Reducing your stress levels and the associated stressors in your life can go a long way in improving not only your emotional wellbeing but also your general health, and that includes blood pressure.
When faced with stressful situations, there might be a temporary hike in blood pressure.The fast-faced world is filled with increasing demands that tend to lead to increased stress levels among people. Although there is plenty of medication available to treat conditions caused by stress, there is little being done about stress management as a life skill.
How reaction to stress affects blood pressure
When faced with stressful situations, the body automatically produces a surge of hormones. These hormones are responsible for momentarily increasing your blood pressure since they cause a spike in heart rate with a subsequent narrowing of blood vessels.
Even though the link between long-term increased blood pressure and chronic stress is not fully understood, the way you choose to react to stressful situations will go a long way in helping you manage your blood pressure and avoiding other conditions like strokes and heart attacks.
Behaviors that are often linked with unhealthy reactions to stressful situations include stress-eating, overindulging in alcohol, and smoking. These behaviors can easily lead to dramatic spikes in blood pressure, but when the levels of stress reduce, the numbers should do too.
Stress-reducing activities to help manage your blood pressure
Reducing the levels of stress in your life may not immediately produce the desired result, but the effect will be felt in the long term. Therefore, you need to learn a few strategies that can go a long way in improving your overall health, this includes reducing your blood pressure. Some of the best stress management techniques that can help reduce your blood pressure are as below.
Reduce or change your expectations
You have to give yourself adequate time to get things done. You will have to do this by simplifying your schedules and learning the skill of time management. If you feel that you are always rushing through your activities, take some time off and review your schedule and to-do lists. Reduce or eliminate activities that take up a lot of your time but add little or no value to your life. If you feel overwhelmed, learn to say “no.”
Try meditation or yoga
Studies have found meditation and yoga to be effective stress relieving activities that can help you relax and, at the same time, strengthen your body. They can also help you lower your systolic blood pressure by approximately 5mmHg or even more. Take some time off your busy schedule and take 15-20 minutes a day to do some yoga or meditation.
Any form of physical exercise is a natural way of relieving stress from your body. However, always seek the help of a practitioner to help or guide you through an effective fitness or exercise program if your numbers are high. Regular exercises will help you lower your blood pressure significantly.
Get adequate sleep
When you only get a few hours rather than the recommended 8 hours of sleep, you will likely make your problems worse than they may be. Too little or no sleep at all can negatively affect your energy levels, mental alertness, mood, and is associated with hypertension.
Strengthen your social networks
It may be about time for you to think of forming or strengthening your relationship bonds with people. You can do this by participating in support groups or taking a class that will help you talk everything out. Talking and engaging in social activities effectively lowers your blood pressure.
Along with these stress-reducing activities, you can incorporate eating healthy foods with lean proteins, fruits, or whole grains and maintaining a healthy lifestyle altogether. All these activities will positively impact on your blood pressure numbers.