We live in a world where there is a need to get things done quickly. With increasing demands comes the chance of stress and high blood pressure. In the UK, high blood pressure affects more than 1 in 4 adults. It is can potentially lead to early death and disability. While the links between stress and high blood pressure are not clear, they both share common risk factors. Drinking too much alcohol, poor diet or both can be symptoms of both stress and high blood pressure. By managing stress, it becomes possible to control high blood pressure at the same time.
The Effects Of Stress
While some stress can be useful, too much stress can be bad for your health. When we are in a stressful situation, our bodies release stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol into the blood. It is this which helps give us the ‘fight or flight’ ability. It makes the heart beat faster and gets the blood where it needs to go. The problem is that our blood pressure is raised although only temporary. When we get rid of the stress, our blood pressure returns to normal levels.
Unfortunately, in today’s world, there are events where we don’t have the option of ‘fight or flight’. In these type of situations if the stress is not managed then it can build up over time and affect one’s health. Even though studies have not been able to confirm the links between stress and high blood pressure, what is agreed is that it is important to manage the issues.
To manage both your high blood pressure and stress will require you to adopt a healthier lifestyle. This may likely mean following one or more of the following tips.
- Keep Active
Physical activity every day is a good way of reducing high blood pressure and stress. Ideally, you should aim to do around 150 minutes of moderate activity each week.
- Manage your weight
As well as regular exercise, if you are overweight then reducing and maintaining a healthy weight is a good idea.
- Eat a balanced diet
Eating a balanced diet is important. Eating healthy can help you lower blood pressure and reduce stress. A diet that includes amongst other things more fruits, vegetables, and healthful fats can all help.
- Reduce the salt in your diet
Reduce or cut out the salt in your diet. Ideally, you shouldn’t cook with or add salt to your food. Also, you should minimise the amount of processed foods you eat as these can contain a lot of salt.
- Cut down on the alcohol
Too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. Sticking to the recommended limits is important.
- Visit a Doctor Regularly
While it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, your doctor will be able to spot the signs of high blood pressure and will prescribe treatment where appropriate. Regular check-ups are a key part of maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
Apart from adopting a healthy lifestyle, managing stress also helps. Whether you are in a job with high demands and tight deadlines or managing a busy household, too much stress is bad for you. There are a number of things you can do to handle the stress and lower your blood pressure. Helpful ideas include firstly making sure that you get enough sleep. Other ideas include managing your time as well as getting out more. It is also important that you ask for help.