High blood pressure is caused by a number of physical conditions and lifestyle practices, but one of the most common conditions related to high blood pressure is stress. Working environments are often stressful, especially for those in senior positions in business, and this alone can result in heightened blood pressure.
Causes of Increased Blood Pressure
Simply getting older can cause a rising of blood pressure, as can diabetes and kidney disease. The intake of high levels of salt can also raise blood pressure, as can being overweight, a lack of exercise, over-consumption of alcohol, prolonged sleep deprivation, and smoking tobacco. And of course, stress is also very high on the list of potential causes.
How to Manage Stress-Induced High Blood Pressure
Given the links between a healthy lifestyle and the effective management of blood pressure, adopting a regime of healthy living is an excellent place to make a start. Taking the following steps should have positive results:
- not smoking
- reducing or cutting out alcohol
- reducing salt intake
- getting enough sleep
- keeping within recommended parameters for body weight
- taking regular exercise
- eating healthily
- seeking medical help
- reducing stress
Reduction of stress may seem the most difficult, particularly for those in key positions within a business. Unfortunately, stress often results in people making use of things that they feel give them some instant relief, for example using alcohol, tobacco or caffeine, all of which can increase blood pressure. Finding other ways to reduce and manage stress is therefore key.
Reducing Levels of Stress
Some steps can be taken almost immediately to help with stress, but it must be emphasized that they should not replace medical advice or any medication prescribed without further medical consultation.
– identify sources of stress
List the most stressful events of the working day. What are the triggers, critical times, areas of work that cause the most stress?
– identify what can be controlled
It is all too easy to become frustrated and distracted by attempts to try to manage things that perhaps cannot be managed, or that need a different approach. Identifying these may result in the need to develop different strategies, but getting away from the cycle of worry, frustration and stress can only be positive.
Nobody can deal with everything all at once. Prioritizing the most urgent tasks and tackling them effectively one by one will reduce stress levels.
– manage time
Key figures in business often feel they must be constantly available. Nobody can achieve this and complete work themselves at the same time. Block out periods of time for specific tasks and protect that time.
Everyone wants to feel needed, but letting those best suited to a task get on with it is an essential part of effective management. It also reduces the workload on the person delegating.
– reduce employee demands on time
Stress can sometimes result in senior workers being less available to their employees, which results in an increased need for unscheduled interruptions from them. This can be very stressful. Taking time to walk around the building and chat with employees will reduce the need for them to make unscheduled approaches, and will also provide a break from the office and provide some physical exercise.