Stress and high blood pressure: What’s the connection?
What is Stress?
Stress is generally related to two things, the psychological insight or perception of threat or danger and the way your body responds to it. In other words, stress is a subjective feeling that many people have when they are facing a difficult situation and struggles to deal with it.
When in any stressful condition besides feeling emotional distress, our body also releases a stress hormone which is known as Adrenaline or Cortisol in our blood. This hormone helps in preparing our body for the fight or flight response.
High Blood Pressure:
High blood pressure (which is also known as hypertension) is chronically high pressure or tension in the arteries and vessels that carries blood from heart to the other parts of body. The blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher, for a sustained period of time is clinically described as high blood pressure.
Is there any connection between Stress and blood pressure?
Many people think that stress causes high B.P. but is there any real connection between chronic stress and hypertension??
The current modern and fastmoving society creates many challenges for us which causes stress. Like workplace pressure, family pressure, social or cultural pressures etc. Stress contributes to many health-related issues but its connection with high B.P is still not clear.
Many researchers are trying to determine the possible link between high B.P and stress however; no exact cause has been determined as yet.
Stress can temporarily increase blood pressure by releasing stress hormones. These hormones make your heart beat faster and contract your blood vessel that increases pressure in arteries and as a result blood pressure increases for the time being. However, when your stress releases, blood pressure reverts back to its normal condition.
Frequent increase in short term B.P due to stress can damage your heart and blood vessel and may increase the risk of developing long term blood pressure however there is no significant evidence for this.
Many other stress related issues like anxiety, depression may have impact on heart related problems but there is no scientific proof that stress causes long term blood pressure however, there are many stress related activities like overeating, lack of sleep, drinking alcohol or smoking that can cause high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack etc. In turn all these other health issues can also directly as well as indirectly caused high blood pressure.
Healthy habits that can fight stress and reduce blood pressure:
If you are suffering from high Blood pressure there are many stress management techniques that can help in normalizing high blood pressure. Managing stress can also improve your overall health. Moreover, adopting optimal stress management techniques can also reduce the risk of developing hypertension and other health related complications.
- Get adequate sleep:
Adequate sleep is necessary for your body to function properly. Lack of sleep impact your mood, health and energy levels by increasing the release of stress hormones; thus causing hypertension.
Exercise is necessary for health and wellness of human being. It naturally boosts your mood and releases stress. Daily 30 minutes exercise is necessary for your physical and mental health.
- Different relaxation techniques:
Many relaxation techniques, meditation and yoga are also helpful to provide you peace of mind and enhance your overall health. Various research studies have also proved that relaxation techniques can help in reducing systolic blood pressure.
- Deep breathing exercise:
Breathing slowly and deeply is also a technique to relax yourself.
- Become socially active:
Stress can make you grumpy and ill -tempered and hence your social relations suffer. It has also been observed that poor social life also leads to depression and other mental health issues that can damage your physical health and social relationships.
- Try to eliminate stress by shifting perspective:
Try to deal with your problems rather than complaining. Be positive and accept things which you can’t change. Try to find the solution of your problems with composed mind and control your emotions.
- Improve time management:
Try to balance your work and social life in order to reduce stress. Time management is important, if you work continuously without managing time as lack of rest can make you exhausted and your family life also suffers that makes you more stressed.
Although there is no direct connection between stress and high B.P but stress can cause many other issues like depression, anxiety, heart related problems that are recognized risk factor in the pathogenesis of hypertension.