May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month. Don't expect a parade down your main street, but do consider, for a moment, your own blood pressure, those two numbers that are a general indicator of how healthy your heart is.
An estimated 50 million Americans have hypertension high blood pressure. While high blood pressure itself is not considered a leading cause of death, it is a condition that causes other bad things to happen in your body: Damaged arteries. A weakened heart. Bad kidneys. High blood pressure can also lead to monster heart attacks and devastating strokes.
High blood pressure is one of the conditions you can often control. Here are some things to bear in mind:
Know your pressure. You can't love your blood pressure until you know what the number is, so go get a reliable reading. Whatever the number is, accept that number, embrace it, and if it's too high, tell yourself (and your number) that you are about to make some changes.
Don't settle for a quick drug fix. Chances are your doctor will want to give you drugs for your high blood pressure. I'm not saying you should refuse, but I am saying you owe it to yourself and your number to explore alternative or, to put it more accurately, complementary methods for lowering blood pressure. Others have done it; you can, too.
Raise awareness, lower pressure. Once you become aware and comfortable with the idea that you really can influence your number, you can explore various ways of doing it. You can choose to lose extra pounds, exercise more, eat better. And if you're really committed to bringing your blood pressure down, you can learn to meditate, and by that I don't mean anything magical or mystical, just a few minutes a day of mindful focus and conscious breathing.
Remember, your blood pressure number is neither good nor bad, it's just a fluid reality that you can change. Genetics plays a part, but the biggest part is played by you in terms of how you deal with stress and anger, the foods you eat, the exercise you enjoy and your ability to relax.