It's estimated that over 103 million Americans have high blood pressure. Excessive pressure on your arteries can lead to stroke, a heart attack, and other heart-related problems. If you've been diagnosed with high blood pressure you will want to bring your numbers down.

Your lifestyle may be contributing to your high numbers. Living a healthy lifestyle can help lower your blood pressure without taking medication. Here are 9 effective strategies and tricks to lower blood pressure.

1. Keep Track of Your Blood Pressure

Monitoring your blood pressure at home can tell you if certain lifestyle changes are working to lower your blood pressure. It can also alert you and your doctor to potential complications you are facing.

2. Lower Your Stress Level

Your stress level may contribute to your high blood pressure. People who are under chronic stress may try to relieve their stress by eating unhealthy food, drinking, and smoking. These activities will only increase your blood pressure. Think about the reasons why you are stressed. Once you know what is causing your stress you can work to reduce or eliminate the source. If you can’t eliminate your stress, you can find a healthy way to cope.

Avoid trying to do too much. Sometimes you will have to change your priorities and expectations. There are some things in life you can’t control. Instead, focus on how you react to them. If you are having issues at work, try talking to your manager. Take steps to resolve conflicts with family or friends. Find a time during the day to relax. Take a walk or work on a hobby you love.

3. Skip the Coffee

Research is still unsure about the role caffeine can play on your blood pressure. Some doctors avoid skipping your morning cup of joe if you are going to have your blood pressure taken. Caffeine can raise blood pressure in people who are not used to its effects. People who drink caffeine regularly may not experience any effects on their blood pressure.

We are still not sure of the long-term effects of caffeine on your blood pressure. If you are monitoring your blood pressure, regularly check and see if caffeine increases your blood pressure. If you see an increase after a cup of coffee your body may be sensitive to the effect of caffeine, and it may be better to skip the coffee as part of an effort in lowering blood pressure without medication.

4. Stop Smoking

Smoking increases your blood pressure. Each cigarette you smoke increases your blood pressure for a while afterward. Quitting smoking is one of the lifestyle modifications for hypertension that can help your blood pressure return to normal. You can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your health overall by quitting smoking. You will also live a longer life than people who don’t give up smoking.

5. Reduce Your Sodium Intake

Reducing salt in your diet can go a long way toward improving your health and reducing pressure on your arteries. Sodium affects different people in different ways. Doctors typically recommend limiting sodium intake to 1,500 mg or less a day for adults.

Read the food labels of the products you buy and consider purchasing low-sodium alternatives. Eat less processed foods and more whole foods. They contain less salt. Instead of adding salt, flavor your food with herbs and spices. Your palette will adjust over time.

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