Living with High Blood Pressure

Whether it’s our American stress filled lifestyle, questionable eating habits or cultural heredity, more and more Americans are finding themselves facing the sometimes startling reality of living with high blood pressure. Living with high blood pressure is something to take seriously, but living with high blood pressure can help you to initiate changes in your lifestyle that can improve your over all physical condition. Only those with high blood pressure can decide whether they will make living with high blood pressure a burden or a tool toward building a healthier, happier life.

Reaction to Your Diagnosis When your doctor presents you with the fact that you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure your initial reaction can be anything from paralyzing shock and fear to almost casual disregard. What is more important than your first reaction, however, is the long range attitude you adopt toward your newly discovered condition. As with many other aspects of life, you can’t always change the condition or event but you can control your attitude or response. In this way what you think and feel about having high blood pressure can greatly effect how you will experience living with high blood pressure in the years to come.

A negative long term response can spin around a variety of unresolved reactions. Those living with high blood pressure can develop a major case of the “poor me’s” . By dwelling on the constraints on diet and the need to purchase and take medicine for “the rest of my life”patients can effectively worsen their overall condition and their ability to deal rationally with their blood pressure.

Another negative reaction to a diagnosis of high blood pressure is for the patient to be so surprised and alarmed that he or she begins to catastrophize not only living with high blood pressure but also every other minor ailment that they develop. Some even take the negative approach of seeing even minor fluctuations of blood pressure as indications that something serious even life threatening is occurring. By overreacting in a negative fashion people living with high blood pressure can actually create their own vicious circle in which high blood pressure causes stress and anxiety which in turn raises blood pressure.

A more reasoned approach to living with high blood pressure doesn’ mean that you are happy or pleased with the information but rather that you are pleased that something that might have caused serious health problems for you down the road, has been detected and is being brought under control. A positive attitude says living with high blood pressure is something millions of people do all the time. Sure some real changes will need to happen in your diet and your every day living . Still for the most part living with high blood pressure can be viewed in most cases as nothing more than a minor inconvenience if you properly re-orient yourself and proceed with a positive attitude.

Consulting with Your Doctor Among the positive approaches that will help you to live easily with high blood pressure is accepting the importance of making and keeping regular appointments with your physician. According to fluctuations in your pressure, you may also need to have your pressure taken on a more or less regular basis, once a month,every three months or once every six month as the situation warrants.

The monitoring of your blood pressure is neither painful nor invasive but unless you see it positively as an aid to better personal health, it can be anxiety producing and seem to be unnecessarily time consuming. Taking a positive attitude and recognizing that you are really doing something good for yourself can make the appointments and monitoring seem less annoying. Besides, every appointment is an opportunity for you to learn more about how you can live better and healthier.

Sticking to Your Regimen When you are diagnosed with high blood pressure your doctor will most likely give you prescriptions that will help to bring your blood pressure under control. He will also recommend that you take the salt shaker off the table and reduce the daily amount of sodium that you consume. In most cases physicians will also indicate the value of following a low fat diet and developing a personal exercise routine.

It’s important for your overall well being to give these standards your fullest cooperation not just right after diagnosis but continuously. High blood pressure is a condition that can be controlled but is controlled most effectively by consistently following whatever regimen your doctor has prescribed for you. It is far too easy to skip this or avoid doing that and the results of your lack of diligence may not be something you can detect until you are surprised by an unusually high reading at your next blood pressure check. Your doctor has given you steps to keep you healthy but you have to add the element of common sense to ensure that you follow his guidance regularly.

Be Open in Discussing Your Blood Pressure Living with high blood pressure need not be a secret or something to be ashamed or embarrassed about. Keeping your high blood pressure a well guarded secret in fact may actually increase your own personal anxiety about your condition, while bringing it into the light of day may help you to better take it in stride. While no one wants to hear your entire medical history every time you get together, you should feel comfortable in sharing what it means to you to be living with high blood pressure when you are with friends or family members. You may find other people who not only can benefit from your story but are ready to chime in with their own experiences. Sharing your new life style with others can be therapeutic and may help you to normalize your own experience of living with high blood pressure. The more you can mentally include high blood pressure as just another part of your life, not the center of your existence, the more relaxed you will be living with high blood pressure.

Live a Normal Life The changes in diet, the addition of medications and the frequency of exercise that living with high blood pressure requires are necessary to help you to live a full and normal life. So do just that. Play tennis or play the piano. Take a cruise or paddle around a pond. Paint or go see the paintings at the museum. Do what you like to do while doing what you need to do to keep your blood pressure under control. You have a condition that will be with you for the rest of your life. Only one of you – either the condition or you – can take charge of that life. By taking a positive attitude toward high blood pressure, keeping in touch with your doctor, sticking to your regimen, being open about your condition you can discover that living with high blood pressure is mostly about living and only a little bit about high blood pressure.

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