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8 Ways to Lower Stress and Reduce Blood Pressure

By Sandy Schroeder

It’s easy to be upset when too many things go wrong, but living with that level of stress every single day is dangerous.

Blood pressure can spike, work performance may drop, and the overall quality of life can take a nosedive. Mentally and physically, the body suffers. The body’s immune system may weaken, and the risk for heart disease, cancer and diabetes increases.

It’s tempting to just power on through, but ongoing stress needs an answer. If you are battling stress, see your doctor, and start taking daily steps such as these from Harvard Health.

Breathe deeply – Find a way to escape tension with deep breathing exercises, meditation, guided imagery or yoga sessions. Stepping away from the day’s tensions for brief periods throughout the day can help reduce stress.

Improve your sleep – Job performance and family life suffer when sleeplessness sets in. Make your bedroom a sleep haven to get the 7 to 9 recommended hours of sleep you need to ease your stress. Make sure your mattress and pillows provide good support, and install air filters to clean the air and screen noise. Use blackout drapes to cut light, and park all electronics outside -- including the TV.

Reach out – Talk with friends and family and look for helpful connections in classes and support groups. When you reach out, you will meet lots of people with problems, and some with really good answers.

Refine your schedule – Take the time to smooth out your daily schedule to balance work and family demands. The better it runs the less stressed you will be.

Deal with conflicts – Ongoing problems at work or at home can intensify your stress. Sit down with the people involved to talk through issues. If you need help to find solutions look for good sources. When conflicts are resolved, life often looks a lot better.

Be good to yourself – Enjoy your favorite foods, take in a concert with friends, or plan a weekend getaway. Set aside time for a massage or a haircut, and squeeze in a little shopping, too.

Eat healthy and keep moving – Remember to walk every day and fill your shopping cart with fresh vegetables and fruits. Stay hydrated and stop smoking.

Get help – If your stress and anxiety are continuing, see your doctor to discuss the issue and consider seeing a psychologist to work through the problem.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Saint Peters, Mo.

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