Two epidemics in modern life feed into each other in toxic ways: stress and high blood pressure. Indeed, it’s hard to escape. More stress spikes your blood pressure, and over time that leads to hypertension. Then, worrying about your high blood pressure may increase your stress. And on and on!

Well, what can you do to break this vicious cycle? Here are 4 habits to reduce your stress – and your blood pressure…

1. Move your body.

First, our bodies weren’t made to sit still. Sometimes moving your body is the best medicine for your mind. Go out for a walk, try a new heart-healthy exercise, or do some simple stretches at your desk! Anything that gets your limbs in your motion, your blood flowing, and your mind focused. This type of moving forces you to breathe. And your body releases some of the nervous energy that builds up.

2. Quiet your mind.

Stress often builds up completely in our minds. And it’s always within your control to change the voices in your head! So what if you consciously chose to not worry about the deadline, or the argument, or whatever? Not even think about it! It’s possible, and it’s all within your mind. Because this may be challenging, you can try meditation or breathing techniques to get started.

3. Be with people who make you laugh.

In the end, connecting with other people is essential medicine. And that hopefully means enjoying your life outside of the office! Whether it’s having dinner with your best pals – or going to a comedy club. Either way, find places and people that make you feel relaxed. “Laughter is the best medicine,” is sage advice for many things. Including for your healthy heart!

4. Get enough sleep.

Did you know that bad sleep seriously impacts your health? Whether it’s not enough or just poor quality, these sleep issues lead to bad moods and poor mental alertness. Plus, it affects your energy levels and physical health. So get enough good sleep to keep you happy – and to keep stress away!

In a word, your best remedy for stress is: relax.

Doing the things that make people happy will bring more joy and less stress into your life. If you’re battle your high blood pressure on many fronts, then you likely need some more good habits and information! Check out our other articles on naturally reducing blood pressure.