Discover which natural methods and techniques for lowering stress help reduce your blood pressure naturally.
Chronic emotional and mental stress is a major cause for high blood pressure. That's because stress causes a sustained increase in the activity in the sympathetic nervous system—the part of your nervous system associated with the fight-or-flight response. When your sympathetic nervous system is activated, it floods your blood with cortisol and adrenaline, accelerating your heart rate, constricting your blood vessels, and increasing blood pressure.
To reduce your blood pressure naturally, one of the best things you can do to lower stress is learn how to manipulate sympathetic nervous system activity with techniques to calm your system, defuse emotional anxiety, and promote optimal physical and mental balance. The following mind-body methods, which I practice myself and recommend to all my patients, are ideal for reducing high blood pressure naturally over the long term.
How to Lower Stress to Reduce Your Blood Pressure Naturally
Recognize Causes for High Blood Pressure and Stress
The higher your psychological stress level, the higher your blood pressure is likely to be. That’s why I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to learn to recognize the triggers of your stress and promptly deal with them. Luckily, reducing your blood pressure naturally can be as easy as learning when you need to breathe more deeply, laughing more often, or spending more time with your pet.
Lower Stress By Managing Your Emotions
Your emotions, particularly anger and grief, are hidden causes for high blood pressure. That’s because while high blood pressure may be caused by a chemical imbalance, unhealthy diet, or excess weight, its other name—hypertension—also reflects another major cause. Hypertension can arise because you are “hyper-tense”—filled with bottled-up anger or grief. Luckily, there are lifestyle practices that help defuse your anger and manage your grief to reduce your blood pressure naturally.
Move Your Mind and Body to Reduce Blood Pressure Naturally
Hundreds of studies have confirmed that practicing the mind-body activities of yoga, T’ai Chi, and transcendental meditation effectively helps to reduce your blood pressure naturally and lower stress.
Yoga. Studies of hypertensive adults with and without coronary disease have shown that yoga-based interventions can reduce the need for high blood pressure medication. Yoga does not require an enormous time commitment: Daily 30-minute yoga sessions have been shown to reduce blood pressure.
T’ai Chi. T’ai Chi has been referred to as “meditation in motion.” It consists of a series of postures and movements that are performed slowly and gracefully, along with breathing techniques that induce a state of relaxation and tranquility. In one study of 76 healthy people who had high-normal blood pressure or stage 1 hypertension, T’ai Chi was shown to reduce blood pressure and aid in lowering stress after the participants had practiced it for 50 minutes, three times a week for 12 weeks.
Transcendental meditation. The ancient practice also known as TM has been the focus of more than 600 scientific studies, including nine randomized controlled trials involving people with high blood pressure. A University of Kentucky review of these studies found that compared to controls, TM reduced blood pressure naturally by a clinically significant average of 4.7 systolic points and 3.2 diastolic points after at least 8 weeks of practice. For more on learning TM, visit www.tm.org.
More Dr. Sinatra Advice on How to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally
What’s the best diet for high blood pressure? Learn how drinking water and the Pan-Asian Modified Mediterranean (PAMM) approach to eating can help lower your blood pressure.
How does exercise help lower your blood pressure? Find out the many ways that exercise promotes healthy blood pressure and get tips on the most heart-healthy types of exercise.
Which nutritional supplements will help lower your blood pressure? Find out about the core supplements I recommend for everyone with cardiovascular concerns, plus some additional ones specifically for those with high blood pressure.