With all the information out there today it is impossible to deny the connection between prolonged mental & emotional stress as a major contributor to high blood pressure. The reason for this is due to stress causing a continuous strain on the sympathetic nervous system which has a primary function to trigger the body’s fight or flight response. When this is activated it circulates adrenaline and cortisol into the blood, speeding up the heart rate, compressing the blood vessels and ultimately causing a spike in your blood pressure.
When it boils down to it, pardon the pun – there are several ways of reducing your blood pressure naturally. Some of the ways to achieve this is by learning how to trick the sympathetic nervous system by using activities to calm the body, alleviate anxiety and create a balance between your mental & physical well-being. In this post we are going to look at some mind & body techniques that you can use which are ideal for reducing high blood pressure over time and hopefully for the long term.
Your Body is your Temple
When your emotions are running high for example when dealing with grief or anger, these can be hidden sources of high blood pressure. This is because high blood pressure can be fuelled from a chemical imbalance, a poor diet and excessive weight which may cause you to be hyper-tense, hence the word hypertension. There are simple lifestyle changes that can help you relax and aid you on the road to recovery.
For some of us it’s being active; if you like to walk, run, cycle or swim – keep it up! Exercising for up to 30 minutes a day has been shown to significantly reduce your blood pressure. Diet is another major factor to be cautious of, so in another words… cut the salt! Sodium has been known to contribute to hypertension so by reducing your salt intake to less than 1.6gm’s a day can help you feel better naturally.
Instead eat a banana as potassium is known to counter the negative effects of sodium naturally within the body. Along with the more obvious ones; don’t smoke, drink less coffee and keep the alcohol consumption down to a minimum as these can also lead to hypertension. Your daily diet should really consist of no more than two cups of coffee a day and limit the alcoholic beverages to one a day for women and two for men if you must indulge.
Your Mind is your Home
There has been an overwhelming amount of studies that have shown the positive effects of mind & body activities such as T’ai Chi, yoga and transcendental meditation in naturally reducing blood pressure furthermore lowering stress levels.
T’ai Chi has been known to help a variety of individuals in reducing anxiety, stress and depression while improving their cognitive functioning as well as memory. It is also known to help with breathing, endurance as well as improving the quality of your sleep and immune health. T’ai Chi is a series of movements and postures that are done in a calm and graceful motion with an emphasis on a controlled breathing pattern that can produce a state of tranquillity. There have been studies that have shown that T’ai Chi has lowered high blood pressure for participants with stage 1 hypertension after only three 50 minute sessions a week over a 12 week period.
Then we have Yoga which is a mental, spiritual and physical discipline that originated in India. Not only is yoga a great de-stressor but it can also help people suffering from hypertension. It can be a benefit to the body in many ways including your digestion, circulation and overall immunity. It has also shown to provide relief from chronic pain disorders, anxiety, depression, panic and sleeping disorders as well as decreasing blood pressure.
Finally there is Transcendental Meditation which refers to a unique form of mantra meditation otherwise known as the Transcendental Meditation technique. This movement was introduced to the masses by the Maharishi Mehesh Yogi in the 1950’s and some practitioners describe this type of meditation as being in a “wakeful hypo-metabolic state”. A study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) followed a group of 201 subjects that suffered from coronary heart disease for a period of up to nine years. The researchers found that not only did TM greatly decrease the subjects’ blood pressure but it also decreased the amount of strokes, heart attacks and mortality more than other traditional methods of up to 50%.
So by implementing some small changes into your lifestyle you can feel happier, be healthier and become less stressed and who doesn’t want that?
The benefits of health screening can be felt by both the employer and the employee alike. Health screening is an effective way of increasing employee morale, and leads to reduced sickness and levels of absenteeism.
Smoking Cessation Programmes, Carbon Monoxide Lung Analysis, Cardiovascular Risk Assessment, Alcohol Awareness/Risk Assessment, Spirometry, Celiac Testing, Weight and Stress Management.