Stress and High Blood Pressure

Today’s world is fast-paced and filled with increased demands and causes a lot of stress. Stress contributes to risk factors like poor diet, lack of sleep and excessive alcohol consumption. Know more about stress and high blood pressure.

Stress Cartoon

Effects of Stress and High Blood Pressure on Health

Along with emotional discomfort caused due to stress, human bodies react by releasing stress hormones in the blood. Accordingly The hormones, adrenaline, and cortisol, prepare the body for the “fight or flight” response which makes the heart beat faster and constrict the blood vessels. This causes more blood supply to the core of the body instead of the extremities.

Finally The increase in heart rate causes blood pressure to rise temporarily. Once the stress reaction goes away, blood pressure gets back to its pre-stress level. The effect of “situational stress” is generally short-lived and disappears once when the stressful event is over.

“Fight or flight” is a response by our body when we face an imminent threat that we can handle by confronting or fleeing. However, in today’s world, opting for such reactions may not be possible. This leads to chronic or constant stress causing our bodies to be affected for days or weeks at a time.

Adopt healthy habits

Making choices like talking with family and friends and finding time for physical activity helps in fighting stress. These habits improve your health and rejuvenate your general well-being.

Relaxing for short periods during a workday and on weekends may help lower the blood pressure. Regular physical activity is another great stress-buster. Doing what one enjoys, like walking, swimming, jogging, etc. get the muscles going.

Letting go of the tension in the body makes one feel better. Limiting alcohol, overeating, and smoking helps in curbing the stress.

Change expectations

It is very important to give yourself enough time to get things done. Time management is known to work wonders for reducing stress. Packing too much into every moment is never helpful. It is necessary to learn to say “No”. Having a shorter “to- do” list helps to reduce the amount of stress. Everyone should learn to live within manageable limits and hence reevaluating priorities and making difficult choices may be needed.

Recognize control limits

Though all the outside events in our lives cannot be controlled, we can definitely change the way you handle them emotionally. We should learn to accept things that can’t be changed. We don’t need to solve all the problems in our lives. The plan should be to solve only those problems that are under our control.

Take care of your mood

Furthermore Relaxation is a very important aspect of reducing stress. We need to take at least 15 – 20 mins from our busy day, to sit quietly and breathe deeply. We all need to spend time in developing supportive relationships that build character and foster growth.

Practice gratitude and joy for stress and high blood pressure

Express gratitude to others as it boosts your level of feeling good about life and reduces stressful thoughts. Focus on the positive and forgo the negatives. Know what brings pleasure and find ways to enjoy the experience.

The objective is to discover what works best for us. Being open-minded and willing to experiment helps in choosing strategies and taking actions. This ensures that we start enjoying the benefits.