How Emotional Stress Effects HPB

Q: I just started a new job and the hours are pretty long. Plus, this position is what I’ve been working to achieve the past 5 years and I am concerned that if I miss a minute at the office or I am simply not on top of things, the opportunity will slip from my hands. Yes, I have an A-personality, but its worked for me and I am not about to change that. To make matters worse, I don’t have time to exercise or prepare a healthy lunch since I started this job. I noticed that my blood pressure has gone up significantly since I started working and I’m freaking out. Clearly, lack of exercise and good nutrition are not helpful to my BP, but what about emotional stress? What’s the real culprit here…I’m curious since i have not been this stressful in years.

A: A new job is always both exciting and stressful. We all want to succeed and prove that we are great when we enter a new work environment. With time, as we learn the ropes and gain confidence that we are meeting expectations, the stress normalizes and we find ways to balance life. However, for people who have high blood pressure simply just waiting for things to balance out may not be the best approach.

That said, there are many simple not too time consuming ways to reduce high blood pressure that would fit into your new busy lifestyle. For example, look into which is the only FDA cleared natural means of reducing high blood pressure and it only requires 15 minutes of your time at least 4 times a week. The website provides a wealth of information and reports demonstrating its success rate (For further reading: What is RESPeRATE? – For someone who has a hectic lifestyle, the Resperate is a perfect solution, but speak to your doctor about your recent blood pressure levels and Resperate as an option. Also, take a look at this great article from the American Heart Association about Managing Stress.

Just to fill you in a little, stress is not a confirmed risk factor for high blood pressure, scientists continue to study how stress relates to our health. And while blood pressure may increase temporarily when you’re stressed, stress has not been proven to cause chronic high blood pressure. What happens during these stress moments is that your body produces a surge of hormones. These hormones temporarily increase your blood pressure by causing your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow. Therefore, stress can contribute temporarily to high blood pressure, but it’s not clear if it has long-term effects. That said, since you tend to have high blood pressure, its advised that you take steps to reduce your stress. Given the fact that your lifestyle has changed now that you have this new and exciting job, it is advised that you look at how you can incorporate exercise and healthy eating in new ways to meet the demands of your new schedule. Here are a few ideas on how to fit it exercise and some time to yourself to think and relax:

1) Walk whenever possible.
2) Climb stairs instead of using the elevator.
3) Meditate for 10 minutes.
4) Leave the office for lunch and take a walk.
5) If your office has a refrigerator, bring food to the office.

I hope this was helpful & god luck.

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