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How To Lower High Blood Pressure Effectively

How To Lower High Blood Pressure Effectively

High blood pressure or hypertension is a notorious silent killer.

Its symptoms are so darn inconspicuous; direct signs usually show up when it’s already in a deadly, emergency level that can trigger a heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure is taking more than 1,100 lives in the US every day.

We don’t want to wait for that to happen, would we?

A holistic approach is best

Medication these days may seem to be the first and obvious choice—but that doesn’t have to be. You see, our blood pressure also increases as we age. Medication is advised for those aged 50 years old and above because they are more susceptible to cardiovascular risks. For adults, major factors that contribute to hypertension risks at an early age are usually caused by our lifestyle, if not our genes.

Our manner of living plays a crucial role in treating our high blood pressure. A holistic approach where you successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you might avoid, delay, reduce or may even ditch the need for medication altogether.

1. Restrict salty foods in your diet

Let’s just say, salt or sodium makes our blood pressure shoot through the roof because it causes an imbalance to our delicate bloodstreams. Do reduce your intake of salt by:

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  • examining food labels and ingredients
  • eating less processed foods
  • eating less fast food
  • avoiding adding salt itself into your meals

2. Lose weight

If you are carrying extra pounds, reduce some… or a lot. Losing weight might be the best lifestyle change to make for controlling and lowering blood pressure. Overweight and obese people are prone to greater risks of high blood pressure, so heads up and start sweating!

To get you started, below are links to quick and effective ways to get fit:

9 Tips You Should Really Do When You Want To Lose Weight Fast

15 Unconventional Ways To Lose Weight Quickly

3. Exercise regularly

I can’t stress enough how important physical activities are in lowering blood pressure. Consistency is the key, not intensity, because once you’ve stopped exercising, your blood pressure can skyrocket again. I recommend cardio exercises such as:

  • walking
  • jogging
  • cycling
  • swimming
  • dancing

You may obtain a gym membership (and use it), hire a fitness trainer, or you can also develop your own exercise program.

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Before are additional links to help you boost your exercise regimen:

15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

7 Ways To Advance Your Workout Program

4. Moderate alcohol consumption

Small amounts of alcohol may potentially reduce blood pressure. Be wary not to drink alcohol as a first aid remedy if you’re having hypertension because an excessive intake of alcohol can make things worse. What’s more is that it can potentially reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medication in the future—yikes! Drink in moderation.

5. The DASH diet

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet consists of eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grain, low-fat dairy foods, as well as a limited quantity of poultry, fish, meat, nuts, and beans.

It aims to systematically encourage people to consume less salt and increase the intake of calcium, magnesium, potassium to help lower blood pressure.

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6. Avoid or reduce stress as much as possible

Stress itself can trigger high blood pressure. Stress can also cause you to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes and munch on those (potentially salty) comfort foods sitting inside the fridge. Although we know what we are doing is important, stress, unfortunately, causes our mind and body to wear out.

Tips to avoid and reduce stress:

  • Know your triggers: it can be things, events or people, try to spend less time and attention on them.
  • Think of plans to solve problems that are under your control.
  • Take some time to channel the stress into something recreational and motivational. Like meditating or doing your exercise in forms of yoga instead of smoking.
  • Turn stress into productivity
  • Focus on things that turned out good. Develop a grateful attitude and count your blessings.

To help you flesh out the ideas mentioned, below are links to explain things for you:

How to Quit Smoking Efficiently

5 Ways To Turn Stress Into Productivity

7. Have your blood pressure checked

Monitoring your blood pressure is important so you can be certain if your lifestyle changes are working.

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Buy that familiar upper-arm cuff device (aka sphygmomanometer) if you don’t have one in your home – trust me, it’s a sound investment. Check your blood pressure 30 minutes before and after you eat, after exercise and before you go to bed.

Summing it all up

Relying solely on quick first-aid fixes is not advisable in this particular matter. Learn how to lower high blood pressure. High blood pressure could be asymptomatic in nature, so a healthy, not-so-stressful, less salty and less fatty diet is not a guarantee.

If something doesn’t feel quite right, pay your doctor a visit first and foremost. The doctor’s expert opinion will tell you whether you should take medication or you can regulate blood pressure through lifestyle changes outlined above or if you need to visit your doctor more frequently.

Featured photo credit: netdoctor.cdnds.net/ via netdoctor.cdnds.net

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Last Updated on January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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