The Strong Link Between Stress And Blood Pressure
By Jane Peters
As you know, there is a direct connection between stress and blood pressure. A stressful lifestyle is generally accepted to be a major cause of hypertension and a host of other illnesses. In fact, people are often not very surprised when they learn that someone in a high-profile, high-stress job or business also suffers from high blood pressure. It is practically expected that he or she will have the condition.
Stress-induced hypertension can lead to cardiac problems which may compromise your health for the rest of your life.
Because of the demands of their business, many busy people don’t eat right or exercise. This results in unhealthy weight gain. When you add excessive levels of job related stress into the mix, you have a perfect recipe for several health problems. High blood pressure increases the load on vital organs of the body. Organs like the kidneys and the heart may become so overloaded that they no longer function properly.
While they are not definite indicators, some of the symptoms of high blood pressure include:
- feelings of lethargy and low energy
- increased frequency of urination
- severe headaches
What can someone in a high-stress occupation do to avoid hypertension? It may not always be possible to avoid stressful situations, but you can take steps to minimize the impact. Ask yourself, have you created a work environment where you are thought to be indispensable in your job? Do you or others feel that work will never get done without your direct presence and intervention?
That sort of environment can generate plenty of stress and send your blood pressure levels dangerously high.
Acknowledge that no one is indispensable and that life and business will go on without you. In any case, you will serve your work and your family better if you don’t drive stress levels high for yourself or others. Often, it is a matter of defining your priorities. Give some serious thought to what is really important to you. Not what you think others expect of you. If what you have is out of alignment with what you want, start to make changes:
- If you think you are overloaded at work, ask that some of your duties be given to others in your office
- Consult your doctor about the ideal weight for you and if necessary, begin a weight reduction program under his supervision
- Find out from your doctor what exercise program will suit you best. Make a commitment to exercise regularly and do it
- If your doctor recommends dietary changes such as limiting salt intake to reduce the risk of hypertension, stick to it
Many people claim that regular meditation can help lower blood pressure. Even five to ten minutes a day can help. You need not do any esoteric tricks to get the benefits of meditation. Keep it simple. Sit in a comfortable position, relax your body and mind and quiet your thoughts as much as possible. If you prefer, quietly watch your breath flow in and out, without attempting to control it in any way.
Don’t get worked up about the fact that you can’t relax completely or reach perfect stillness of mind. That’s really not required in any case.
The lesson here is that a series of small changes will add up to a major difference in your state of health. Do what is necessary to limit both stress and blood pressure to manageable levels.