Sunday, June 20, 2021 12:00 pm
Meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery and deep breathing exercises are powerful relaxation techniques and stress-busters,” Dr Okechukwu Anthony, a cardiologist, has explained. These, according to him, are critical to preventing and treating High Blood Pressure (HBP).
Anthony told the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) on Friday in Abuja that inadequate or poor-quality sleep “could negatively affect people’s mood, their mental alertness, energy level and their physical health.”
Definition of terms:
-Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.
-Progressive muscle relaxation is a method that helps relieve that tension. In progressive muscle relaxation, you tense a group of muscles as you breathe in, and you relax them as you breathe out. You work on your muscle groups in a certain order. When your body is physically relaxed, you cannot feel anxious.
-Guided Imagery. It is a technique in which a person focuses on positive images in his or her mind. It can help people reach a relaxed, focused state and help reduce stress and give a sense of well-being.
| Deep breathing exercises. Any form of exercise in which a client switches from shallow rapid breathing to deeper slower breathing. It can calm nerves.
Dr Anthony said: “Meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery and deep breathing exercises are powerful relaxation techniques and stress-busters.”
“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.
“Let them take a walk or a nap, or better still, listen to their favorite music,” he advised.
“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.