The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
Chronic Stress Can Lead to Higher Blood Pressure: Here’s How to Reduce It
How much does stress raise BP?
The researchers found that participants who reported high stress levels over time had a 22 percent increased risk for developing high blood pressure compared with those who reported sustained low stress levels.
Can stress and anxiety cause high blood pressure?
Anxiety doesn't cause long-term high blood pressure (hypertension). But episodes of anxiety can cause dramatic, temporary spikes in blood pressure.
Is stress relief even realistic right now?The obvious answer is to reduce stress, right? Well, yes and no, according to the experts. “Of course, we know all those stock, physically oriented methods of reducing stress management, like breathing techniques, minding your eating habits, getting plenty of sleep, and exercising,” said Therese Rosenblatt, PhD. “All of these practices are helpful, but when you are in the grip of that extreme, gnawing anxiety that makes life miserable, it can be hard to even initiate those behaviors,” she explained to Healthline. According to Akua K. Boateng, PhD, a licensed psychotherapist, stress reduction is all about minimizing your body’s need to manage stressors beyond its capacity. “There will be stressors in the world, yet when we talk about stress reduction, it comes down to attempting to not personalize all of the stressors at the same time,” Boateng told Healthline. The bottom line is to take the stressors in doses and know when you need to sideline processing others, she said. Boateng’s tips for managing stress:
Create boundaries for stress intake.If you have more psychological stress happening due to work, the COVID-19 pandemic, or holiday gatherings, minimize the need to have the house perfectly cleaned, getting all your work done on time, or remodeling your home during this time.
Set up supportive spaces preemptively.Things, such as therapy, a weekly friend check-in, and journaling, allow you to regulate and mentally “de-steam” the energy held in a stressful issue. Give yourself these spaces regularly to avoid mental backup.
Deal with one stressor at a time.When you try to handle multiple stressors all at once, it begins to wear on the body. Sometimes, this is inevitable. Other times, it is not. When possible, process one issue and then take time to recover before talking about the next thing.
Don’t demand stress reduction“Nothing manages stress better than actively doing something about it,” Rosenblatt said. However, experts warn that, at a certain point, trying to reduce stress can become counterproductive. “Stress reduction should relieve the energy within the body, not add to it,” Boateng said. “There are times when a small addition of stress can be beneficial (i.e., talking in therapy) but overall you should feel better afterward.” Boateng’s signs that stress relief is doing more harm than good:
- Stress reduction becomes a task with rigid guidelines.
- There are checkpoints of your progress.
- You engage in self-blame or guilt.