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How Stress Affects Your Blood Pressure

May 2, 2008
Research has shown that our stress levels are very closely linked to substances called catecholamines. These are actually the stress hormones produced by the adrenal glands when under severe stress. Catecholamines are normal and play an important role in our physiology. But high levels of these hormones make us more susceptible to heart disease. That's because surges in stress hormones raise your heart rate and increase your blood pressure. The dangers are even greater if you are already afflicted with any sort of heart disease; extreme stress in some circumstances can even trigger a heart attack or stroke.

Now it would not be a surprise to say that we have to do away with the hectic lifestyles that we used to live and try to lead a more carefree life would it? Unfortunately, despite knowing that is not enough and many people still go on to suffer heart diseases because of stress-related causes.

Unfortunately, there is no place to escape from stress. It is ever present, like the air we breathe, constantly being replenished by the circumstances of our lives. The happy, carefree life that we used to dream of will always remain a fantasy. Because stress is a inescapable part of our lives the challenge is not to get rid of it but to reduce it and constructively manage it in our lives.

One of the positive ways to deal with stress is to find an activity or sport that you enjoy and do it regularly. Diverting your mind from the things that stress you can help you cope. On the other hand, dwelling excessively on your problems can only make them look bigger. Exercise helps cope with stress in more ways than one. In addition to diversion, physical activity releases a hormone in your body that can counteract the stress hormones.

On top of that, exercise helps you to keep fit and that in turn improves your health and strengthens your heart and circulation. Aerobic activity helps improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure by clearing fat and cholesterol from your blood vessels. And it strengthens the heart so that it doesn't have to work so hard.

Meditation classes or yoga classes can also help relieve stress and lower blood pressure. Yoga provides gentle activity and both yoga and meditation help relieve stress by calming the mind and relaxing the body. Both of these help reduce stress hormones and relieve the load on the heart.

Last but not least, a strong and fit body is better able to physically handle stress and the demands of daily life. Since you can never escape from stress you may as well face it under the best circumstances. Both physical activities and relaxation will help.

Do not let stress get the better of you and rob you of living a healthy life. Learn to balance between work, your personal life and also your family; taking some time for yourself to relax and not always be caught up with something you have to do. Exercise, lifestyle and how you manage your time and life are the ingredients to living a stress-free life and ultimately protecting you from high blood pressure.
About the Author
"Jan Oliver is an academic, writer and researcher in natural health. See more of her work at http://www.control-your-blood-pressure.com/. Discover genuine natural ways to lower blood pressure immediately. Click Here to get your free report on dealing with blood pressure."
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