The Link Between Stress and Hypertension

Aug 09, 2022
The Link Between Stress and Hypertension
Stress takes a definite toll on your health and well-being. It has the ability to cause medical issues, including high blood pressure. Read more to learn how stress affects your blood pressure and what to do about it.

High blood pressure is a dangerous medical condition that causes more severe issues when left untreated. There are a lot of factors that contribute to your blood pressure, including stress. Chronic stress hurts your health, and increases your blood pressure.

At the Heart Clinic of Hammond, our team are experts in your cardiovascular health and wellness. Dr. Ghaith Mikdadi and Dr. Farid Zayed are experienced cardiologists who help you learn the causes of your high blood pressure so you can get it under control.

What is hypertension?

Hypertension happens when the pressure in your arteries is higher than what’s considered safe and normal. Your blood pressure is the force of your blood in your arteries compared to the amount of blood your heart is pumping out.

Your blood pressure increases as your heart pumps more blood and your arteries narrow. Blood pressure readings have two numbers — one for systolic and another for diastolic pressure. Your systolic pressure is determined by the pressure in your arteries at the time of a heartbeat. This is the top number in a blood pressure reading.

The bottom number, or diastolic pressure, is the pressure left in your arteries between each heartbeat. Blood pressure readings are in millimeters of mercury.

So what numbers determine that you have high blood pressure? The typical reading for hypertension is 130 or higher for a systolic number and 80 or more for a diastolic pressure.

How stress provokes hypertension

High blood pressure can happen for many reasons, including stress. When you suffer from chronic stress, your blood pressure is likely to suffer.

When you’re in a stressful situation, your body releases several hormones that narrow your blood vessels, which leads to a temporary increase in your blood pressure

Feeling stressed several times a week can lead to high blood pressure, especially when you have other health conditions.

Chronic stress doesn’t necessarily cause chronic hypertension. However, when you stress a lot, it changes other lifestyle factors that increase your risk for high blood pressure.

Stress makes you do things that you wouldn’t normally do. You may switch out your usual salad for a greasy cheeseburger or start smoking and drinking. It also affects your sleep. All of these factors combined may lead to chronic hypertension.

Tips to control both stress and hypertension

If your stress affects your blood pressure, our team helps you understand how to get it under control. While zero stress is often unattainable, there are ways for you to manage it, including:

Get some exercise

Engaging in physical activity is a natural way to control your stress. Exercise releases endorphins, which are hormones that give your body a happy feeling. However, check with our team before engaging in new activity, especially if you have high blood pressure.

Slow down

Don’t overdo it when it comes to your schedule. An overpacked calendar causes intense amounts of stress. Take time for yourself and cut out activities you don’t need to do.

Take a deep breath

Slowing down and focusing on breathing is a great way to manage stress. Taking deep breaths lowers your pulse and blood pressure when feeling overwhelmed.

Get plenty of sleep

Sleep ranks up there with oxygen and a heartbeat when considering your health. Inadequate amounts of sleep causes problems with your mood and mental wellness, which leads to stress.

Try to relax

When feeling stressed or overwhelmed, practice deep breathing to relax your mind and body. Meditation and yoga are also helpful when it comes to calming yourself down.

If you still can’t get your hypertension under control with lifestyle changes, our team helps you get treatment to reduce your risk of serious complications later on.

When you need help controlling your blood pressure, our Heart Clinic of Hammond team is ready to help. To make an appointment at one of our two convenient locations in Louisiana, call 985-974-9278 or send the team a message on our website.