5 Ways to Reduce Stress (and Your Blood Pressure)

Jul 15, 2020 | Hypertension

It may come as no surprise that stress and high blood pressure have a direct correlation. Stress can trigger an increase in blood pressure, which can directly impact the quality of your day-to-day life. Fortunately, managing stress is not impossible, and bringing down stress levels can achieve a healthier quality of life!

Here are five tips to ensure your stress levels are reduced: 

#1 Deep Breathing

When stressed, your body has the famous “fight or flight” response courtesy of the sympathetic system, which causes the body to respond with tension, quick breathing, a faster heartbeat, and so on. Deep breathing is a very effective response to stress because this action activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the “relaxation” response to stress. Consider researching techniques to control breathing, or go for the old “counting to ten” technique.

#2 Exercise

Exercise is a great way to distract the mind and body. It’s also a beneficial activity in the long term for general health and weight loss if you are looking to lose weight. Take up jogging, look up a quick yoga class online, go for a hike, or have a quick basketball game with a friend! The release of endorphins will leave you feeling calmer and relaxed by the end.

#3 Reduce the Caffeine

This is a controversial point because some people really can’t ditch their cup of coffee in the morning! However, this boils down to tolerance and what works for your individual needs. If you find yourself feeling too jittery or anxious after having your daily dose of caffeine, this may be a factor in increased blood pressure. It would be best if you considered cutting down the amount of caffeine you drink or switching to decaf.

#4 Practice a Hobby

Distracting the mind with a favorite activity can do wonders for lowering stress. Whether it’s baking, journaling, or reading, doing an activity you enjoy can help reduce stress and leave you feeling calm and thinking of something besides your stress triggers.

#5 Avoid Procrastination, Be Mindful, and Laugh

These are three different points that can connect and go perfectly together. It is essential to recognize the stress triggers in your everyday life, which many people may find to be a lack of planning, procrastination, negative thoughts, overthinking, and so on. By recognizing what may be causing your stress, it is easier to face the problem full-on. 

Procrastination is a huge cause of stress. If you find yourself struggling to meet daily tasks for work, stressed with a commute or a big project, then it’s important to organize yourself to avoid stress. Whether it’s setting a mental list of tasks to having a written, detailed plan on what you’ve got to accomplish, it can be handled with planning.

Also, be mindful of things you may be doing in your everyday life that cause stress. Taking a moment to unwind and having a laugh (whether it’s with a friend, book, movie, etc.) can do amazing things if you’re stressed!

Manage Your Stress and Combat High Blood Pressure

We all have stress. Continuous stress can do more harm than good, especially if you suffer from high blood pressure. However, managing stress is completely possible and really boils down to being mindful of your daily actions. By managing stress, you are working toward a better quality of life in the long-run, and ensure you can handle whatever life brings!

At Veta Health, we empower individuals to take control of their health through behavior-based care programs that support healthy living grounded in clinical context. To learn more about our hypertension care programs, please visit us here.