Stress and High Blood Pressure: What's the Link?

Blood Pressure Monitoring Smart Watches

Stress can cause sudden spikes in blood pressure over a short period of time. Under stress, the body releases a flood of hormones that cause the heart to beat faster and blood vessels to constrict. By taking steps to reduce stress, you can improve your heart health.

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There is no evidence that stress alone causes long-term high blood pressure. However, coping with stress in an unhealthy way can raise blood pressure. Behaviors strongly associated with high blood pressure include:

  • Drinking alcohol or consuming too much caffeine.
  • Eat unhealthy food.
  • Eat too much.
  • Lack of exercise.

Heart disease may also be linked to certain stress-related health conditions, such as:

  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Cut off contact with friends and family.

But there is no evidence that these conditions are directly related to high blood pressure. However, the hormones your body produces in response to emotional stress can damage arteries. And arterial damage can lead to heart disease. Symptoms associated with depression and anxiety may cause some patients to forget to take medications to control high blood pressure or other heart conditions.

Stress can cause sudden spikes in blood pressure. But after the stress is gone, blood pressure returns to normal. However, brief spikes in blood pressure can lead to a heart attack or stroke and, over time, damage blood vessels, heart and kidneys. The damage it does is similar to long-term high blood pressure.

Stress-reducing activities can help lower blood pressure
Although people with high stress and high blood pressure often see a drop in blood pressure after managing their stress, not everyone can lower their blood pressure by reducing their stress. However, managing stress can help improve health in other ways. Learning how to manage stress can lead to healthy behavior changes, including some behaviors that can help lower blood pressure.

Here are some ways to manage stress:

  • Adjust your schedule. If there's too much to do, take a look at your calendar and to-do list. Ask others to do something for you. If the activity is not important to you, try to schedule some time as little as possible. Say no to things you don't want to do.
  • Relax by breathing. Slow, deep breaths can help you relax.
  • Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help relieve stress. Always get your healthcare provider's approval before starting an exercise program. This is especially true for hypertensive patients.
  • Try yoga and meditation. Yoga and meditation help you relax.
  • Make sure you get enough sleep. Too little sleep can make the problem look worse than it actually is.
  • Change the way you think about challenges. When dealing with a problem, accept how you feel about a situation. Then, find a solution to the problem.
  • Learn what works best for you. Willing to try new things. Get health benefits, including lower blood pressure.

smart watch ecg and blood pressure

Daily blood pressure monitoring is also particularly important for managing blood pressure health. Smart watches can be used as an effective tool for daily monitoring of blood pressure, and timely warnings of high blood pressure.