To reduce your stress level and high blood pressure, you can focus on just the very few things with the highest impact for you—the 80/20 way. The problem is that any search of the Internet will return 99+ brilliant things for you to do (and not do!).
How can you keep track let alone develop this endless list of things to do into useful habits Check yourself: why hunch over article after article when only a few of these things are the most useful to you?
Yes; the trick is to determine which are most useful and to do these things regularly. And, that is how the 80/20 Power Grid™ can help; more about that later.
First though, we have all experienced stress in our lives, whether it is from work, school, or anything life throws our way.
Small amounts of stress are a normal part of life—it keeps us on our toes and helps to keep us motivated. But when someone experiences stress for prolonged periods of time without any relief, it becomes distress.
Both physical and emotional symptoms such as headaches, stomach upset, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks are all associated with distress.
There are over 100 million Americans living with high blood pressure right now—that is approximately 30% of the U.S.A. population diagnosed with hypertension.
We want to help you, along with other Americans, fight hypertension by managing the stress you may face in your everyday life.
Great Tips to Manage Stress
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), stress is a leading cause of high blood pressure. The AHA recommends a large number things to do for managing stress to control high blood pressure that fall into a number of areas:
- Have healthy habits
- Change your expectations
- Recognize where you have control
- Take care if your mood
- Practice gratitude and joy
Pulling the general recommendations into a single list:
- Talk with friends and family.
- Make time for physical activity.
- Give yourself enough time to get things done.
- Learn to say “no.” Don’t promise too much.
- Accept the things you cannot change.
- Think about what you can change and plan to fix these problems.
- Identify your stress triggers and setup ways to avoid them.
- Make time to relax.
- Spend time developing supportive and nurturing relationships.
- Give yourself the gift of a healthy lifestyle.
- Practice gratitude.
- Know what brings you pleasure and find ways to enjoy the experience.
Now, that is only twelve things but, to me, it would be stressful to try and figure out how to fit all that into my regular schedule!
Besides, how do you know which of these is best for you? And, do you know how to make each of these more concrete or specific so that it motivates you? And, do you have a simple way to remind yourself get them done?
Here is where the 80/20 Power Grid™ can help.
The 80/20 Power Grid™
However many days we each have in this life, we experience each day in turn. Each day contains only so many hours. Our attention can be directed at only so many things. Attempts to cheat time through multi-tasking are futile and perhaps destructive.
The 80/20 Power Grid™ is a tool to help you focus on what matters most so you can do, be and have what matters most to you.
The tool works because it is built upon the 80/20 Power Law itself. The 80/20 Power Law is found throughout nature and human civilization.
It is stated in many ways, typically as about 80 percent of the impact of anything is due to 20% of the input factors. For example, 80 percent of the profit is due to 20% of the products or services sold; or, 80% of the sales are due to 20% of the customers.
That is, only a few things really matter and the things that do matter, matter exceedingly so.
How the 80/20 Power Grid™ works—unlike an endless To-Do List that tricks us into thinking we can do everything eventually, it forces you to decide upon the eight things that matter most and within these eight items, which is very most important, which come next and so on.
What the 80/20 Power Grid™ is—it is a simple, hierarchical grid upon which you enter what matters most.
In its printed form, it looks like the one here that you can download.
And, coming soon, you can download the app and use it on any device.
The 80/20 Power Grid™ in Action
Here is an example of a what a completed Power Grid would look like. Of course, it is entirely customizable to your own wants and needs. For ours, we have placed physical activity as our most important thing to do.
Physical activity has numerous long-term health benefits such as weight control, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, improving mood, boosting energy, and helping with sleep to name a few according to the Mayo Clinic. Being physically active allows us a moment to clear our heads which can have a positive impact on our mental health as well.
Health is wealth and we need to make sure that at the end of the day, when all is said and done, that we are healthy because we are only given one life and one body. If we are unable to do life’s everyday activities then it doesn’t really matter what else is on our to-do list, does it?
Time management and learning when to say no are our next two important things in our Power Grid. We believe these to be imperative to stress relief which in turn can help to lower high blood pressure. These two can almost be tied together at times—you cannot say yes to something if you do not have enough time to do it. There’s only 24 hours in a day, you are only human, and you can only move so many mountains. Understanding and accepting our own limits and limitations can help to reduce the number of unnecessary tasks we take on.
Think you will benefit from using the 80/20 Power Grid?
Try using the information from Medical News Today’s article on 15 natural ways to lower blood pressure and create your own Power Grid using your top eight most important tips.
The natural ways are:
- Walk and exercise regularly
- Reduce sodium intake
- Reduce alcohol intake
- Eat more potassium-rich foods
- Reduce caffeine intake
- Stress management
- Dark chocolate or cocoa
- Weight loss
- Quit smoking
- Cut back on added sugar and refined carbs
- Eat more berries
- More calcium
- Natural supplements