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stress busters Understanding the Connection Between Mental Pressure and Blood Pressure

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Understanding the Connection Between Mental Pressure and Blood Pressure

A competitive, fast-paced lifestyle builds pressure and stress to prove your capabilities. The mounting workloads and the pressure to remain relevant in your personal and professional lives creates undue stress and can take a toll on your mental health. The growing concern of anxiety and stress among the urban population, the young and the old has led to dialogues and open conversations. However, there’s still a long way to go. Mental pressure or stress can unknowingly affect your overall health and cause rise in blood pressure and if persistent, may ultimately lead to hypertension.

The predominantly sedentary lifestyle adds to the blood pressure problem and can culminate in serious health issues in the future. In stressful situations, the body produces a sudden surge of hormones that temporarily increase blood pressure, narrowing your blood vessels. Also, stress can push you into unhealthy habits (e.g. sleeplessness) that can contribute to development of high blood pressure.

Unhealthy habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol intake, erratic sleeping patterns, and eating processed foods can increase the risk of hypertension and heart-related problems like heart attacks and stroke. Heart diseases linked to other stress-related health conditions like anxiety and depression are a possibility.
The hormones released by your body when you’re stressed (e.g. catecholamines) can cause damage to the arteries leading to heart disease. Although stress-related high blood pressure causes temporary spikes in blood pressure, severe damage can be inflicted on the blood vessels, heart, and kidneys if not taken care of at the right time.

What Measures Can You Take For Better Stress Management?
Stress management does not directly lower your blood pressure; it maintains your overall health. Behavioural and lifestyle changes make a vast difference in reducing mental stress. You can adopt any of these techniques to lower your high blood pressure.

  • Streamline Your Daily Schedule:Streamline Your Daily ScheduleIf always pressed for time, you need to pause and regroup. Do not fill up your day with activities to be completed at a later date. You can spare a few minutes to review your to-do lists or calendar every day and mark only the essential projects for the day.
  • Increase Physical Activity/Exercise:Increase Physical Activity/Exercise Exercise is a natural stress-buster. However, speak with your doctor before beginning an exercise program if diagnosed with high blood pressure. Thirty minutes of physical activity every day (or 150 minutes per week) like brisk walking, jogging, or aerobics helps in the long run. You can break up your exercise into a 10-minute session taken three times during a day.
  • Try To Get Enough Sleep:Try To Get Enough SleepToo little or too much sleep can add to the stress. Make sure you get just enough sleep at night and avoid an erratic sleep schedule. An average of eight to nine hours of sleep is enough to feel well-rested. Avoid use of cell phones and television before sleeping.
  • Acknowledge And Unburden Your Problems:Acknowledge And Unburden Your ProblemsLiving in denial about your problems will get you nowhere when it comes to dealing with stress. Learn to acknowledge the situation and find solutions to tackle it. Speak to your loved ones or seek professional help. You can even pursue your hobbies, be it painting or music. Get involved in a support group with mind alike individuals and continue your goals with a group.

Apart from these techniques, Yoga and meditation help strengthen your mind and body, thus, helping you relax. It may even bring down your systolic blood pressure by 5 mmHg or more. For more of these stress management techniques, you can browse through our article: Stress Management: An Essential Lifestyle Change To Control High BP.

Remember, there is no substitute for diagnosis, advice, and treatment by a licensed physician. However, taking a wholesome approach that maintains your mental and physical health can help control blood pressure. Practicing any of the stress management techniques mentioned above, eating a healthy diet, maintaining good physical health, taking your high blood pressure medication regularly contributes immensely to lowering blood pressure in patients with hypertension. It helps reduce work pressure and get better sleep, necessary to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

However, if you are diagnosed with hypertension seek immediate medical care and consult your doctor before making any lifestyle changes or taking any medications. If you wish to know more of what can be done to manage high blood pressure, reach out to our expert cardiologists at BPinControl.

Note of Caution: This article is for information purpose only. Always consult your doctor in case of any blood pressure or other health related problems.

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Comments (8)

Jitendra

Hi, does Yoga and meditation really help in reducing blood pressure?

BPinControl

Yoga and meditation are known to be effective stress-busters and carry several health benefits. While Yoga strengthens both your mind and body, meditation works to calm your mind thus leading to lower blood pressure readings. The mind and the body are connected therefore, if your mind remains calm and composed, the stress-induced spikes in blood pressure may not occur. So, you can adopt these two stress management techniques for your overall health as well as the health of your heart. Before you begin practicing Yoga or meditation, seek professional help: Find A Physician. Also, remember to take the right guidance when you begin.

Chinmayi

If I exercise just thrice a week, will it help in controlling my blood pressure?

BPinControl

Hello, the benefits of exercise cannot be understated. Even if you have a busy schedule, spare at least 30 to 45 minutes in your day for some form of physical activity. You can choose to do aerobics or dance at home, or even go for a jog or brisk walk. It completely depends on what you’re comfortable with. But, practicing physical exercise at least five times a week, for at least 30-45 mins, is a must. It will help control blood pressure, stress, and also offer plenty of other health benefits. However, if you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure, seek professional help before beginning with any kind of exercise. You can consult an expert physician or cardiologist by visiting: Find A Physician and get the right guidance.

Laxmi

Hi, I’m not diagnosed with high blood pressure but there’s a lot of stress at work. Can I develop high BP in the future?

BPinControl

Hello, to begin with it is a good sign that you’re not diagnosed with high blood pressure. But, stress can temporarily elevate your blood pressure. Although there’s no direct connection, stress-induced habits and a sedentary lifestyle can lead to hypertension. Since you are at a stage where you’re aware of your blood pressure, you can adopt a healthy lifestyle and manage stress to avoid any occurrence of high blood pressure. Take up activities or pursue your hobbies, talk to your close ones, exercise regularly, and get good sleep. However, before switching up your lifestyle completely, consult a physician so you don’t aggravate the problem. You can reach out to our expert cardiologists, right here: Find A Physician.

Ravikanth

What can I do to manage stress and lower my blood pressure value?

BPinControl

Hello, there are several stress management techniques that you can take up to reduce stress and avoid sudden peaks in blood pressure. You can browse through our article: Stress Management: An Essential Lifestyle Change to Control High BP which talks about different techniques and methods that help you manage your stress in a better way. However, before you try out any of these techniques, especially the ones which require the use of your body like Yoga, reach out to our cardiologists at Find A Physician. Seek professional help before you opt for any lifestyle changes and medications to lower high blood pressure.

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