Through a number of therapies, we were on the right track after the first month and started to see decreases in the blood pressure, but then during the next two he went through a stressful emotional time and got sick during the winter, and his numbers started to fluctuate again. Through getting to know him, I was starting to be curious as to just how much stress had to do with his particular case of high blood pressure. I gave him something to take to calm down his stress, but he was so busy, he did not take it for 2 months. He was always on the go, and not slowing down.
At his recent follow up visit, he told me he took 2 days off from work. During those 2 days, his stress came down and he slept better than he had in a long time. He reported that after those two days, his blood pressure went from 199/100 down to 130/70.
He has a sales job. He admits it is stressful, but he likes the stress. I asked him why. He told me that he is more productive when he is stressed. I asked him why again. He replied that he is a procrastinator, so the stress gets him to perform. What is also interesting about this is that although he feels his job is stressful, he does not actually physically or emotionally feel super stressed while at work.
I told him that while he may like the stress, his body does not. Just because you overall do not feel the stress does not mean it is not showing up somewhere else in your body. If you are a procrastinator or lazy (let's be honest, some of you know you are, haha), and need high amounts of stress to move you, I encourage you to find healthier ways to counteract these traits. Do a web search for 'how to counteract procrastination' or 'how to fight procrastination' and you will find a number of resources.
We spoke about finding a different type of job. He said this was the only thing he knew how to do. Thus, I encourage you, the reader, to be skilled in multiple things, so that you are not confined to just one type of job. You never know when the job itself may be the thing in the way of your health. If you do not want to leave a job that is stressful, try to find ways to decrease the stress while you are there, and do major de-stressing activities on your own time. My client knew he needed to slow down, and I agreed with him, as the pace he was going was clearly a major obstacle to the work we were doing. Not only did it increase his stress, but he was not keeping up with some of the things I asked him to do for his health.
Another key factor that I have stressed in the past regarding hypertension is the need for sleep. None of my clients who have hypertension sleep enough. 6.5 hours or more is what I tell them. I would ask for more, as I think it would benefit them. But asking someone who really likes 4-6 hours of sleep to jump to 7 or 8 can be a difficult task for them. Sleeping well while you sleep is also paramount, so if this is an issue for you, it is worthy of your attention, and something I also help my clients with.
Do not underestimate what decreased stress and increased quality sleep can do to improve your health. It is a BIG deal. Don't put off trying to figure out how to do these two things or getting professional help to do so. Start working on it today...this weekend at the latest for the procrastinators.