3. Practice deep breathing and meditation every day.
Meditation is a powerful way of helping to get stress under control and lowering your blood pressure. The practice causes your sympathetic nervous system – which is associated with stress – to switch off and your parasympathetic nervous system – which is associated with relaxation – to switch on. Deep breathing is a simple practice that you can begin doing every time you start feeling stressed with anxious thoughts. Breathe in for a count of 10, hold for a count of 10, breathe out for 10, and again hold for a count of 10. Repeat several times. You will immediately begin to notice that you feel calmer and less anxious as your parasympathetic nervous system kicks in and starts to override your anxiety.
Meditation does not necessarily involve sitting in the lotus position while saying “omm” repeatedly. You can meditate by going into a quiet space and closing your eyes for a few minutes. Intentionally dismiss any intrusive thoughts so that your mind becomes completely relaxed. Begin by meditating for five minutes at a time. You can work your way up to 10 minutes, 20 minutes, and more. People who meditate regularly have lower blood pressure because their stress levels are much lower. Stress contributes to high blood pressure, but the parasympathetic nervous system overrides that stress and promotes relaxation.