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Effects Of High Blood Pressure On Your Body That You Need To Be Aware Of

Effects Of High Blood Pressure On Your Body That You Need To Be Aware Of

Did you just find out that you, someone in your family, or a close friend has high blood pressure? Or maybe you’ve known for a while but want to understand more about the diagnosis? First of all, don’t worry. While high blood pressure can certainly cause a number of risky health problems, it can be controlled.

The key is to learn as much as possible about the related health issues that can be caused by high blood pressure so you feel comfortable with the diagnosis. Awareness about the issue gives you control over the situation, which will help you prevent some of the more serious health problems that sometimes accompany high blood pressure.

Health Issues That Can Be Caused By High Blood Pressure

Several serious health issues brought by high blood pressure could happen if you don’t work to control the problem. Here are some of the common health problems linked to high blood pressure:

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Kidney Disease

The high pressure that your pumping blood creates against your artery walls and between heartbeats can damage blood vessels throughout your body, including in your kidneys. This damage can extend to the kidney’s filters, which means they can no longer properly rid your body of built up toxins. [1]

Heart Disease

Once again, the increased pressure of your blood flow can have severe effects on your heart. First of all, it can cause heart failure. This happens when your heart cannot pump enough blood through your body. The high blood pressure scars the artery walls which forces your heart to work harder. [2]  Another health issue that can be brought by high blood pressure on your heart is ischemic heart disease. This happens when your heart doesn’t get enough blood.

Atherosclerosis

This disease occurs when fat and plaque build up along the inside of the heart’s artery walls. Plaque is able to do this because the arteries have been weakened by the high blood pressure. [3] Too much plaque can lead to a more serious health problem, like:

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Stroke

If atherosclerosis advances too much, it can lead to complete blockage of the artery walls. Your brain does not receive the oxygen that it needs when blood cannot reach it. The lack of oxygen results in damaged or dead brain cells. This is a stroke. [4]

Eye Disease

Just as high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels around your kidney and the arteries around your heart, it can also damage the vessels in the retina of your eyes. The retina is what turns the light and images you see into nerve signals that the brain can understand. With eye disease, you can experience vision loss, double vision, or even headaches. [5]

3 Tips To Prevent These Health Issues

The related health issues of high blood pressure sound pretty scary, but try not to stress too much about it (which could make it worse!). You can work to prevent them from happening by following some of these tips:

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1. Lose Some Weight

Carrying around too many pounds can make it even harder for your blood to pump and circulate, leading to increased blood pressure. Additionally, being overweight keeps you from breathing correctly at night, which also increases your blood pressure. Try losing just 10 pounds or so to help reduce your blood pressure. [6]

2. Get Out and Exercise

Getting exercise helps strengthen your heart and you need a strong heart to pump more blood against the increased pressure of your arteries and blood vessels. If your heart doesn’t have to work so hard, it decreases the pressure in your arteries and lowers your blood pressure reading. Start off slowly by taking short walks near your house. Gradually work your way up to doing more. [7]

3. Eat Healthy Food

Saturated fat, cholesterol, and salt work to increase your blood pressure. Eating a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, and fresh fruits and vegetables can help counter the effects of high blood pressure. Following the DASH diet is a great way to get control of your daily diet and make sure your body gets the necessary vitamins and nutrients. [8]

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Myths About High Blood Pressure

Many people believe that high blood pressure causes difficulty sleeping, nose bleeds, redness in the face, dizziness, nervousness, and sweating. These symptoms do not, however, indicate high blood pressure. Not checking your blood pressure because you don’t have these symptoms is a bad idea. What makes high blood pressure such a dangerous health condition is that it does not have noticeable symptoms. Too many people go for far too long with undetected and untreated high blood pressure.

Make sure to share this information with other people who may have high blood pressure to help them prevent more serious health problems in the future. As always, check with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.

Featured photo credit: Freepik via vectoropenstock.com

Reference

More by this author

Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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