I recently wanted to sign up to the local gym where they sensibly checked my blood pressure first, being relatively fit and healthy I thought nothing of this, but when it read 140/110, I was slightly horrified, as well as not allowed into the gym!!
I had absolutely no reason to think I had high blood pressure, which was the scariest thing in my mind, this got me thinking about all the people out there who may not know their blood pressure has been high for months or years, until the damage is done.
So, following this, I revised the classic factors such as weight, diet, smoking or drinking heavily, exercise, but nothing fitted, so what was it???
These days we are all racing around aren’t we? This can lead to a lingering level of underlying stress hormones/ adrenalin levels circulating the body- this is not the kind of stress that leaves you red faced and angry- I’m talking about the silent stress we don’t even realise that’s happening, until we take the time to stop a moment and ‘read into ourselves’.
When I take time to stop for a minute, tune into my thoughts and actions, feel what my body is doing at that moment, sometimes, I’m surprised by what’s actually going on!
Here are some of the things I tried and tested with great results to reduce my blood pressure concerning stress, anxiety and a racing mind;
- When I noticed that my breathing was rapid and shallow for no apparent reason, I changed my breathing pattern to breathe in for a count of 4 seconds and out for 8, this reduces your pulse rate and helps decrease blood pressure as well as tricking the mind to thinking you’re relaxed, so that you actually become more relaxed! (feel your pulse while doing this – you can feel it slow down!)
- Downloading the ‘head space’ app to listen to a guided meditation/mindfulness exercise to listen to for just 10 minutes a day, starts you off in the right way for the day
- Feeling frantic? Just feel the sensation of your feet on the ground, or your bottom on the chair, take a deep breath in, get yourself together and from here take your time with everything, make everything you do easy on yourself- you are one person and the only one who can truly look after you, if you think about, the only person really pressuring you, is you!
- To get perspective and feel calm, I would normally engage in some exercise or just getting outside to look at the sky, the beach, find your ‘calm place’ listen to whatever is going on helps to tune you in to the present- this helps you to ‘reset’ and relax. Putting some noise cancelling headphones on is helpful to some if silence is what helps you relax. Try this daily.
- Sleep hygiene; a good nights’ sleep regularly does make the difference to stress levels and blood pressure so make this a priority
For further info, see the links below for the common causes of high BP, what you can do and the dangers of letting it go undiagnosed.
Thanks for reading!