I Did Not Accept I Had Hypertension
For a good many years I had low blood pressure and no stress at all. I didn’t even think about it or bother to have any checks. My visits to the doctor was about every 4 to 5 years except for the odd inoculation, if I was going to work somewhere abroad.
No checks, just a few questions on where I was going, What type of accomodation and for how long. A computer check on my past jabs and another hole in my body later and I was on my way out of the door.
A headache that would not go. I put up with it for about a week and finally went to see the doctor. The doctor took my blood pressure and smiled. “I am not surprised you have a headache, your BP is 265/125”. Fill this prescription on your way home take the medications and go to bed for the rest of the day. Come back in two days’ time. I could have had hypertension for years, I have no idea one way or another.
I Can’t Have High BP
Hypertension came as a surprise to me. I am never ill, I did not drink alcohol until I was 35, I have never eaten fat, am not keen on salt, and even when? I stay away from home I eat in good restaurants. I have never eaten much in the way of so-called junk foods.
I can’t have high blood pressure but I did. Over the months I had long-term blood pressure tests, stress tests, heart scans, and lifestyle investigations which all revealed that I have no underlying physical reasons for high blood pressure.
The diagnosis was simply stress. I am not stressed I have no reason to be stressed. A home with no mortgage, a job paying more than I need, I have no stress. I can’t have.
I often wonder how many people like me are suffering hypertension through stress without realising they are stressed. I certainly would not have thought that I was stressed. I did not even know I had hypertension although I almost don’t anymore. My BP is 20 points lower than it should be for my age. It is surprising how much better life can be without the things around you that create stress in life.
My High BP Was Stress
I made a couple of discoveries during my own coming to terms with the fact that I had high blood pressure, and that it was caused by stress. Finding the best blood pressure medication was not easy.
- Weight if I lose weight the BP reduces by quite a lot
- Blood pressure tablets take a long time to get right. I have had muscle pains that wake me up. I have collapsed pushing a trolly around the supermarket. I have been dizzy without knowing it. My eyesight has been affected by medications, again, without knowing it. Most combinations only worked for a few weeks and then stopped working. When they are the right combination they work well. It really did take a few years to get my meds right.
- Even with medication blood pressure can still be quite high.
After a few years of denial, I began to accept that maybe the doctors were right; it was stress. Once I accepted that my high BP was due to stress, the rest was easy.
In examining this I realised that although at the top of my game I was still working around the country with equipment that can burn me, electrocute me or even explode and damage me. In fact over the years I have experience all three of them. I was also driving 50,000 miles a year and working between 50 and 80 hours a week. Sometimes only taking a day off after 4 or 5 weeks of continuous working.
Whilst working abroad I began to realised that life was much calmer. On checking my BP I found it was 140/80 and yet at home it was around 165/90 and no matter what medication I took it was always around the same level unles I took so many I could not stay awake.
Working abroad is easy. I stay in a hotel, have a good breakfast, Have lunch at the companies dining room, only have one system to work on and go back to the hotel after around seven hours of work.
I have time to write a report, maybe send a fax and in later years’ emails.
I have time for a shower or bath, get changed, and go down for dinner.
I compared life at home and working abroad. I have multiple sites to visit, my phone never stops ringing with problems, driving that used to be a joy had changed into an unpleasant business with lower and lower speed limits, more and more speed traps, and traffic volumes that seem to double every year. A working day that started at 06:00 now had to start at 05:00 or earlier to overcome traffic problems. And of course, there was the problem of the calls and problems at home.
I am Stressed
Once I accepted stress instead of denying it for years it was relatively easy to lower my stress levels.
I stopped answering the phone when working. when I was finished I could call back. I could not do anything about another problem while sorting out the problem i am dealing with anyway. Miraculously people sorted their own problems instead of asking me to do it for them. I worked a few less hours and sorted out my home problems once and for all.
How I Discovered How to Reduce Stress
I have always enjoyed work ever since my paper round at the age of 13. Despite being rain soaked and walking through snow up to my knees I always enjoyed working.
The things I did helped me enormously and then one day I woke up and didn’t want to do it anymore. I realised I was not enjoying it anymore. The work had changed for the worst, modern working practises did not suit me.
I gave up work. 31 years with one company and I left. I have always taken the view that I have to work to live so I might as well enjoy it.
I also write a few books when I get the time and create education courses.
I love music, I played in a band from when I was 14 until 19 years of age when traveling for work made me an unreliable bass player.
I Accepted My High BP Was Stress
For me this method works. I take less blood pressure medication now. My BP is 135/75 and I smile, rather a lot. My wife says I look silly. I don’t care.
Not everyone can give up their job but when it is accepted that stress is the cause of their blood pressure. Stress can be reduced by realising the parts of their lives they don’t need.
I had a company car that was replaced every two years and had done since I was 22 years of age. When I gave up my job I gave up my car. Now I have a very old car that no one will be impressed with. I don’t care.
I don’t have 4 holidays a year or more sometimes anymore. I chose to live in a quiet area by the sea in a warmer climate so I don’t need to go on holiday. Living in a warm climate I don’t have the latest fashions, I don’t need them, in fact, I don’t need many clothes at all. I don’t have as much money in the bank. I don’t care, I have enough.
I make a list of everything that money is spent on. Ask the question do I need this and go through every list item and remove the ones you don’t need.
Remove toxic people from your life. This was a big one for me, life is so much better without negative people in your life. In this list i include the ones that show off about their car, their house, their holidays. Happiness is stress free and it comes from within you. Negative people feed on your happiness and leave very little of it for you to enjoy.
Now you have a smaller life, a smaller circle of people around you who are all positive. You don’t need so much so you have less need for a lot of money.
This is a departure from my normal life of working every hour of the day and rushing around like an idiot. This is my life, it is the only one I will ever have. I am not going to waste it anymore than I already have.
I spent many years making rich people become even richer. Now I am rich. I am not rich in money but I am rich in happiness. All I have to show for that is my grin, and my wife still says I look silly. I don’t care.
Of course, I now have time to read. All I used to read were technical manuals. Now I read stories. There is the music of course, now about that I do Care. A stress reduced life for my thinking is a better way of life but it took me a long time to accept it.