In reaction to a stressor, the bloodstream is flooded with adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones cause the “fight or flight” response that involves speeding up your heart rate and constricting blood vessels. The American Heart Association (AHA) stated the body’s instinctual response to stress “does raise blood pressure, but only temporarily”. When the stress reaction fades, blood pressure resumes to its pre-stress level.
However, if you’re faced with numerous daily stressors in your life, your blood pressure isn’t going to go back to normal for a sustained amount of time.
Feeling stressed has also been linked to unhealthy eating behaviours and excessive alcohol consumption.
These two factors alone can also contribute to high blood pressure levels.
What people consider stressors can be majorly influenced by a person’s perspective.
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For example, one person might really hate getting stuck in traffic and can feel irritated the longer the wait is to get moving.
Meanwhile, another person could relish the opportunity to enjoy music or listen to a funny podcast through the car’s speakers.
These differences in perspective may lead the first person to have a spike in blood pressure, while the other person remains calm and doesn’t damage their health.
The AHA provided stress management techniques that are considered a life skill and lifesaver.
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“You can’t control all the outside events in your life, generic accutane ca without prescription ” said the charity, “but you can change how you handle them emotionally and psychologically.”
This means that you have a choice in how you respond to situations in your life.
Taking time for yourself – even if you’re busy – just to breathe deeply for 10 minutes each day can be a great strategy for mental wellness.
“Give yourself the gift of a healthy lifestyle,” added the AHA. “Engage in physical activity regularly.
“Do what you enjoy; walk, swim, ride a bike or jog to get your muscles going.”
Exercise in itself can help reduce blood pressure readings in the long term.
In addition, regularly moving your body can help strengthen your heart muscle and can help manage your weight.
The AHA suggested incorporating flexibility and stretching exercises into your workout routine.
Harvard Medical School agree that “reducing stress should be a priority if you’re looking to lower your blood pressure”.
In addition to managing stress levels, Harvard Medical School recommend limiting alcohol intake to one drink per day.
Furthermore, reading nutrition labels are advisable to limit sodium intake. Do check the labels of:
- Breads and rolls
- Cold cuts and cured meats
There’s a 1,500mg daily limit for individuals with high blood pressure – an equivalent of three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt.
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