Handling Hypertension and Stress

Updated at: Dec 10, 2012
Handling Hypertension and Stress

Handling Hypertension and Stress: To remain healthy, and maintain your health it is important that you control or reduce your stress effectively.

Dr Poonam Sachdev
Heart HealthWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: Feb 25, 2011

Stress can lead to high blood pressure or hypertension is a well known fact. Besides hypertension too much stress can lead to several problems like emotional, psychological, and even physical problems (headache, high blood pressure, chest pains, or irregular heart beats).


To remain healthy, and maintain your health it is important that you control or reduce your stress effectively. Experts say that reducing stress (along with medications) can help lower high blood pressure.


How Does Stress Contribute to hypertension?

The exact reason by which stress causes hypertension or increases the risk of heart disease is not known. Some experts say that probably stress itself is a risk factor or stress worsens other risk factors (such as high cholesterol or elevated levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol) for hypertension or other heart diseases.


What Are the Warning Signs of Stress?

All of us have some type of stress at one time or another. But it is important to differentiate chronic or excessive stress from normal stress which you may experience. If you have chronic or excessive stress your body gives warning signs (physical, cognitive, emotional, and/or behavioral) that all is not well.


Do not ignore your symptoms. Some common warning signs of stress include:

  • Physical signs: Fatigue, headache, weakness, general aches and pains, grinding teeth, clenched jaws, indigestion or upset stomach, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping or disturbed sleep, feeling of heartbeats, various pain and aches in body,
  • Mental signs:   Difficulty in concentration or making decisions, lack of interest and/or creativity, loss of sense of humor, pleasure and happiness.
  • Emotional signs: Frequent outburst of anger, anxiety, feeling depressed, feeling powerless, recurrent mood swings, irritability, feeling lonely, feeling worthless, negative thinking and feeling
  • Behavioral signs: Critical attitude towards others, quick-tempered, frequent job changes, reckless actions, excessive use of alcohol or drugs, ignoring relationships, withdrawal from social situations


How Can I Cope With Stress?


[Read: Short Cut to Stress free Life]


Some tips which can help you to cope with stress:

  • Eat and drink sensibly. Avoid overeating, binge eating, excessive drinking, smoking or use of drugs. Eating, alcohol and drugs may seem to reduce stress, but all of these actually increase your stress.
  • Assert yourself. Say no when you do not feel like doing a particular thing. You do not have to satisfy everyone.
  • Avoid smoking. Smoking not only increases risk of cancer but nicotine (in tobacco) acts as a stimulant and increases stress symptoms.
  • Do regular exercises. Being physically active for about 30 minutes on most days of a week will help you to beat stress.
  • Practice relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, music therapy or any thing you feel comfortable with. Relaxation helps to decrease stress, and ease feelings of anxiety.
  • Take your decision and responsibility. This will allow you more control over your life and situations. Do not worry about things that you cannot control.
  • Reduce or avoid situations or people who you think increase your stress.
  • Manage your time effectively to reduce your stress. If needed take help, set your priorities and most importantly take time out for yourself.
  • Have realistic goals and expectations. Remember that no one is perfect and you cannot be 100% successful at everything all the time.
  • Get enough rest—this is most important. Diet, exercise, and other measur...


Read more articles on High Blood Pressure


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