I met a sister last week who’s had high blood pressure for a few years but refused to address it. She wanted to know why she had it before she would do anything about it. Sometimes we never know why and you certainly can’t wait until you find the answer to start treatment. High blood pressure can be caused by number of causes including diet, weight, stress, family history and other health problems. Blood vessels can become narrowed and/or they constrict and that increases blood pressure.
Emotions can play a major role in high blood pressure. Think of high blood pressure as inner tension. We certainly have received a bad rap as black women are now portrayed as “angry black women”. There were times in history when we had no voice and had to keep in our anger. Those coping skills have continued up till today. That’s why relaxation, stress reduction and stress management are as important as a healthy diet, healthy weight, exercise, and not smoking .
Our lives are certainly busy, stressful and sometimes downright crazy. We have to have ways to deal with all the outside forces that threaten our inner peace and put us at risk for developing high blood pressure.
When you have high blood pressure:
- know your numbers (blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, weight)
- take your medications
- have regular follow ups with your health care provider
- eat healthy
- don’t smoke
- set boundaries (some things you just cannot do)
- drop the negativity
- reduce stress, manage stress
- make time for yourself
- pursue hobbies
- “talk it out”–good girlfriend, you mom, therapist, neighbor, somebody OR “write it out” in a journal
- incorporate music-sing, play an instrument or just listen to inspiring music
- learn to meditate, tai chi, pray
- Aromatherapy–Lavender, Peace & Calming ®, Harmony, Ylang, Ylang
- take a bath
- pamper yourself with a facial
*My destress bedtime ritual: apply one of my favorite essential oils, listen to relaxing music (Pandora’s nature sounds), spend a few minutes in meditation and prayer, then fall asleep.