#54 Relaxation (64 non-drug ways to lower blood pressure)

The folk lore is that stress raises blood pressure.  It seems that hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol increase under stress and cause the blood pressure rises. For a long time I didn’t have relaxation on my list — for some reason I thought that relaxation at best only brought about only a temporary reduction in blood pressure.  But on doing some more internet research I’ve come to believe that it has a powerful lasting effect and lowers your blood pressure for long periods afterwards.  While Resperate works I believe via a  slow breathing response mechanism, it also I believe helps many folks obtain a relaxation response. No wonder it works so well for so many.

There are several approaches used to bring about a relaxation response.

  • Visual Imagery: Imagining a peaceful place and  focusing on different physical sensations, thinking a smile.  The goal is to use visual imagery and body awareness to bring oneself into a deep state of relaxation.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation. Starting with the muscles in the feet and finishing with those in the neck this approach involves slowly tensing and then releasing each muscle group individually.  It involves understanding where we have stress in our bodies and letting it all out, slowly relaxing.  I believe that slow breathing forces us to relax, when we are tense and nervous our breathing rate increases, we flooding our body with oxygen and hormones to prime our body for flight and fight.
  • Meditation. In all of its many forms and practices.  The goal is to bring about a peaceful inner existence, to feel renewed, and empowered.  By focusing our attention on the moment-by-moment thoughts and sensations we start to create a beautiful awareness.
  • Soothing skin stimulation: Gently rubbing the temples above your eyes with your finger tips.  Have someone gently rub your back.  Heat a blanket up and wrap around your body.  Completely relax.  Believe that the universe is good.
  • Music — the right kind of music can make our cares and worries vanish, and our heart feel good, and make us relax, deep down and inside.  When I hear piano music it reminds me of many times as young boy that I listened to my mother play, and I feel her presence and love, and I’m transported in time and space to different world and different time.
  • Connecting — there is something wonderful about just connecting with someone else.  Holding someone’s hand, smiling at them, singing a child to sleep, talking to old friend on the phone, sending a joke to coworker.  When we accept other people, just as they are, and value them, and love them, we transform ourselves, and also them.   The old idea of live and let live, lowers the stress.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.  We so often allow the little things of life to get us down.  They don’t need to.


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