Being anxious can affect your health in different ways. Here’s how stress causes high blood pressure (also known as hypertension).
Experiencing stress can quicken your pulse, aggravate your mood, and even lead to higher blood pressure levels. The following article explores the connection between stress (both temporary and chronic) and high blood pressure (hypertension). Moreover, the information came from an interview with cardiologist Luke Laffin, MD., co-director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Blood Pressure Disorders.
Stress and Blood Pressure
“When we think about stress, we have to separate it into two categories: acute and chronic,” says Laffin. While acute stress is caused by specific events and is temporary, chronic stress lasts longer and affects the body differently.
“Acute stress can increase your heart rate and rev up your sympathetic nervous system, which, in turn, raises your blood pressure,” says Laffin. “The body can handle these acute changes in blood pressure pretty well. What we’re really worried about is chronically elevated blood pressure.”
Recent data shows that our bodies may release more stress hormones with prolonged stress, but it can still affect you. “People who experience chronic stress tend to sleep more poorly, not exercise as much and make bad dietary choices,” explains Laffin. “This leads to higher blood pressure and increased risk of stroke or other adverse cardiovascular events.”
When stressors last for weeks on end, the risk of them turning into chronic stressors increases. Furthermore, it may come down to how someone perceives stress. The exact same situation may affect two people very differently, which is why it’s good to have healthy coping strategies.
Lowering Your Levels
If you want to lower both your stress levels and blood pressure numbers, you can do a couple of things. For example, you should exercise regularly as a way to improve your heart health and reduce your stress.
You should also focus on sleeping better and eating a healthy diet that is high in fruits and vegetables. Finally, you should work on removing your stressors or finding ways to deal effectively with them. “If your job is the major stressor, it might be time to start looking for a new job,” suggests Laffin.
As you work to reduce your stress and blood pressure, talk to your doctor to see if you need medications. “If stress and anxiety [are] really driving elevated blood pressure, [beta-blockers] can be helpful because they tend to decrease your sympathetic nervous system activity and slow down your heart rate in stressful situations.”
In addition to these options, you can give your blood pressure a boost by taking supplements like L-arginine Plus. It contains ingredients that are effective at promoting your circulation, blood pressure, cholesterol, and more. Give your health the support it deserves by managing your stress and taking L-arginine Plus.