3 effective stress management techniques that will also help relieve hypertension


3 effective stress management techniques that will also help relieve hypertension

Control that blood pressure

By Shweta Gandhi  May 17th, 2018

We all are guilty of falling prey to stress and tension, given our busy schedules and hectic lifestyles. However, if we don’t take stock of that now and familiarise ourselves with easy stress management techniques, it will eventually lead to increased levels of blood pressure aka hypertension. The condition is shockingly common among adults, and the fact that it’s a silent disease exacerbates the situation. It builds over years, and most people won’t even experience any symptoms until the condition becomes so severe, that it results in a sudden heart attack, diabetes, kidney failure or a stroke.

According to Dr Manoj Kutteri, Wellness Director at Atmantan Wellness Centre, hypertension can be controlled early on through monitoring one’s diet, relaxation techniques and alternative healing practices. Here, he gives us the ultimate low-down:

Stress management technique 1: diet:

Dr Manoj says the key is to cut down on saturated fats, that includes oily and deep-fried foods that contain a high level of trans-fat. "The normal requirements of salt for a healthy person are between 3-5 grams, but the Indian diet constitutes an unsettling amount of 13-15 grams, which is one of the main reasons for high blood pressure," he says. "The therapeutic approach is to avoid sodium and incorporate potassium, magnesium and fibre into your diet through fruits like berries, apples, apricots, bananas, melons, watermelons, grapes, oranges, tomatoes and vegetables like beans, carrots, broccoli and all types of greens," he adds.

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We all know how comforting a cup of coffee with a friend can be, but what's disconcerting is how the caffeine in it results in high blood pressure. "The caffeine present in coffee and chocolate helps in flushing out water from the body, but in the long run, it narrows blood vessels, which can lead to high blood pressure," says Dr Manoj. Sugary drinks like soft drinks should also be avoided.

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"People with hypertension should follow the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet which incorporates fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low-fat diary and all kinds of nuts," recommends Dr Manoj. According to him, this diet is an effective way to lose weight while maintaining calories. "Red meat and artificial sugar must be avoided," he insists.

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Beetroot and garlic are two other crucial supplements that counter heart disease. "The nitric oxide present in them keeps blood vessels open and flowing, thus boosting blood vessel health." Dr Manoj advises drinking beetroot juice twice a day.

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The best meditation techniques to boost overall health:

"We can't run away from stress. The secret lies in learning how to manage it, and that's where meditation steps in," says Dr Manoj. He suggests starting off by simply becoming aware about your breath. "Observing your breathing can be quite beneficial. Notice how your abdomen rises and falls. Feel the temperature of your breath — the cool, fresh air you breathe in, and the warm C02-filled air you breathe out. Practice this while sitting or lying down," he says.

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The second technique Dr. Manoj suggests is progressive muscle relaxation. "Start from your toes and move along to all the muscle groups in your body wherein your mind commands each body part to relax," he says. This is effective in managing anxiety and depression.

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The last technique is chanting. "Chanting mantras or om (which is the sound of the universe) has proven to be highly effective," says Dr Manoj.

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Another technique is the practice of ujjayi pranayama, which when done along with meditation, tremendously reduces stress and tension from the body. It is done by breathing through your nose while you slightly contract your throat and fill your lungs. "The sound that comes when doing this is like a snake hissing, which stimulates the baroreceptors (sensors) in the neck. This, in turn, lowers blood pressure," says Dr Manoj.

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The top alternative healing therapies to counter blood pressure:

"Yoga helps tremendously, as well as any other form of cardio," he says.

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"Acupuncture or acupressure is equally beneficial to manage blood pressure, especially when targetting certain points like the liver or the kidney." 

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"Pranic healing, or any form of energy healing, is really helpful in lowering stress and hypertension," quips Dr Manoj. Understand the benefits of pranic healing here.

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