“Hi, everyone, welcome to another episode of the IgowithIGHO Podcast. My name is Igho Ekakitie. Thank you all for joining me today. It’s good to be here. It’s good to be back as well, too. Today, we’re talking about a very important topic called mindfulness and mental health. We’ll look at the techniques for managing stress. You know, we’ll look at the mindfulness practices and also promoting mental well-being as well. It’s a very, very important topic that’s there to me. And so I’m excited to share my own knowledge and opinion about this topic to you and also get your feedback in return. But into this episode, we’ll go into the fascinating world of mindfulness and its profound impact on mental health. So this episode, we’ve broken that into four segments.

The first segment will be on understanding stress. The second segment will be on the science of mindfulness. The third segment will be on mindfulness techniques and practices. And the last segment will be on incorporating mindfulness into our daily life.

Let’s talk about mental health first of all. Mental health, you know, plays a crucial role in our overall well-being.
So affecting how we think, you know, how we feel, how we act, and how we relate to people in our daily lives. One of my mentors, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, he said in his new book, HipShop, that the brain can continuously and consistently be enriched throughout our lives, no matter our age, no matter our age, or our access to resources. That the more we understand our memory, the more we are inspired to be who we are and to improve our memory as well.
And I totally agree with him. I truly, truly agree with him. But first of all, we must remember that mental health encompasses our emotional, our psychological, as well as our social well-being, which we know influences how we do things, how we handle issues, how we relate to friends, how we relate to family, and how we make decisions as well too.

And as the awareness of mental health issues continue to grow today in society, there’s an increasing recognition of the importance of proactive self-care and effective coping strategies. Mindfulness is not just anything that is new to us, it’s a practice rooted in ancient traditions and has gained significant, so much attention in recent years, you know, that people that accompany the individuals use for enhancing focus and managing stress and promoting mental well-being.

But what is mindfulness in of itself?
Mindfulness involves being fully present and engaged in the current moment. You know, I like to say being present right now without judgment or distraction. One of my favorite quotes from someone I also call a mentor, Jay Shetty, who owns the number one health awareness podcast in the world, someone I draw inspiration from, talks about the power of self. He said that when nobody else celebrates you, learn to celebrate yourself. When nobody else compliments you, learn to compliment yourself. It’s not up to other people to keep encouraging you, but it’s up to you to be encouraged. And I totally agree with him. Encouragement has to come from within. It has to come from you

So mindfulness encourages us to observe our thoughts and our feelings without getting caught up in them. When we do this, we see that it fosters a deeper understanding and acceptance of ourselves before we think of considering to accept other people. But let’s go into the first segment, because remember, there are three segments to be in different episodes.

But segment one talks about understanding stress. We have two most important questions we must ask ourselves as it relates to stress.

The first one is what is stress?
And what does stress look like?
For me, I tell people around me that stress is that feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with the mental, the physical, the behavioral, or emotional fragile that society brings. It is also a natural response to challenging or threatening situations that we often refer to as the body’s fight-or-flight response.

But then, what does stress look like?

Stress looks different for different people. The way stress is for me, it’s not the same way stress is for you. It’s not the same way stress is for my next-door neighbor.
So as individuals, stress is different for us all. It’s not the same kind of stress we go through. We go through emotional stress, psychological stress, mental stress, physiological stress, stress that relates to money, that relates to schooling, that relates to paying of bills, different kinds of stress.

So we all react and respond to stress differently. But we must remember that while some level of stress can be motivating and can help us perform better, which is known as youth stress. An example of youth stress could be graduating from college, participating in extracurricular activities, taking up leadership roles in the organization or even on campus, receiving a promotion for work, engaging in creative projects, are examples of Eustress.

But we must remember we also have chronic or excessive stress that can have detrimental effects on our mental and our physical health, which is also known as distress. And examples of distress could include financial difficulties. It could include homework deadlines for those in college.
It could include conflict in relationships and also health challenges. These are examples of distress. I want us to look at the common sources of stress for college students. Because as students, we have so many things going on, but I want to touch on a few things that are the sources of stress for college students. The first one is academic predio. Example is balancing coursework, exams, and academic performance can be stressful, especially during midterms and finals.

“You know, so you see yourself worrying, as you have been pressured to study, to do the homework, to meet deadlines. It is very, very stressful. Another one is financial commitment.
So managing tuition fees, student loans, and even living expenses can be a significant source of stress for college students. Also social relationships as well. So by forgetting friendship, romantic relationships, and social dynamics, can also contribute to stress, like starting college or moving away from home.

As it relates to international students, living in their home country and coming to a new country can be very, very stressful, you know, if not well properly managed. Another example is future uncertainty. You know, the concern about career pathways, about job prospects, about post-graduation plans can create anxiety and uncertainty among college students.

We can also look at some common sources of stress for adults. One example that comes to mind, you know, is work schedule. Meeting job demands, deadlines, work, and work place expectations for our bosses can be a major source of stress for adults.”

“You know, another major source of stress for adults is also what we call financial responsibility. So it’s not just on college students alone, it’s also on adults as well too. How do we manage household finances?
The mortgage is due, the rent payment is due, can contribute to stress. Another example is also family and relationship. Balancing family responsibilities, such as parenting, you know, also trying to maintain healthy relationships, can be very challenging and also stressful for adults as well.

But one that is very common that we all know is health concerns. So dealing with your own personal health issue or caregiving responsibilities for family members can also be a source of stress for adults. Lastly, I would say that understanding the sources of stress and its effects is the first step for us in managing stress effectively.
So by identifying what triggers stress in our lives, we can develop strategies and coping mechanisms to reduce its impact, you know, so that we can promote resilience and have our overall well-being. Now in the next segment, we will explore the science of mindfulness and mindfulness techniques that can help us manage stress more effectively and foster

“a healthier relationship with our thoughts and our emotions. Again, I want to thank you so much for joining me.
I look forward to seeing your comments, your ideas on what stress is to you, and what stress looks like for you, and what mindfulness techniques you can use to cope with stress. So, writing in the comments, in the comment section, I want to see what your thoughts are on this particular topic. You know, have you learned what we can learn from each other?

We’re here to learn from each other, so I look forward to seeing all of your response with regards to the topic for today. But also do it with the followers on all social media platforms, and I go with IgowithIGHO. I know they share our podcasts with friends and families.
Also do it with the Five Star rating. If you can, that would mean a lot to us. And if you wish for to partner with us, we look forward to also helping you out with your admission process for your study abroad.
Please do what you said as a DM as well. Take care of yourself and have a lovely day. Thank You.

From IgowithIGHO: Season 5 Episode 03: Mindfulness and Mental Health – Understanding Stress, Apr 26, 2024
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