silence, and others have different concepts. If you have never done any meditation, I suggest starting out with guided meditation (i.e. some sort of a class). Or you can start with finding good videos on youtube.
  2. Donate large sums of money. Large can mean completely different to different people. The purpose is to detach yourself from the money. If you are going to donate but then keep cribbing or start boasting that you donated money, then it is of not much help. Do it with a sense of gratitude that you received this money when you needed it, and now you are passing it to someone/someplace where it is needed.
  3. Surround yourself with positive, spiritual, high energy people. If you do any of the above items, this one will come naturally.

Most important, stop expecting instant results and prepare yourself and make the commitment to make lasting changes to your life.

Source: Quora.com

Why You Should Prioritize Your Health

Why You Should Prioritize Your Health Before You Meet Someone New

You want to look your best when you’re dating new people. For most of us, that means dropping a few pounds. In your head, you just have to buckle down on your calorie count for a few weeks or months, and you’ll look great in your tightest jeans or fitted leather jacket. And then you’ll finally feel ready to date.

So you put off posting your profile. Maybe you succeed in losing a couple of pounds, but then life gets in the way. Maybe you regain some weight. Maybe you don’t lose as much as you’d hoped. Whatever the case, your weight can become a convenient and never-ending excuse for keeping you at home.

Here’s an idea: Stop waiting. Put yourself out there in the perfectly imperfect body you have.

It’s no secret that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. In other words, most people aren’t walking around rocking a doctor’s office-worthy Body Mass Index. That means they probably don’t expect yours to be, too.

ALSO READ: Your Will Power Is More Powerful Than You Think

Don’t get me wrong. Physical attraction is a critical component of dating. But it’s usually a combination of many things, including how someone takes care of themselves, dresses themselves and carries themselves in the world.

The good news is that plenty of people will love your curvy body just as it is. And they’re more than happy to meet you and your Dad Bod. People tend to be more forgiving about your weight than you might think.

Unless someone is looking for a very specific body type – and they often will clearly say they’re looking for someone who is slender or thin – they don’t let someone’s few extra pounds stand in the way of finding true love. They’re looking to meet a fun, attractive and nice person.

Here are some tips about how to feel good dating in the body you’re in:

Buy clothes that flatter your current size.

Find jeans, sweaters, dresses and jackets that you feel good in. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money because you plan to buy smaller sizes in the future, you can always find quality clothes on the cheap at discount stores, eBay or by finding online sales. The point is to wear clothes that help you feel good about your appearance so you can radiate confidence on your dates.

Post accurate photos.

Take some beautiful pictures of yourself at the size you are. Most people don’t mind your extra weight. What they do mind is false advertising on your online dating profile. They rightfully feel deceived when a person who is significantly heavier – or shorter, taller or older – shows up on a date, instead of the person they thought they were meeting.

Talk about yourself in a loving way.

You can influence how people see you by how you describe yourself. You also shape how you feel about yourself. If you’re asked to describe yourself, you can write about how much you love your “soft, curvy” body. Avoid loaded words like “fat” or “overweight.” Say you’re a “bigger guy who loves enveloping his sweetheart in a bear hug.” Find the positive message.

Show your date you live a healthy lifestyle.

Are you making your health a priority? Are you following a weight loss plan? You can easily communicate that to your matches. Send a photo of yourself on your Sunday morning hike. Share the fact that you’re spending your afternoon making healthy meals for the week.

Many people are looking for partners who will support their own health goals. Make it clear that eating well and exercising are important to you. And don’t forget to walk your talk on actual dates. That means skipping the nachos and margaritas and making healthy choices.

The bottom line:

We’re all human and trying to live the best lives we can in a world with constant temptation. Don’t let a little extra padding prevent you from finding a sweetheart now.

Source: Eharmony.com

Will Power Tips

Your Will Power Is More Powerful Than You Think

Willpower has been termed ‘the greatest human strength’, and rightly so…as it is the factor behind every single noteworthy human achievement down the centuries! With willpower, the impossible can be made possible…without this all important quality, everything you have worked for can be lost in an instant. By harnessing your willpower, and exercising self control and practical wisdom, you can work toward your personal and professional goals and truly enjoy the quality of life that you deserve.

Even if you have always felt that you lack this all important quality, do not feel disheartened. By consciously trying to develop willpower, you can in fact achieve miracles. Through regular exercises and self- discipline, willpower can be cultivated over the years. Self-care can ensure that you have the willpower to get things done, on time and every time.

To ensure career success through willpower, it is important that you have a roadmap charted out. Chalk out the professional goals you would like to achieve in your life. Set targets, and put down dates by which you would like to have reached each career milestone. Some goals may need some work- such as undertaking a course of study- or achieving a certain level of experience.

You can also map out your weaknesses, and formulate ways to turn them around. For instance, if you wish to be a leader, but are not good at communication, there are workshops you can attend to skill up as required. A series of small changes can turn around your life and lead to huge positive changes in your career.

You could take the help of training experts to work out the certification courses that could help you along the way. One of your goals could be to increase your earning capabilities. Some credentials such as the PMP certification in India have been proven to give a 42% salary hike to certified individuals. You can list out your goal of completing the course of study leading to the PMP exam, and successfully clearing the exam. Willpower plays an important role in this endeavour – you should be religious in studying every day, despite any other pressures you may face in your life.

Make resolutions – and stick to them. Your resolution may be as simple as clearing your email inbox every day. Piling up incomplete work never helps, and once you fall behind it is very hard to catch up. Staying on top of your daily work requires a certain amount of willpower.

ALSO SEE: Between ego, pride, self respect and being down to earth? Which are you?

Levels of failure and success in your career, leadership capabilities, the ability to be a good team player, and the ability to get tasks completed on time are all directly related to your willpower, or the lack of it! A person who lacks this all important quality is certainly doomed to a life of constant failures and inadequacies.

In fact, a lack of mental strength and willpower can affect every aspect of your life- not just your career alone. Taking the first few steps to develop your mental faculties can be difficult, especially if you are faced with toxic situations, peer pressure or stress caused by family or friends. However, you must make a comprehensive life plan – keep at it and you will surely succeed. Make sure you start to consciously work on developing your personal and professional skills through willpower, and you could create a sea-change in your entire life!

Source; Knowledgehut.com

Age-Shaming is wrong

Between ego, pride, self respect and being down to earth? Which are you?

Ego is one’s own awareness of oneself, ‘I am’. Pride can be normal or excessive. Normal pride a positive self image and a sense of pleasure in what you are. However one can have pride in one’s children and friends which is evident in one’s enjoyment being as much as the person in his/her success. Excessive pride is the feeling that there is nobody like me which goes under the name of egotism, boastfulness, presumptuousness, ostentatiousness etc. and the excessively proud person is an egotist

Self Respect originates from one’s values, education, upbringing and culture. It is different from pride. It is self respect that does not allow me to tolerate a person who is ‘stepping on my toes’ nor would I tolerate being taken for granted or pushed literally and figuratively.

Being down to earth means a practical person who uses his head and heart properly, looks at situations calmly and is not swayed by emotions in carrying out his/her duty in a given situation.

ALSO READ: IS SOCIAL MEDIA THE NEW HIGH?

Of all these things Ego and Pride are to be avoided as much as possible. Pride is good if its for the country or family etc. Ego makes us demanding and narcissist, we expect people to always be below us at any cost may it be asking for an apology or taking initiative to talk, we always expect the other person to do so. Too much pride is related to ego as it increases the latter.

Now coming to self respect and being down to earth, having self respect is mandatory as it guides us when to stop giving in to a person or a situation. we cannot expect people to respect us until we respect ourselves. Being down to earth always gives us a positive vibe and makes us more approachable. People feel comfortable in talking to us as we are not always boasting of our position/achievements.

Source: Quora.com

Dating a colleague tips

Before dating a colleague at work; consider these 4 things

Because professionals spend most of their time together, it is not abnormal to hear of colleagues falling in love with each other.

Before acting on that attraction, however, here are 5 questions that you need to ask yourself.

1. Does your company have a policy against it?

Most companies have a policy in place which prohibits love affairs between colleagues.

So you need to ask yourself if your company has this type of policy, and how rigidly do they enforce this policy?

ALSO SEE: Getting Dumped Before My Wedding Taught Me Things I Never Knew

2. Won’t I be distracted?

Love is a beautiful thing and we all encourage people to fall in love and experience its beauty.

However, company owners are after maximising profit and getting the best out of their workers.

So ask yourself, will this relationship significantly affect my work and productivity?

The answer you give might be the difference between having a job and being unemployed.

3. How successful will the relationship actually be?

You also have to consider the actual possibility of the relationship working because, in the situation that the relationship fails, you are going to be stuck with seeing that face everyday. Now imagine that.

4. How closely do you work?

How about the closeness of your activities at work? Do you work on different teams, or in different departments?

Or do you work in the same team?

How closely you work might also have an impact on whether a relationship with a colleague will work or not.

Getting Dumped Before My Wedding

Getting Dumped Before My Wedding Taught Me Things I Never Knew

Getting dumped a few weeks before my wedding was the most painful experience of my life to date, but how I came through it is the single proudest moment of my life.

When I met with his mother four years after the breakup, she said she’d felt so guilty over these past few years. “I loved you like a daughter, and he’s my son—I never want any of my children to feel that pain.”

I told her I was glad it happened, not for the fact that the breakup needed to happen (was inevitable even), but to have experienced the pain and loss, to confront my then-unconscious fear of failure straight on, and to not only survive, but thrive as a result.

I told her I look forward to failing now. More accurately, I appreciate the lessons learned and the growth I’ll only be able to experience by getting back up, dusting myself off, humbly reflecting on where I went wrong, and pushing forward with a more finely tuned compass.

But that perspective didn’t come easily.

We were together for eight years through our twenties and into our early thirties. Four years in, we got engaged.

One month before the wedding I went from bliss to being sucker punched in the lower intestines (emotionally speaking).

It was a Tuesday. This was two days after coming home from one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I’d just finished yoga teacher training at an eight-day intensive on Long Island, Maine.

It was a perfect week. I came home still buzzing with blissful vibes and gratitude. When he said we needed to talk, my stomach dropped so hard and so fast I thought it would fall out of me.

He said he didn’t want to get married anymore.

The contrast and transition from high to low was dizzying. In one week I felt both the best and worst I’d ever felt in my life.

The following months were comprised of uncontrollable crying, deep sorrow, and some of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned.

Reading the stories of others who have loved and lost were so helpful to me when I was in pain, as were the bite-sized inspirational quotes from great and kind minds that I could carry with me through the day, so I’ve included those that helped me the most. It made me feel connected and not alone; it gave me hope knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel.

That’s why I’m writing this. To share what I learned through this whole ordeal, how it set me off on a path of self-discovery and development, and how I’m a smarter, stronger, and more compassionate person because of it. The same is possible for you.

ALSO SEE: IS SOCIAL MEDIA THE NEW HIGH?

I never stopped to define failure and what it means to me. At the time I would have said it meant to make a mistake, to not reach your goal, to fall short, to not be good enough

I’ve never been more accepting of my emotions and tolerant of pain since this experience. This journey and everything I’ve learned has led me to be my happiest me.

Not to say I’ve reached the end of my journey. The best part is there is always room for more growth, learning, compassion, love, and happiness. And I feel blessed that I have the opportunity to pursue it every day.

Once I got a taste of self-improvement, I was hooked. I started to see that happiness—true happiness—and freedom from the control of emotions, of feeling not good enough, from constant worry, were all attainable.

This experience was a blessing. A painful, messy, crash course in learning to navigate life’s difficulties with grace and resilience.

Source:TinyBuddha.com

 

IS SOCIAL MEDIA THE NEW HIGH

IS SOCIAL MEDIA THE NEW HIGH?

I have always wondered why people take out time to put events of their daily lives on social media no matter how minute.

A huge percentage of Facebook and Instagram users are so frequent with posts that you could easily predict their routines. From a post like #wakeuptime with a matching picture, to another like #nightrest, you could virtually conjecture the current activity of that user based on the time of the day the user made that post.

Some posts help to pass information to friends and associates about important personal events like weddings, birthday’s e.t.c.

How do you explain posts about being in the bathroom, cooking or window shopping? Some even post about their marital and sexual lives (when you are not a celebrity, who cares?)

Well, based on personal observation, there is this natural ‘high’ that making posts on social media generates for its numerous users.

This high is possibly derived from getting a number of ‘likes’ for a post and maybe being the one who shared a post that went viral. To me, this is the only logical explanation for such time consuming and irrelevant internet behavior.

Researchers at the University Of California Institute Of Cognitive Neuroscience discovered that a region of the brain is responsible for regulating our motivation and reward process as both respond positively to creativity. When that part of the brain interprets a physical activity as some form of novelty or idea, it releases a substance known as ‘DOPAMINE’.

‘DOPAMINE’ serves as a reward drug that inspires humans to go exploring. It majorly affects movement, pleasure and motivation. When ‘DOPAMINE’ is released, it gives the feeling of pleasure or satisfaction such that is derived from sharing content on social media that would later feed curiosity and amuse thousands of users.

ALSO SEE: Telling White Lies. Is It Ever Okay To Tell A Lie?

These users would show their varying appeals for such content through likes or any other form depending on the platform. The desire to gain such satisfaction would make the social media user to keep making such posts, regardless of how vain and thus causing a release of ‘DOPAMINE’ to make him/her ‘high’.

Isn’t it interesting to note that, though people aren’t drinking, smoking or swallowing sedatives, they might just be getting their fix from ‘Facebook’, ‘Instagram’, ‘twitter’ or all other social media platforms???

So next time you are posting away about being at work, no light or your dating chronicles, just know that you are high.

Written by Green Veno for Diaryofanaijagirl,ng

Should You Lie

Telling White Lies. Is It Ever Okay To Tell A Lie?

Telling lies is an integral part of human nature, and often makes life a little easier for everyone.

If you think back over your day today, can you honestly say that everything that came out of your mouth was 100% true?

Was the dinner someone special cooked for you really that delicious? Did you actually like your best friend’s haircut?

Maybe not, but you wouldn’t dream of telling them the truth. After all, in a situation like that, what would be the point?

We all tell tiny lies every day without even realising we’re doing it. We often do it unconsciously, to make either the person we’re lying to or even ourselves feel better about a situation.

These white lies we tell every day are a big part of life, but there are times when the truth needs to come out on top, and you need to be careful that telling what you think is a harmless lie doesn’t snowball and get you into a tricky situation.

ALSO READ: My ex boyfriend battered, humiliated & arrested me. I want him to pay for all he did to me

If you’re struggling to figure out when these lies are acceptable and when they aren’t, here are a few examples to guide you.

They’re Okay When…

1. Someone Asks You How You Are

When we greet a general acquaintance by asking them how they are, the only answer we’re really expecting is “Fine thanks, you?” If someone actually started telling you how they are, you’d be pretty taken aback.

The person that asks is probably just being polite, and odds are that they don’t have the time or the interest to listen to your problems.

This is an example of how white lies are an integral part of our culture.

2. When Complimenting How A Friend Looks

When you get a noticeable haircut, you’ll expect people to comment, so if your friend has a bizarre new look, they might take your silence as disapproval.

In this case, it’s perfectly fine to tell them you like it, because, let’s face it, there’s really nothing they can do about it.

The same goes for an outfit someone is wearing. Feel free to make a positive comment even if you think it’s a pretty odd choice.

The time and place for your honest opinion on someone’s outfit is when they’re deciding whether to buy it, or when they’re deciding what to wear for an occasion.

Beyond that, it’s best to lie, as, for example, if they’re already at work or at a party, they can’t exactly go home and change.

3. When Father Christmas Comes Up

There are times when telling harmless lies can create such magic that telling the truth would be nothing short of cruel.

Remember the excitement you felt at Christmas when you were a child? All a result of little white lies told with your best interests at heart.

Believing in the Tooth Fairy or Easter Bunny will do any little people in your life absolutely no harm, and quite a lot of good, encouraging their imaginations.

This also applies to conversations that they’re not ready for to protect their innocence, like where babies come from or why Mum and Dad don’t live together.

4. When You Want To Cancel

If you need to cancel plans and you don’t think people will understand that you just need some alone time and would be terrible company, then feel free to make something up so you both feel better, blaming it on work or illness.

Your best friends might understand your real reasons, but other people might not. Just be sure to cancel ASAP so they aren’t left hanging.

5. If You’re Late For Work

Or for class, or any situation where your turning up late might cause a problem.

If telling the truth – such as your alarm didn’t go off – won’t go down well and something as important as your job is at stake, a carefully crafted white lie is definitely worth telling to save the situation.

6. To Avoid Becoming Fuel for the Office Gossip

Is your gossipy co-worker trying to pry into your love life? In any situation when you’d rather not share personal things, it’s often better to come up with a white lie rather than telling them straight that you just don’t think it’s any of their business.

7. To Deflect Unwanted Interest

That guy at the bar just won’t leave you alone? Whilst it’s ridiculous that often a plain no just won’t be accepted without an explanation behind it (but HOW could you NOT be interested in him?!), you might find it makes your life easier and your night more fun if you save yourself with a lie.

8. When Someone Needs A Boost

If a friend has been having a tough time with stress or illness and it’s written all over their face, just telling them they’re looking better might be what they need to actually start feeling better about themselves.

If they’ve been working out and on a diet and you can’t see much of a difference, they don’t need to know that. Tell them they look fantastic.

9. When Someone’s Done Something Nice For You

If you’ve had a meal cooked for you or you’ve been given an ‘interesting’ gift, it’s no skin off your nose to tell them it was delicious, or that you love it.

They’re showing their love for you and they’re trying to make you happy, so it really is the thought that counts, and being negative could really hurt their feelings.

They’re Not Okay When…

1. You’re Just Delaying The Inevitable

Is it something you’re going to have to come clean about eventually? There’s nothing worse than telling a small lie that can then lead to a whole chain of lies, as you’ll eventually get caught out.

Although I mentioned above that it’s fine to tell white lies when cancelling plans, you do need to be careful.

If it’s just a one-off occasion when you don’t feel particularly sociable and you’d love to do the same thing another time, then feel free to spin a white lie.

If, however, it’s a thing you really don’t want to do or a person you’d rather not see, then it’s best to be honest from the outset so you don’t keep getting the same invitation.

2. When You Want To End A Relationship

Romantically, if you’re just not interested in someone who’s asked you out or who you’ve been seeing, that needs to be communicated (kindly) ASAP.

You don’t want them thinking there’s a chance of something happening between you as this will only drag things out and make it awkward.

Whilst there’s no need to be brutal, you should make sure things are clear.

This applies to any kind of relationship, even business ones.

3. Someone Needs A Few Home Truths

If you think there’s something that someone really needs to hear as it will benefit them in the long run, you should tell them, even if it might upset them initially or make you feel uncomfortable.

Whilst it should always be framed positively, if you think someone is lying to themselves about a situation, it might be time for you to get real with them.

4. If It’s Money-Related

Anything to do with money is best to be approached as honestly as possible, particularly when it comes to your relationship with your partner.

5. In the Fitting Room

They haven’t bought it yet, and they’re genuinely asking for your opinion, so don’t lie when your friend or partner is trying something on and you think it looks terrible.

Someone at some point will make a negative comment about whatever item of clothing it is, and then you’ll look bad.

You’re not commenting on them, just the clothes. Just be sure you do it in a positive way and make constructive suggestions.

Why The Lie?

If you’re unsure as to whether honesty is the best policy in a particular situation, ask yourself what your motivation is for lying, and if that lie could cause more harm than good in the long run.