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Saying God dey can extend your life!

There may not be a more common phrase said in Nigeria than God dey. It is a common refrain found in the every man’s conversation. It symbolizes hope irrespective of the current circumstances. It may seems cliché to say, God dey, however there is evidence to suggest that the assertion of God dey and the faith and hope in a better tomorrow can actually have tangible health benefits.

The Mayo clinic in the US recently came out with a report showing a correlation between hopeful thinking and reduced stress. Researchers found that people who had hopeful outlooks and thought positively had better responses to stressful situations, which in turn reduces the negative effects of stress on the body. In general, people who are more hopeful experience better overall health and live longer. They also tend to have lower incidences of cardiovascular disease and depression.

How can you become more hopeful?

1. Pray, meditate or reflect: Regardless of one’s religious beliefs there is evidence that taking the time to be reflective and connecting with one’s inner self or with one’s deity can be beneficial to our physical selves.

2. Count your blessings: Taking stock of the good things that have happened in your life can impact your perception of life. When you recognize that in your life there has been plenty of good, it helps you be optimistic about the future.

3. Find the right birds: Birds of a feather, flock together. If you continue to associate with people who are negative and pessimistic about life, they will not only skew your life view, but they will deplete you of whatever positive energy you carry within.

4. Filter your news: If you listen to every bad story that comes through, it will make it difficult to maintain a hopeful outlook. Bad things happen everyday, this is true, however, good things happen also. Try to make sure your news is balanced.

5. Be good to yourself: Exercise, eat right, laugh and enjoy the company of people that you love and that are loving. This alone is a necessary ingredient for a healthy life.

6. Be good to others. When you are kind and compassionate and wishing others well, it makes it is easy to believe that others are doing the same. If you are wishing for your enemies to die, then it can make it difficult to conceptualize a world where death doesn’t surround you on every side.

7. Practice the art of acceptance: Recognize that just as the earth experiences moments of rain and sunshine alternately, every life has its dark moments and given time, this too shall pass. A wise person once said without pain to hollow out our hearts, we would not have room for joy. Consider joy and pain as both sides of the same coin and take things in stride.

About Ekene Onu

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