high blood pressure prevention stress management
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Hypertension is usually caused by a combination of factors such as genetics and an unhealthy lifestyle. Being overweight, poor eating habits, lack of sleep, a sedentary lifestyle, and high levels of stress may increase your risk of developing high blood pressure. Resorting to smoking or drinking to manage stress will only make the problem worse. Instead, simple techniques and changes in lifestyle can help you tackle stress better.

Here are nine ways you can lower stress and keep hypertension under check:

1. Listen to soothing music

Studies [1] indicate that listening to music has a calming effect on the brain and nervous system. It relaxes the mind and body, thus acting as a complement to conventional treatments to help regulate your blood pressure. It may also help regulate the breathing functions in people in general.

2. Make a schedule

In order to live a stress-free life, the first thing you should do is define your priorities and accept the idea that you cannot do everything. A lack of self-care in men and greater responsibilities amongst women are closely linked [2] with an increased risk of developing hypertension. Make schedules and lists to manage your everyday tasks, both professional and personal. This will help you to better tackle your responsibilities and achieve your goals. Maintaining a work-life balance is the key to eliminating stress and keep your blood pressure levels in check.

3. Meditation

Studies [3] indicate that practising different types of meditation techniques not only help eliminate stress but may also help in lowering blood pressure.

4. Slower breathing

Studies have shown that slower deep breathing [4] can trigger a reflex that prevents an increase in the rate of heartbeat, facilitated by a complex set of involuntary nerve connections between the brain, lungs, and heart. This may help may also help reduce blood pressure. 

In addition, taking longer, deeper breaths will allow more blood to return to the heart through pressure changes in your chest. This means that your heart does not have to work so hard to circulate the blood from the arteries to the veins.

5. Sound sleep

Lack of sleep can raise blood pressure. Pay attention to the quantity (and quality!) of your sleep. Get at least seven to eight hours’ of continuous sleep every night. If you have trouble sleeping, try to improve the circulation of fresh air in the room, exercise early in the day, and avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol.

6. Regular exercise

Yes, the body needs it to relieve it of the accumulated tensions. Sustained physical activity releases endorphins, also known as the hormones of well-being. A stroll in the park, or playing a sport can help you get rid of your worries, and also foster a social relationship with partners or friends.

7. Don’t overthink

Neighbours didn’t greet you well? Your children or spouse didn’t answer their phone? Try and avoid panicking in such situations or obsessing about someone’s actions. These negative thoughts and overthinking often give rise to anxiety and temper issues, as well as affecting your blood pressure. Concentrate your energy on positive thoughts and engage in your hobbies. Focus on your well-being.

8. Find solutions

Inability to express emotions such as fear, anger, and sadness can seriously limit your ability to cope with the inevitable stresses of everyday life. It’s not the stressful events themselves that are harmful, but what you perceive as your lack of ability to bear them. Talk to friends or family to find solutions. This will help relieve your anxiety and tension and reduce the fluctuations in your blood pressure.

9. Nurture yourself

Focus on self-care. Meet friends, nap when tired, join a hobby class or engage in your hobby at home. Pamper yourself with a nice massage. These practices may help release happy hormones in your body and eliminate stress.

References:

  1.   Kunikullaya KU, Goturu J, Muradi V, Hukkeri PA, Kunnavil R, Doreswamy V, Prakash VS, Murthy NS. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2015 Oct; 23(5):733-40. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2015.08.003. Epub 2015 Aug 5.
  2.   Lian Y, Qi C, Tao N, Han R, Jiang Y, Guan S, Ge H, Ning L, Xiao J, Liu J. Journal of Human Hypertension. 2017 May; 31(5):313-319. doi: 10.1038/jhh.2016.79. Epub 2016 Nov 17.
  3.   Sukhsohale ND1, Phatak MS. Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. 2012 Oct-Dec;56(4):388-92.
  4.   Mori H1, Yamamoto H, Kuwashima M, Saito S, Ukai H, Hirao K, Yamauchi M, Umemura S. Official Journal of the Japanese Society of Hypertension. 2005 Jun;28(6):499-504. DOI: 10.1291/hypres.28.499

 

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for patient awareness only. This has been written by qualified experts and scientifically validated by them. Wellthy or it’s partners/subsidiaries shall not be responsible for the content provided by these experts. This article is not a replacement for a doctor’s advice. Please always check with your doctor before trying anything suggested on this article/website.