“What if worrying too much about high blood pressure causes high blood pressure?”
A 2014 study by Neu et al. evaluated the cortisol levels in 26 mothers of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and 26 mothers of ‘healthy’ children.1 The results showed that there was no significant difference in cortisol levels (stress response), in those mothers with seriously unwell children, and the mothers with healthy children.
If you think you are stressed, your body will produce a myriad of responses aimed at getting you through that stress – regardless of how significant or insignificant that stress really is.
The fact that stress is perceived is a powerful tool to know and recognise.
Learn to use your stress response wisely.
- Keep a positive attitude.
- Accept that there are things you cannot control.
- Learn and practice relaxation techniques.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat healthy, well balanced meals; avoid sugar and processed foods.
- Learn to manage your time more effectively.
- Set limits appropriately and learn to say ‘no’.
- Make time for hobbies and interests.
- Don’t rely on alcohol or cigarettes to reduce stress.
- Be social and spend time with those you love.
- Make time for adequate sleep. Aim for 7-9hours.
- Cut out or cut down your caffeine intake.
- Get some fresh air.
- Take a step back and put everything into perspective.
- Neu M, Matthews E, King NA, Cook PF, Laudenslager ML. Anxiety, depression, stress, and cortisol levels in mothers of children undergoing maintenance therapy for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Journal of pediatric oncology nursing : official journal of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses. 2014;31(2):104-13.