Here's How Stress Affects Your Blood Pressure

A stressful situation comes up at work or home and you feel your pulse racing. Does that mean you have high blood pressure? No. But if this happens often, you might want to shift the ways you respond—especially if your blood pressure levels haven’t been ideal.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is sometimes called the “silent killer,” because you may not realize you have it until a life-threatening event, such as a heart attack, happens. Nearly one-third of adults in the US, or over 75 million people, have high blood pressure, making it dangerously common.

Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to lower these risks. In addition to having your blood pressure checked regularly by your doctor, sticking to any recommended treatment, staying physically active, and eating a heart-healthy diet, better managing stress in your life can go a long way. 

To learn more about high blood pressure or your specific cardiovascular needs, call Nevada Family Care & Wellness Center, or request an appointment on our website.

Short-term effects of stress on blood pressure

When you’re faced with a stressful situation, your body releases particular hormones that make your heart beat faster, and your blood vessels start to narrow. Stress alone isn’t known to cause lasting high blood pressure, but if you routinely respond to stress in unhealthy ways, you could develop hypertension. 

Responses to stress that impact blood pressure

Common unhealthy ways that can cause or contribute to high blood pressure, as well as strokes and heart attacks, include:

Aim instead for healthier ways to cope with stress, such as:

Depression and anxiety disorders, which are quite common and linked with high blood pressure, require seeking quality mental health care. Doing so can help improve your overall quality of life and emotional wellbeing, while potentially keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range.

If you have risk factors for high blood pressure, such as family history of the condition, being overweight or obese, leading a sedentary lifestyle, or using tobacco products, you may benefit from more than once-a-year blood pressure testing. 

Contact Nevada Family Care & Wellness Center to learn more or to schedule an exam. Our team of specialists would love to help ensure that your cardiovascular needs are met and support you in any needed lifestyle changes.

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