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7 ways to reduce stress and keep blood pressure down

Ways to reduce stress and keep blood pressure

When it comes to preventing and treating high blood pressure, one often-overlooked strategy is managing stress. If you often find yourself tense and on-edge, try these seven ways to reduce stress.

  1. Get enough sleep

Inadequate or poor-quality sleep can negatively affect your mood, mental alertness, energy level, and physical health.

2. Learn relaxation techniques

Meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, deep breathing exercises, and yoga are powerful relaxation techniques and stress-busters.

3. Strengthen your social network

Connect with others by taking a class, joining an organization, or participating in a support group.

4. Hone your time-management skills

The more efficiently you can juggle work and family demands, the lower your stress level. Try to find a balance between work and family life, social activities and solitary pursuits, daily responsibilities and downtime. Remember all work and no play is a recipe for burnout.

5. Try to resolve stressful situations if you can

Don’t let stressful situations fester. Hold family problem-solving sessions and use negotiation skills at home and at work. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world and that people make mistakes. Let go of anger and resentments. Free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on.

6. Nurture yourself

Treat yourself to a massage. Truly savor an experience: for example, eat slowly and really focus on the taste and sensations of each bite. Take a walk or a nap, or listen to your favorite music.

7. Ask for help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your spouse, friends, and neighbors. Expressing what you’re going through can be very cathartic, even if there’s nothing you can do to alter the stressful situation. Talk to a trusted friend or make an appointment with a therapist.

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Along with these ways to reduce stress, add in a healthy lifestyle — maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, regular exercise, and a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthful fats.

So, slow down, keep calm, be positive, take it easy, unplug, enjoy, have fun, breathe, relax, go outside, meditate and high blood pressure could be a thing of the past.

Source: Harvard Health

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