May 19 is World Hypertension Day.  How do you combat this disease?

H – Have a balanced diet.  Not just fruits and vegetables, but a delicate variety and balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins as well.  And yes, just a little taste of sweets and fatty foods once in a while to relieve stress, but don’t overdo it.

Y – Yearly cholesterol monitoring.  Even if you don’t feel any symptoms, it is good to have your blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels monitored annualy starting at age 35.  Remember: high cholesterol is directly correlated to increased risk for heart diesease and stroke, and it could escape detection if not monitored.

P – Pressure check.  It doesn’t take much effort to run to the nearest health center once in a while for blood pressure monitoring.  It also does not hurt to have an electronic blood pressure monitoring device at home.  Just make sure it is always calibrated and the batteries are not worn out.

E – Exercise.  Be active and sweat a little.  This will strenghten your heart muscles and make your blood vessels more compliant, leading to better circulation.

R – Relax.  Avoid getting stressed out.  Remove all your hang-ups, hurts, and hatefulness.

T – Talk to your doctor.  Take medications when needed.  Treatment must not be delayed to avoid complications.

E – Ease up on the alcohol.  Binge drinking stresses the heart and leads to heart failure in the long run.

N – Na.  This is the symbol for sodium, which is present in salt.  Avoid too much salt, because it retains fluid and overloads the heart muscle.

S – Sleep.  A rested mind with adequate sleep keeps epinephrine levels down, which reduces vasoconstriction and improves blood flow to the tissues.

I – Identify your health history.  If you have family members with hypertension, be more vigilant.

O – Omega 3 supplementation.  Population studies and clinical trials provide compelling evidence that omega-3 fatty acids have cardioprotective effects.  One gram a day may be all that you need.

N – No to smoking.  It does not just prevent hypertension, but most other degenerative diseases as well.



“Find the best, the brightest, and the most ambitious employee in this organization.  When you find him, fire him.”

Below is a common sentiment among young employees who enter the workplace:

“I just started a new job.  My basketball buddy, who happens to head another department, overheard my boss say that he needs to get rid of me because I make my boss look stupid during meetings.  The complacency of my boss makes him do sloppy work, which I try to correct.  Unfortunately, my boss does not like this.  I try my best to make my boss look good, but to no avail. He has started to exclude me from meetings, and when I create my own programs they end up as trash. I like my job, but I can’t work for my boss.”

With its inherent perks, there are legitimate reasons why bosses are threatened by employees more intelligent and educated than they are, and feel threatened while on the job.  It does not matter whether it is a small business or a large multinational corporation.  Workplace politics can overshadow the day-to-day duties of workers involved, and there are critical reasons why bosses feel the heat.

First, even if the boss may be respected in his or her field, the lack of academic or intellectual capacity to back up credentials may be an issue.  Maybe the boss was simply promoted through outright luck or other arbitrary circumstance. Soon, their weakness may be noticed and exploited by ambitious and intelligent subordinates.

Many people avoid politics altogether, but others seem to thrive in it. For a professional to succeed, they must often play the political game, where academic credentials are just as important as the ability to influence. Highly intelligent employees who learn to play politics are more likely to achieve the status, prestige, and positions they want.  This makes the boss want to keep an eye on the underlings, for it could cost their job.

The true measure of leadership is influence.  You may be able to grant someone a position, but you cannot grant leadership unless the person has earned influence.  In most organizations, as you are promoted, you find that there is added responsibility, but limited authority.  That’s why I think that one must simply aim to do his or her best instead of aiming for the top position.

One of the best things you can do is to ask what is expected of you in the organization.  This establishes trust with your superiors.  Insecure leaders are ego-centric.  Work hard to break the chain of insecurity, because it must not spread to others.

When all else fails, get out of the kitchen!  It’s not worth all the stress.  If you’re really good, you will find an organization that will truly treasure your contributions.


Swimming pool of a resort in Curaçao, Kingdom ...

Image via Wikipedia

“If you can manage your own life and have complete power over what you wish to achieve, you can actually reduce stress. Separate and focus on your daily goals and set practical expectations for yourself”. – from Beyond the Quote
Stress is  part of our daily lives. Some people believe it is bad for our health.   But the truth of the matter is stress is only bad if it is not managed well.  When stress pushes a person to excel, it can be beneficial.   Recognizing when stress becomes detrimental is therefore of utmost importance.
Unfortunately, most people find it difficult to deal with stress.  People go through so much trouble in trying to relieve stress – to no avail.  From relaxation techniques, to doing some exercises, and sometimes even performing risky activities, most people COVER UP the stress, but it comes back to haunt them.  Fortunately, there are more effective ways to deal with stress.
In my clinical practice, I have come to the conclusion that stress is the main reason for most outpatient consultations.  When people are stressed out or anxious, they begin to think of going to a physician.  As long as they can manage the stress and anxiety on their own, patients will try to postpone a trip to a hospital or clinic.  Is this you?  If your answer is yes, you are not alone.  I guess it is more stressful for you to pay for professional fees.  So let me save you anxiety.  I will attempt to make you handle stress on your own – that is until you can no longer bear it.

Lack of time is a major cause of stress for everyone. To find balance between your family, career, and your personal needs, the first tip I have is this:  SLEEP AND REST WELL.  A tired person becomes sluggish and is unable to perform tasks.  He or she is also unable to plan activities well.  If you want to have quality time for work and play, never sacrifice your time to rest and sleep to perform more tasks.

Setting achievable goals is also essential.  MAKE SURE YOUR TARGETS ARE REALISTIC.  Break it down to smaller goals, and reward yourself a little for every accomplishment.

Know what your priorities are.  This will keep your schedule less hectic.  LIST DOWN YOUR MOST IMPORTANT TASKS.  My wife is very good at this.  I admire her resolve to accomplish things everyday.  Once her tasks are done, she feels relaxed knowing that she has crossed out tasks from her list.

HAVE TIME FOR YOURSELF.  Everyone needs a few moments alone. If you can’t get away from it all, why not go to the restroom?  Wash your face, groom yourself, and put on some perfume.  If  you can do this while humming a tune, that would be so much better.  In the afternoon, if it would be possible, why not spend part of your lunch hour just sitting in a quiet corner with eyes closed for 15 minutes? Better if you could take a short nap!

Never forget EXERCISE.  Do it for 30 minutes at least 3 or 4 times per week.  No excuses.  Brisk walking is enough.  Or take the stairs.  If you can incorporate stretching and weight-bearing exercises to your routine, then so much the better.  Studies have proven that the earliest manifestation of aging is muscle atrophy due to inactivity.  Sarcopenia, or muscle degeneration, plays a major role in functional impairment.  So if you want to age gracefully, exercise today.

Finally, there are only 2 ways to deal with  stress head on.  Either you decrease your load (less activity and responsibility), or increase your ability (by continuous learning).  If you cannot do one, then do the other.  Which is more feasible for you?  Only you can answer that.  But if I were you, I’d choose the latter.  Life is too short to spend just idling away without being productive.