Stress is a major cause of high blood pressure
We know that stressful situations cause our blood pressure to rise temporarily, but do you know that chronic stress can cause long-term high blood pressure, a condition known as hypertension? Hypertension is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide and among them, many suffer from complications that could even be as severe as stroke.
Stress is a topic of frequent discussion in much social media today. Thousands of studies about stress are carried out in different parts of the world for a very long time. After so many researches it is now confirmed that long-term stress results in chronic elevation of blood pressure which we call today as hypertension. The mechanism of stress related hypertension is a complex one and has two components: neuro-related and hormone-related.
We know that our stress hormones are created for fight and flight reactions. These hormones temporarily increase your blood pressure by causing your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow. But when you are having stress for a long term, your body produces these hormones continuously. This will result in having continuous high levels of stress hormones. All stress hormones are responsible for increasing heart rate, metabolism and above all blood pressure.
Further, stress also stimulates the brain centers that control the most vital functions of our body. Starting from breathing rate and heart rate to blood pressure all our controlled by our body. But, when we are in stress, all brain centers are stimulated without any need and thus result in high blood pressure and related increased cardiovascular risk.
However, exercising regularly – at least 30 minutes a day can reduce your stress levels. It is believed, doing physical exercises promotes the production of a hormone known as serotonin. Serotonin is recognized as “happy hormone” as it reduces the stress in humans while it reduces blood pressure and other stress-related health effects at the same time. And if you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, enrolling in physical activities can help you deal with stress and it will surely improve your health by lowering systolic blood pressure.
Not only stress but also stress-related other behaviors such as overeating, smoking, drinking alcohol and poor sleeping habits can cause high blood pressure in an indirect way. While these actions can affect the heart health, it might also worsen the hypertension-related complications and overall health status.
It’s also possible that health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and mood disorders are linked to heart diseases and high blood pressure. It is frequently observed that many people who suffer from these conditions also suffer from hypertension as they age and their stress hormones also seem to be high most of the time.
Stress can relate to high blood pressure in many ways. But, what is important is to find a way to manage stress to prevent this complication. Yoga, meditation, a healthy diet, a good night sleep, physical exercises and enjoying leisure time with family and friends can provide a great benefit!