Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally: Step 9
This webpage is a companion to Step 9 of our book:
Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide
Step 9 discusses the role of stress in high blood pressure and the many different techniques you can use reduce stress and relax more, not just to lower your blood pressure but to improve your quality of life generally. There’s even one simple method which will lower your blood pressure within minutes!
Click here for more information on the book: Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally
Relax… Relaxation for lowering blood pressure
We have more information about stress and blood pressure in our article here:
Stress and Hypertension
Dealing with Stress
How to Relax: Techniques to Reduce Stress
We have more information about slow breathing on our sister site – breathe-slow.com – along with audio tracks for guided slow breathing:
How does slow breathing lower blood pressure?
Slow breathing to reduce stress and blood pressure
Slow breathing exercise audio tracks available for download
Breathe Slow Audio Tracks
Resperate slow breathing aid
The Resperate is a machine which aids with guided slow breathing and measures your breathing rate, etc: Resperate – Amazon. com (no longer available at amazon.co.uk)
There are many resources on-line for meditation too – tips on meditation, guided meditations – and for a range of different approaches to meditation. It won’t be hard to find one that suits you.
How to Meditate (jenreviews.com) – good overview of different types of meditation, its benefits, and how to do it
How to Meditate: Easy Meditation Techniques for Beginners to Meditate Properly (SoMuchYoga.com)
How to Meditate by Sam Harris – introduction to non-religious meditation
Wikipedia – Research on meditation
Guided meditation audio tracks are available to play here:
Guided meditation (Buddhanet) – scroll down for ‘Guided Meditations with Malcolm Huxter’ – simple, down-to-earth meditations with various different slants, from simple body-focused or breath-focused meditations to ones specifically designed to calm difficult emotions and stress – you’re sure to find one that suits you.
More also on: Guided meditation for stress relief (Fragrant Heart)
There’s also a meditation app – with all kinds of guided meditations for different circumstances and situations. Although we haven’t tried it ourselves yet, it has been highly recommended by others: Headspace
Meditation and other activities for mindfulness and relaxation
How to counter the physiological effects of stress (Psychology Today) – explains what’s called the ‘relaxation response’ and how to elicit it using a simple form of meditation
The Relaxation Response (Mindful Medicine) – a good and simple explanation of how our bodies become stressed and how to induce relaxation, with a few suggestions of different methods you can use
Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Body Scanning
Here are some links for audio guides to progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). Or just search online, have a wee listen and go for the one whose voice you like best.
Guided PMR by Malcolm Huxter
If you like the Malcolm Huxter one, click here for more guided meditations from him (“body scan” is a simpler version of PMR):
Guided meditation (Buddhanet) – scroll down for ‘Guided Meditations with Malcolm Huxter’
Good beginner’s guide to yoga and its benefits:
The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Yoga
Some poses and stretches that may help with high blood pressure:
Yoga for high blood pressure (Healthline.com)
Overview of different types of yoga:
Types of yoga (verywell.com)
Have a Laugh
Improve your motivation and mood generally
Some issues to do with your mood, stress levels and sleep quality are related to the regulation of certain brain chemicals and hormones. This article, suggested by a reader of the website, discusses dopamine levels, how they affect your well-being, and how you can improve them:
Boost your dopamine levels
Be Well Rested
This is a great article on when, why and how to take breaks at work:
Wikihow – Take breaks at work
Some good stretches you can do in the office or at home:
Mayo Clinic – stretches
A fantastic poster you can print out or look at to remind you of ’50 ways to take a break’:
Take a break poster!
Have a nap!
More and more research is now showing that taking a daily midday nap is linked with lower blood pressure and better heart health. Napping for up to an hour a day seems to be best, but even if you can’t manage a nap every day, taking a nap even occasionally may help.
Read more here: how a nap can lower your blood pressure
Detailed and comprehensive tips on getting a good night’s sleep:
Mercola.com – Secrets to a good night’s sleep
Other things which reduce stress and increase being at ease
Think about how you think
There are a wealth of self-help resources online with psychological tips and guidance on dealing with stress, as well as information on finding a psychologist or therapist if you think you could benefit from more one-on-one advice or support.
Below is information on a few tried and tested approaches which have been successfully used to reduce stress, including Cognitive Behavour Therapy and Mindfulness approaches to stress reduction.
This free e-book may also be a good starting point. It’s a 17 page report which identifies 7 ways of thinking and acting that make us likely to feel stressed, then goes on to suggest ways to overcome these stress-inducing approaches and take a more relaxing attitude towards yourself, life and living.
Just click here to download it for free: 7 Mistakes that Lead to Stress
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Patient.co.uk – about CBT
‘Mood gym’ is an online interactive program created by the Australian National University to help you identify and understand the way you perceive and react to situations. It’s designed to help those suffering from stress, anxiety and/or depression, but will be useful for anyone wanting to gain more insight into the workings of their mind – and particularly, how our unconscious assumptions affect our perceptions and thus our behaviour – and how these can be changed!
You have to set up an account to use it but don’t have to provide any personal information (not even your real name). It’s based on the principles of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and is interesting and easy to use – and they have 750, 000 users so far, so it’s pretty popular.
CBT practitioners and services:
Academy of CT
US and Canada:
Mindfulness approaches to stress reduction
Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a program developed at the University of Massachusetts but other institutes and practitioners also use elements of it:
Wikipedia – MBSR
University of Massachusetts – MBSR
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is similar to CBT in some ways but draws from mindfulness approaches in focusing more on accepting our difficult experiences, emotions and reactions rather than changing them – based on the sense that it’s lack of acceptance of our experiences and ourselves that can be at the root of a lot of our stress.
This article is quite in-depth, but does have good summaries of the main elements of ACT:
Psychology Today – ACT
If you’re interested in the basics of ACT, this book could be useful:
ACT Made Simple – Amazon.com
Eating (and drinking) well
This is a complex issue and many sources online give conflicting advice. We’ve summarised the main elements of the debate in this article here:
Can you increase serotonin levels with food?
And here are a few more resources so you can investigate further yourself.
Columbia University (US) – Go Ask Alice – an informal and balanced overview of the interactions between serotonin levels, food and how we feel
WebMD – Food, Mood and Serotonin – a brief summary of food, mood and serotonin
Psychology Today – Carbohydrates and Serotonin – thorough explanation of how food affects serotonin production, following with advice on how this affects weight gain and loss
Mark’s Daily Apple – serotonin boosters – one man’s take on foods and activities which boost your mood
Send us your ideas and suggestions
If there are other websites, resources or products you’ve found useful and you think would be useful to others, please email them to us and we’ll include them: simon [at] highbloodpressurebegone.com
NOTE: This page is designed to be a companion page to Step 9 of our guide, ‘Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally’. As such, it only contains supplementary resources rather than being a full discussion of stress and blood pressure and the various methods of reducing both.
For more information on relaxation for lowering blood pressure, you can further browse this website or, of course, buy the guide..!
Click here for details: Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide
ANOTHER NOTE: We’ve supplied Amazon links to those products that may be a little trickier to find, as Amazon is popular and convenient to use. However, Amazon aren’t known to be the most ethical company (we do not endorse them ourselves) so we recommend buying your healthy products in your local shops if you can!