Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today is from Jolene in Dallas, Texas. Can stress or anxiety cause high blood pressure?
Well, blood pressure is the force at which your blood pushes against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If the force of the blood flow is often too high, the tissue of the arteries get stretched beyond a healthy limit and this creates serious problems such as damaging your heart, kidneys, blood vessels and other parts of the body.
Can stress or anxiety cause high blood pressure? Yes. During stressful situations, your body produces a surge of hormones which increase your blood pressure causing it to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow. If your blood pressure readings are constantly at 140/90 over a prolonged period, the high pressure can put extra strain on your heart and it’s this extra strain which increases your risk of a stroke, aneurysm, heart attack or a condition known as atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.
Left uncontrolled, high blood pressure contributes to a poor quality of life. If you are under stress, you may smoke more or overeat and exercise less. For your own sake, the physical and behavioral signs of stress can’t be ignored. High blood pressure is a silent killer and often has no symptoms, and the best way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have yourself tested.
High blood pressure can be controlled by making lifestyle changes as well as taking medication. Managing it needs to become a lifelong commitment of lifestyle changes. Listen to your doctor about your blood pressure medications. Help your body to help itself.
Getting a massage from a professional masseuse, for example, is a wonderful way to relax. Meditation is also an effective self-help therapy with the aim being to achieve voluntary control over your mental processes by means of a high level of concentration.