Taking a few minutes to focus on your breathing can have immediate effects on your blood pressure.
Having stress can impact your health, especially your blood pressure.
Financial stress is one of the most common stressors that women experience, as women tend to battle not only the economy but also many obstacles that men often do not; the wage gap is one striking example.
When you feel stressed out, anxious, or worried it is important that you take the time to calm yourself down by taking deep breaths and clearing your mind.
If not you are teaching your body to be stressed.
In as little as 5 minutes of meditation, your heart rate could return to normal and your blood pressure may decrease drastically.
Women tend to “hold it in”, meaning their emotions. While we might feel we are expressing quite a bit, there’s also more shame that we encounter as females from trauma and relationships to our relationship with our bodies and with money.
We hold our breath when we brace our muscles in stress, and we get used to this behavior.
This response, in turn, creates a pattern of both bracing and withholding the very thing that helps us thrive, but creates more stress.
We are depriving ourselves and our bodies react with hormonal imbalances and stress responses- one of which may be higher blood pressure.
Breathing is a key to lowering stress and balancing our bodies.
The particular type of meditation I enjoy is known as pranayama which is derived from yoga practices. Note that yoga practices might be seen as religious or secular; just like a candle might be used for demonic worship. or, to make your kitchen smell like fresh-baked apple pie.
The first practice is not pranayama, but just a run-of-the-mill common sense approach to breathing.
It does not have to be fancy. I’ll start you with a common easy-to-do exercise first, that you should do 4x a day.
- Simply breathe intentionally, for one minute. Set a timer and focus on breathing slowly inhale for six seconds, hold for three to six seconds and slowly exhale for six to eight seconds. Try to do what you can; it might not be perfect but you will get about six breathes in a minute and this will be a practice that you do before breakfast, before lunch, before dinner and before bed.
- Ujjayi breathing is commonly seen in yoga studios. The inhale and exhale is through the nose, slow, and let the air sort of hit the back of the throat. It’s very slow and rhythmic. Think of the inhale as a gentle wave going to the shore and the exhale as a wave releasing to back to the ocean. You can do this for about 90-120 minutes, in an activity or as little as 30 seconds.
- Cleansing breath. Do this only a few times, not more than say, seven times. This is done seated with your spine straight. Inhale and then exhale sharply while pulling your navel inward toward the back of your spine. The inhale isn’t dramatic or drawn out – it’s actually quite natural. The exhale is very sharp and dramatic. This is a great one to do if you are feeling depressed or tired. For obvious reasons, don’t do this on a full stomach, it’s a bit of an abdominal workout as well! I’d probably not do this one in public as you might notice you blow quite of bit of nasal mucus if it needs to expel.
These types of breathing strategies are part of not only physiological support but also emotional support. For many, this translates to lower blood pressure.
You can easily do this exercise anywhere- no matter if you are at home, work, or even in a public place!
Are you feeling tired and sluggish? Do you feel like your body is in a foggy state of mind? You may be experiencing hormonal imbalances. Hormones play a huge part in how we feel on the inside and outside, but when hormones are out of balance it can lead to problems with our blood pressure. Blood pressure is an important indicator of early heart disease risks and should not be overlooked. In this blog post, we’ll explore what causes hormonal imbalance and how to fix them so that they don’t lead to high blood pressure
-What Causes Hormonal Imbalance: There are many different factors that cause hormonal imbalance such as nutritional deficiencies, stress levels, sleep deprivation, hormone production changes due to age or menopause
According to the Mayo Clinic,
To control your blood pressure both before and after menopause, focus on a healthy lifestyle:
- Maintain a healthy weight- if you need to lose weight do not do a “diet” just focus on making lifestyle changes- and do not buy into programs that make you spend money to create a “lifestyle change”, because they are using marketing manipulation.
- Eat heart-healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Sit down and create meal plans with heart health and wellness in mind- planning is a way to look forward to the lifestyle change.
- Reduce the number of processed foods and salt in your diet. It might be hard to get 100% elimination, for instance, tofu is technically processed. Minimize though.
- Exercise most days of the week. I know it sounds overwhelming if you haven’t before but adding even five minutes a day is better than nothing. Give yourself credit.
- Manage stress. This might mean making peace with the past or eliminating someone from your life now. It might mean getting your finances in control.
- Limit or avoid alcohol. I know that social media has made requiring a glass of wine to destress a normal behavior, but in this case, less is more.
- If you smoke, stop. There’s no other way around this one.
If necessary, your doctor may prescribe medications to help lower your blood pressure and you should see your physician to rule out some self-help as a way to control blood pressure.