Stress and blood pressure

Stress causes blood pressure to rise. That's the truth.

A sudden emergency causes the body to activate the sympathetic nervous system, which helps to cope with a difficult situation .Stress hormones (cortisols) are released into the blood, the blood vessels constrict and the blood pressure rises.

In itself, the effect of stress on the human body is appropriate, but as the stress persists, the body is overloaded.

As stress continues, the blood pressure is kept high.

In long-term stress, the sympathetic nervous system, which activates the body, is more prevalent than the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms the body.

The effects of prolonged stress

In addition to the rise in blood pressure, prolonged stress has other health effects:

  • Stress promotes the formation of a layer that clogs the arteries.
  • Stress causes changes in the brain that can contribute to problems such as anxiety, depression, and addictions.
  • Stress also seems to be linked to the onset of obesity, as it causes a person to eat more and reduce both sleep and exercise, both of which are significant factors in weight management.
  • According to one study, work stress and lack of sleep are a dangerous combination with high blood pressure. According to the study, stress and lack of sleep can even triple the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease if a person also has high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is a common problem

It is estimated that 2 out of 5 adults have high blood pressure.

The normal upper systolic pressure reading is less than 130 mmHg.

Diastolic pressure is less than 85 mmHg.

Age or gender do not significantly affect the recommended blood pressure values.


Blood pressure should be taken at the same time daily.

It is affected by a variety of factors such as exercise and external triggers.

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The constant feeling of urgency causes stress in the lives of many

How does high blood pressure feel?

High blood pressure is a tricky disease because many people have no symptoms at all. Only when the blood pressure is at really high readings, the upper pressure above 200 and the lower pressure above 130 can you feel headaches and dizziness.

Therefore, it is important to measure your blood pressure regularly, especially as you age. It is often defined that regular blood pressure measurements should be started at the age of 40 at the latest, even though blood pressure readings have been well controlled in the past. Of course, regular measurements are important in the past even if you have problems with your blood pressure.

“high blood pressure is a tricky disease because many people have no symptoms at all”

At the age of about 40, many people live in so-called peak years, when there is a lot to take care of in both private and professional life. Work-related stress is quite common and in addition, currently a global pandemic is creating uncertainty in everyone’s life.

On the other hand, those in employment are also covered by occupational health care and, among other things, their blood pressure is monitored at the occupational health care reception.

Other factors that increase blood pressure

Stress is not the only factor that raises blood pressure. Especially if you can’t influence your own stressor, you might want to consider whether it would be appropriate or possible to consider other things that cause high blood pressure.

Blood pressure is raised, for example, by:

  • Smoking
  • Little excercise
  • Obesity, especially waist obesity
  • Abundant use of salt
  • Heavy use of licorice and / or salmia
  • Heavy use of NSAIDs
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Use of birth control pills or hormone therapy for menopause
  • Other diseases can also be the cause of high blood pressure. This is called a secondary increase in blood pressure. Then, rebalancing the disease may also lower blood pressure readings.


Find your own way to calm down in the midst of stress


Stress management to lower blood pressure

Stress management can often be quite challenging. In some situations, stressful things cannot be influenced by yourself. For example, in a global pandemic, I can only influence my own behaviour and adherence to safety guidelines.

Relieving work stress, for example, can also be in the hands of others than themselves. Still, there are many things you can strive to influence yourself.

Sleeping is extremely important for a person's overall well-being. Therefore, it is worth cherishing sleep and making choices for sleep. Even in the event that you have to miss out on interesting expenses. Inadequate or poor quality sleep impairs both mood and physical health.

Could you strengthen your time management skills? Effective use of time can lower stress levels. In some cases, prioritizing things can also ease a stressful situation.

Can stressful situations be addressed? In some cases, bringing a case to the table and negotiating it can make it easier. This is true of both workplace and home stressful issues. The solution can be found by thinking together and at least you can share your concerns. That, too, can make it easier.

Take care of yourself

Learn relaxation techniques. Different people work with different techniques and find the best fit for you by experimenting. For example, meditation, muscle relaxation, or deep breathing can help you relax in a stressful situation.

Strengthen your social network

Right now, it can seem difficult when there are a lot of limitations to meeting face to face. Therefore, you should call or take advantage of today's versatile digital communication capabilities.

Take care of yourself. Many of us identify the right ways to relax, be it a walk, a nap or even a massage. However, alcohol should not be used for relaxation as it impairs the recovery of the body and impairs the quality of sleep.


Sources: please indicate the source
Duodecim Health Library
Harvard Health Publishing
European Journal of Preventive Cardiology