Managing Stress to Control Blood Pressure
One of the common causes of high blood pressure not at all related to diet, is the stress factor. Understanding stress and how it affects us is a way of controlling high blood pressure. While other people resort to tranquilizers, smoking, and excessive eating there are other ways we can go about in dealing with stress.
First, we should understand the ways in which our body reacts to stress, whether self induced like athletes do or as an unexpected sudden event:
- You begin to experience rapid breathing or have that feeling of wanting to run or fight.
- As a tendency, you tend to use more oxygen and the heart tends to pump more blood to your brains and muscles.
- As your pulse rates quicken, you experience the rush of blood to your brain.
- You tend to sweat profusely as you feel body heat.
- Blood sugar is released to provide energy.
As you go through the feeling of stress, hormones collectively known as adrenaline speed up the heart rate, blood flow, and blood pressure as if sensing the urgency by which it is needed. There is a simultaneous release of cortisol as triggered by emotional stress.
While cortisol is supplied, it releases several sources of energy such as protein, fat and glycogen to be converted into glucose. However, prolonged cortisol activity will lead to the release of stomach acids leading to lean tissue breakdown. If this happens so often, the stress sufferer will develop ulcers, the latter being the only outlet for the emotional stress experienced.
In addition, the blood chemicals glucose and fatty acids are released but not actually used or burned.
While all these are happening, the kidney will also respond to the siuation by releasing renin, a form of hormone that enables the body to retain or absorb whatever sodium substance it could find. As sodium in the body cells increases and reaches a level no longer in proportion with the other mineral substances, it causes the kidney to close its arterioles to blood supply.
Most blood flow then will go to the brain where the stress activity is being felt, to provide the person under stress prolonged energy. This situation now has caused blood pressure to rise wherein much of the pressure released cannot find an outlet.
Since these are all emotions, they often trigger chemical changes that will affect your body functions. It will slowly develop into high blood pressure, as much of the chemical changes will affect blood circulation.
If you're a person undergoing stress and you are beginning to feel the effects of the bio-chemical changes, do not aggravate the situation by using tranquilizers. Do not drink, smoke or use prohibited drugs, as these will not correct whatever it is your body is going through.
Instead, you must find some form of outlet in order to burn or use up unwanted hormones involuntarily produced by the body, triggered off by a chain of events. Engage in exercises, physical or mental. Sometimes physical meditation enables the brain to direct its energy somewhere else and thus relieves your arteries and nerves.
Only then will the blood circulation be brought back to normal, thereby normalizing your blood pressure in the process.
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