If you suffer from high blood pressure, you probably know some of the factors that contribute to it. Diets high in salt, smoking cigarettes, being overweight, and lack of exercise are some of the known contributing factors for high blood pressure. One factor that many doctors fail to mention is that chronic and acute stress can also cause high blood pressure! I’m sure you’ve probably seen on tv (or maybe even real life) people that “count to 10” when they become angry and upset. The fascinating part is research shows that taking slow, deep breaths is actually effective!
The body’s natural response to stress is either fight, flight or freeze. Blood pumps faster and harder away from the heart and through the blood stream to prepare to protect itself from perceived imminent danger, thus increasing the pressure of blood flow. However, sometimes our body’s nervous system can get out of wack and start working overtime in stressful situations when it actually doesn’t need to work as hard in that moment.
So the next time you’re feeling stressed or even at the doctors office getting your blood pressure read (because a fear of doctors/white coat syndrome is real!), try taking some deep breaths. In through your nose… and slowly out through your mouth. Go ahead and try it now…
By no means is deep breathing a substitute for any medications your doctor has prescribed for high blood pressure, but rather an extra tool in your toolbox to better manage stressors of daily life!
Together in health & wellness, JG