Do you often find yourself stressed? Stress is normal, but too much stress can be bad for your health. In our fast paced society we rarely stop to think about our bodies and how to take care of them. When your body is stressed, it releases hormones, adrenaline and coritsol into your blood stream. These hormones cause blood vessels to constrict, which in turn increases your heart rate. Increased heart rates cause high blood pressure.
Signs of High Blood Pressure (most people don’t experience these symptoms until it becomes life threatening)
- Dull headaches
- Dizzy spells
- Increased amount of nosebleeds
Ways to Lower Blood Pressure
1. Decrease sodium in your diet
2. Drink alcohol sparingly— Drinking alcohol can actually lower your blood pressure if you DON’T drink more than one drink per day.
3. Decrease caffeine intake—Caffeine can cause a short spike in your blood pressure.
4. Reduce Stress—See tips below
5. Stay away from tobacco and secondhand smoke
Signs of Stress
Physical: Dizziness, headaches, grinding teeth, difficulty sleeping, racing heart, exhaustion, trembling, weight gain or loss and upset stomach.
Mental: Constant worry, forgetfulness, inability to concentrate, feeling powerless, loneliness, mood swings, irritability, negative thinking and nervousness.
Ways to Reduce Stress
1. Sleep—Use your bedroom for sleeping only and establish a routine sleep habit by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
2. Massage— That’s right, we said it! Go out and treat yourself with a relaxing massage.
5. Think Positive
6. Be Realistic—Set practical goals and learn to say “no” when you feel too overwhelmed to take on more.
Still wondering if you are experiencing an unhealthy amount of stress? Take Calm Clinic’s seven-minute test to see how your anxiety compares to average people.
At Carter BloodCare, we have a very special service to help you decrease your stress while saving three lives! Book a blood donation appointment as a way to de-stress. Many of our routine donors use this as a time to read a book, work a crossword puzzle, play Hanging With Friends on their phone, etc. Once the phlebotomist gets the donor set up for the blood donation process, you can use this as time to unwind and let your body relax.
Donating blood is also a great way for donors to learn vital information about their own health. A free mini-physical is given at the time of donation, which includes a screening of blood pressure, pulse, temperature and iron levels. Blood donors can also check their cholesterol level within days following donation.
Comment below and tell us what you like to do while you are giving blood!