Cardiologist says stress management crucial to tackling HBP


By Abujah Racheal

Cardiologist Dr Okechukwu Anthony said stress management is key to preventing and treating high blood pressure (BPH).

Anthony told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja that inadequate or poor quality sleep can negatively affect people’s mood, mental alertness, energy levels and physical health.

He noted that most Nigerians with HBP barely take the time to relax or learn relaxation techniques.

“Meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery and deep breathing exercises are powerful relaxation and anti-stress techniques,” he explained.

According to him, most Nigerians do not strengthen their social network by connecting with other people, joining an organization or participating in a support group.

“The more people juggle with work and family demands, the less stress they have.

“People should try to resolve their stressful situations if they can. Don’t let stressful situations escalate. Host family problem-solving sessions and use your negotiation skills at home and at work.

“People need food; they need to treat themselves to a massage and really savor the experiences.

“People should eat slowly and really focus on the taste and feel of each bite.

“Let them go for a walk or take a nap, or better yet, listen to their favorite music,” he advised.

Anthony regretted that most Nigerians, out of pride and fear of what others will think of them, hardly ask for help.

“Don’t be afraid to ask your friends, neighbors and congregations or members of your Church for help.

“So many religious do not ask for help when they are sick for 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, exercise regularly, and eat a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats.

“With all of these precautions, RAP can be a thing of the past,” he explained. (NAA)