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There is a link between high blood pressure and anxiety. When we feel anxious one of our body’s natural responses is to raise blood pressure. While this temporary spike in blood pressure is normal and usually not dangerous, anxiety can become a problem if it affects our lifestyle choices or is persistent.
For instance, when people are anxious they tend to resort to unhealthy habits such as overeating, indulging in alcohol, and smoking, all of which can dramatically increase a person’s high blood pressure risk.
In addition, recurrent and frequent temporary episodes of high blood pressure and anxiety can eventually lead to the same damaging results to the blood vessels, kidneys and heart, typically caused by prolonged hypertension.
Therefore, since there are many other high blood pressure risk factors, there is no reason why you should add anxiety to the list. The following are 5 tips you can put into practice to help relieve your high blood pressure and anxiety.
1. Focus your attention on one project at a time – Instead of trying to multitask, focus all your attention on completing one task at a time. When your mind is fully absorbed on one task, you put all your mental and emotional efforts into the job at hand, which stops your mind from wondering and becoming overwhelmed with other thoughts, priorities and demands. The more overwhelmed a person feels, the less productive they are, and the more their anxiety grows.
2. Learn to say “No” – If you go out of your way to try and please everyone, you’ll stretch yourself too thin and be living in a constant state of high blood pressure and anxiety. Over-committing yourself stretches you beyond your physical and emotional limits, causing you to become fatigued, stressed, overworked and rundown – all factors that lead to anxiety. You need to learn to say “No” to others who are asking more of your time than you can handle or are willing to give.
3. Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake – Both alcohol and caffeine can worsen anxiety. Therefore, when you are feeling anxious, refrain from ingesting caffeinated products including chocolate, coffee, tea, and soda. In regards to high blood pressure and anxiety and alcohol, one may think that since consuming alcohol reduces feelings of anxiety, this would be an ideal method. The truth is, while alcohol may suppress feelings of anxiety, it increases the risk of high blood pressure and depression. Thus, it is imperative to your health that you never use alcohol as a remedy for relieving anxiety as this can become a bad and deadly habit.
4. Breathe Deep – Deep breathing exercises are an excellent way to focus the mind and calm anxiety episodes. Here is one type of deep breathing exercise you can try:
Take a deep breath by inhaling through your nose and slowly count to four while you inhale.
Hold your breath for a count of three
Exhale slowly through your mouth and count down from four while you exhale.
Repeat four times
5. Engage in regular exercise - Exercise is an excellent stress reliever. It helps to clear your mind and improve your mental outlook on life. Exercise helps improve your sleep and increases your physical stamina. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins; chemicals that make your body feel good. Studies have found that people who engage in long term exercise programs (I.E. 30 minutes of daily exercise) increase their ability to cope with stress.
Moreover, don’t forget that exercise also helps maintain healthy weight levels, as being overweight increases a person’s risk of hypertension. However, you should first speak to your doctor before engaging in any exercise regimen.
Should you have difficulty controlling your anxiety on your own, you may want to speak with your doctor about seeking help from a qualified therapist, because the bottom line is you need to get your high blood pressure and anxiety under control.
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