Brookhaven Retreat® LLC, a unique residential treatment facility exclusively for women with emotional and mental health challenges, and/or substance abuse issues recognizes May as National Blood Pressure Month with a client-centric focus on reducing stress and anxiety through exercise, mindfulness, and stress reducing DBT skills training.
May’s designation as National High Blood Pressure Month, sponsored by the CDC, raises awareness about the impact high blood pressure, or hypertension, can have on overall health by focusing on education and prevention. Hypertension is associated with increased levels of anxiety and stress. Stress releases hormones that cause the heart to beat faster and blood vessels to narrow, which increases blood pressure. Mood disorders are an indicator of increased risk for hypertension. Studies have shown that people suffering from either extreme depression or anxiety were two to three times more likely to develop hypertension. Patients with hypertension were apt to have a history of panic attacks, or sudden feelings of terror that strike repeatedly or unexpectedly. In addition, behaviors linked to anxiety have been shown to increase the risk for hypertension. These behaviors include overeating, drinking alcohol, substance abuse, and poor sleeping habits.
Brookhaven Retreat understands that mood disorders put the body on constant high alert and place a strain on many organ systems. By treating the body and mind as a whole, clients of Brookhaven Retreat are able to reduce their risk of developing hypertension or, if they already have high blood pressure, to incrementally lower their numbers naturally by lowering their anxiety levels. Stress reducing activities shown to lower blood pressure include: exercise, mindfulness, increasing sleep quality, equine/pet therapy, and shifting overall stress perspective (acknowledging problems and changing the way they are dealt with). To accomplish this, Brookhaven Retreat encourages exercise, mindfulness, improved sleep hygiene, and stress reducing DBT skills such as distress tolerance and emotion regulation. Hypertension-fighting activities featured at Brookhaven Retreat in May include morning exercise, equine therapy, Barre classes, Zumba, walking groups, and DBT skills training.