Keeping blood pressure under control is necessary to keep your heart healthy. The following tips may help you keep your blood pressure down.
Even if you do feel like you can’t wake up without that first jolt of caffeine, it is not going to do your blood pressure any good. Caffeine does “rev up the system,” and part of what gets revved up is your blood pressure, because it triggers fight or flight responses. Reducing or giving up the caffeine can help a lot. Do keep in mind that those who use a lot of it should reduce slowly. You can get a killer headache if you stop all at once.
While it will cause a temporary rise in blood pressure, consistent exercise can help keep your overall numbers where they belong, according to the Mayo clinic. While being in shape is part of it, the hormones released are also partially responsible. Unlike the “fight or flight” variety, the endorphins from a good workout reduce stress.
How often do you pay attention to how you breathe? It’s probably not something you do much of the time. Yet, it is agreed that most in the U.S. are “lazy breathers.” We use between ten and fifty percent of our lung capacity. While ten is far too low, fifty to seventy-five is about right. Breathing too deeply too close together can lead to hyperventilation, which will have the opposite effect.
While sodium may increase cholesterol, lowering the sodium content of our food can help lower blood pressure numbers. This is an issue of balance. Healthy adults should keep their intake around 2500 mgs a day. Those with heart issues, including high blood pressure, should keep it around 1500 mgs, according to the staff at the Mayo Clinic.
Reducing the amount of stress in your life is essential to lowering stress levels. It’s also a lot easier to sit here and write this than it is for you to do. There are some suggestions below on how to reduce stress. If they aren’t enough, you may need to talk to your doctor about medications to help keep stress levels under control.
Garlic is one of the herbs we herbalists recommend to our clients. Doctors, including some cardiologists, also recommend it. It can be very helpful with blood pressure numbers. It may also help with cholesterol, but recent studies have been mixed on that point.
If stress is part of the problem, you may want to try supplements or herbal teas that help you relax. Chamomile, jasmine, lavender and passionflower can be useful in this area. As with all supplements, don’t start using one without talking to your doctor and/or pharmacist. This will help you avoid harmful drug/herb interactions and side effects that could be dangerous.
Visualization is a short term helper, but can be highly effective. You’ve probably heard someone tell you to “imagine yourself somewhere else.” They’re on the right track, but that doesn’t usually go far enough. You need to use all of your senses in this imagination. Touch, hearing, smell and sight are all important parts to this.
I have often used the 23rd Psalm for this, as it is someplace I’d like to be. I feel the soft grass under my feet. I hear the soft gurgling of the water, I smell the table filled with good food. Most importantly, I see the Shepherd watching over me. The first time I used this technique was right before surgery. My blood pressure had skyrocketed (understandably). The doctor gave me ten minutes to lower it or the surgery was off. This worked, and it surprised the doctor.
Keeping your blood pressure down may not be easy, but it can be done. If none of the above work, you may need medications to help you keep your numbers where they belong. This is an important issue, so if you need medical help, please take it. It could save your life.