This week’s edition of the Harvard Medical School HEALTHbeat discusses how to reduce your  stress to keep your blood pressure down. The article focuses on a non-drug approach.

When it comes to preventing and treating high blood pressure, one often-overlooked strategy is managing stress.

We are all in charge of running our own lives and one of the key elements of individuals who exhibit emotional resilience is that they continually CHOOSE behaviours that enhance their personal wellbeing,

Here is a list of 10 ways to reduce your level of stress when you find yourself tense and on-edge.

  1. When it all gets too much…STOP. Remember, you’re in charge of your life and you press the STOP – GO button. A short time out can-do wonders to relax you.
  2. Focus on time-management skills. The better you plan your work and family demands, the lower your stress levels will be.
  3. Get enough quality sleep. Poor-quality sleep is now the leading cause of stress in Australia according to the Medibank National Stress Survey 2018. Reduce your TV and online time in the evening. Read a chapter of and enjoyable book before going off to sleep. A hard or soft copy book, not on an e-reader or i-pad.
  4. Work at resolving stressful situations as soon as you can. Don’t let stressful situations get on top of you. Develop a game plan for home and at work that you can continually action. ‘Lightening’ can strike at any time.

    5 Habits for Developing Emotional Resilience Video

  5. Keep your sleeping space TOTALLY FREE of electronic devices. Mobile phones are a huge source of interrupting good quality sleep. Buy an alarm clock with no audible tick.
  6. Learn relaxation techniques. Deep low and slow connected breathing can do wonders at any of day or night when you feel stress is causing you problems.Meditation, guided imagery are powerful relaxation techniques and promote eustress or good stress which is a must for us to thrive in life.
  7. Strengthen your social network. Exercise classes, yoga, walking, swimming, cycling outside are excellent. These are eustress activities and exceptionally good for participating in a support group environment.
  8. Care for YOU…nurture yourself. Treat yourself to a massage. each bite. Take a walk or take a short nap, listen to your favourite music or watch a funny video so you secrete lots of ‘happy hormones’.
  9. Ask for help and support. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your spouse, friends, neighbours and work mates. The most emotionally resilient people low to ask for help and support.
  10. Make yourself a small poster with these words on it. Slow Down,Unplug, Relax, Keep Calm, Enjoy Life, Go Outside, Be Positive, Have Fun, Smile, Take It Easy, Breathe, Meditate

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