Why Does Stress Raise Blood Pressure?

Why Does Stress Raise Blood Pressure?

Medical experts often recommend reducing stress to reduce high blood pressure. Are you wondering what the connection is? According to the American Heart Association, stress and high blood pressure are inextricably linked.

When our bodies become stressed, it sends a message to many parts of the bodies. First, there is a release of the stress hormones, namely cortisol and adrenaline, triggering the “fight or flight” syndrome. This response causes the blood vessels to constrict and the heart rate to quicken; in turn, this is what leads to raised blood pressure.

How Can I Reduce My Stress?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension is on the rise. Patients who come to Primary Care Associates of Texas, often do not realize that they have hypertension until they have visited the doctor’s office. We always recommend that our patients take the steps to reduce their stress, and in turn, reducing their hypertension. In our fast-paced society, many of us face challenges in our everyday lives, whether it is at work or school.

Some of our suggestions for reducing stress might include:

  • Breathing exercises. Take the time to fill your lungs as you draw in your breath. Do this several times throughout the day when you are feeling particularly overwhelmed.
  • Get enough hours of sleep. Only you know how you function best. Most of us know the daily recommended amount is around 7 to 9 hours of sleep. If you know that you work best on 6 or 10, however, listen to what your body is telling you.
  • Create a schedule that suits you most. Do you feel as though you are constantly rushing? Do you feel pressured to stick to certain time constraints? You may wish to adjust your schedule based on your needs. If you know that you need more time to prepare for an important meeting or be at work at a particular time, you may need to readjust. You might also need to shift priorities on your calendar by making time for the items that are more important.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise is good heart health, and so is a natural combatant of stress. One easy way you can start is by taking a few yoga classes. Yoga—and exercise, in general—pumps our bodies with feel-good hormones and counteracts the effects of cortisol. Be sure to discuss with our Fort Worth doctor first before embarking on a new regimen, particularly if you have already been diagnosed with hypertension.

So, what are some ways you can reduce your stress? It begins first by identifying what triggers the negative emotions, such as anxiety. Understandably, being in a state of depression or loneliness and isolation may indicate a larger problem that should be treated on its own with a mental health professional. There are steps you can take to help reduce your stress, such as regulating some behaviors or avoiding situations that you know will be stressful.

Do not hesitate to contact Primary Care Associates of Texas if you have any questions about your health and overall well-being. You can book your appointment by calling our Fort Worth, Flower Mound, Keller, or Burleson offices.

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