A cardiologist, Dr. Okechukwu Anthony, has said that stress management was critical to preventing and treating high blood pressure.
Anthony told the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja that inadequate or poor-quality sleep could negatively affect people’s mood, mental alertness, energy level and physical health.
He noted that most Nigerians suffering from high blood pressure hardly create time to relax or learn relaxation techniques.
“Meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery and deep breathing exercises are powerful relaxation techniques and stress-busters,” he explained.
According to the cardiologist, most Nigerians do not strengthen their social network or participate in activities of support groups which can help.
“The more people juggle work and family demands, the lower their stress level.
“People need to try to resolve their stressful situations if they can. Do not let stressful situations fester. Hold family problem-solving sessions and use negotiation skills at home and at work.
“People need to nurture themselves; they need to treat themselves to a massage and truly savour experiences.
“People should eat slowly and really focus on the taste and sensation of each bite.
“People should regularly take a walk, nap, or better still, listen to their favorite music,” he advised.
Anthony regretted that most Nigerians, because of pride and fear of what others will think of them, hardly ask for help.
“Do not be afraid to ask for help from your friends, neighbours and congregation or your church members.
“So many clerics do not ask for help when they are sick because of fear of what people will think or say. Very often, this leads to their death.
“If stress and anxiety persist, talk to a doctor.
“Live a healthy lifestyle, maintain a healthy weight, don’t smoke, have regular exercise and a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthful fats.
“With all these precautions, HBP can be a thing of the past,” he explained.