Mindful De-stressing for a Healthy, Happy Heart
Managing blood pressure levels means understanding how to lessen life’s stresses. A healthier future may also require a change of heart toward everyday routines such as exercise, diet, and your lifestyle in general, but with the help of dedicated health care professionals, you can change the habits that are hindering you and regain a healthier, happier future.
I know this is true because I was diagnosed with hypertension several years ago. As a result of years of high blood pressure, my heart had enlarged, and I was suffering from heart failure, also known as cardiomyopathy. My doctors advised that I begin several medications immediately, but they also stressed that I would need to make some serious changes to my lifestyle, as well. Our first goal was to get the numbers down; our second was to de-stress my life ASAP.
Knowledge Is Power
My first step on this journey was simple awareness. I quickly learned that hypertension is often referred to as the “silent killer” because it has very few definite symptoms and often goes undetected for too long. Needless to say, I might not have found out about my extremely high numbers as soon as I did had my heart not been affected. My advice, then, is to educate yourself about the signs, symptoms, and risk factors of hypertension for your own health’s sake.
Knowing the Risks
If you’ve already been diagnosed, as I have, knowing the risk factors is essential in your quest for healthier blood pressure. My doctors and I decided to pick away at these risks one by one in order to lower my BP and rehabilitate my heart. As my blood pressure lessened, my heart muscle’s work decreased.
For each individual, prominent risk factors differ. I focused on regular exercise and losing weight while also making sure to monitor my sodium intake. It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you attempt to tackle multiple risk factors at once, so compartmentalize by aiming to make progress with just one at first.
My Personal Tips
Everyone has their own means of cutting down stress. Aside from focusing on doctor-specified risk factors, I made it a point to lower my stress levels in general. Here are a few tactics that worked well for me:
- Deep breathing.
- Walking in sunlight.
- Having a cup of relaxing tea.
- Listening to my favorite (calming) music.
- Taking long relaxing baths and showers.
Perhaps one of the best tips anyone can give when it comes to managing blood pressure is simply getting rid of stress in your life. I had to learn this the hard way. I chose to change my heart and habits in order to have a happier, healthier future, and in my pursuit of this goal, I committed to doing the above activities regularly. I now have a healthy blood pressure that’s regulated by my medications and maintained by better life choices.
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