by Stella 

High Blood Pressure due to Stress


How does stress contribute to high blood pressure?

When we detect danger, our bodies have a built-in safety mechanism to get us to safety. By triggering several chemicals (Epinephrine, Norepinephrine, and cortisol) to narrow blood vessels and increase blood flow into the muscles and heart to facilitate the appropriate action, our bodies start to get us ready to combat the threat or flee from the danger. Although it has not been established that stress is the only factor contributing to high blood pressure, a continual state of anxiety in response to stress has been shown to increase blood pressure, harm the heart, and even increase the risk of stroke.


What is normal blood pressure?

By using a blood pressure monitor either at the doctor’s office, by the local pharmacy, or home blood pressure machine, we can get an estimated blood pressure reading easily. The normal blood pressure ranges for adults are systolic blood pressure below 120 diastolic blood pressure below 80. Systolic blood pressure, the highest reading, gauges the force the heart applies to the artery walls with each beat. Diastolic blood pressure, the bottom value, measures the stress the heart produces on the artery walls between beats.

high Blood Pressure

What are the signs and symptoms of high blood pressure due to stress?

Our hearts beat more quickly, our breathing becomes shallower but faster, we feel lightheaded because we are not getting enough oxygen, our emotions shift and we become more irritable, and we appear to be unable to think clearly when our body perceive stress and anxiety. In addition to the above physical reactions, our bodies may occasionally become paralyzed or begin to tremble. 

And when we experience this kind of stress on a regular basis, the condition becomes chronic. We may begin to experience symptoms including difficulty falling asleep, sadness and/or worry, urges to vomit, diarrhea, migraines, muscle soreness, and irregular heartbeats.

“Anxiety and stress themselves don’t necessarily elevate blood pressure in the long term, but they often have an impact on lifestyle factors, which can absolutely contribute to elevations in blood pressure.”

Long term effects of stress on blood pressure health.

If the stress is not resolved or lessened, high blood pressure may occur and raise the risk of heart difficulties, which can result in renal disorders, other organ dysfunctions, many other types of heart-related diseases, and reduced brain function.
In addition to having a negative impact on our physical health, persistent stress and anxiety can also have a negative impact on our relationships, families, and social lives.

How to reduce high blood pressure due to stress:

Best Exercise To Lower Blood Pressure 
  • Walking
  • Jogging 
  • Jumping rope 
  • Stationary or outdoor bicycling 
  • Cross-country skiing 
  • Roller or ice skating 
  • Rowing 
  • Aerobic dance classes (i.e. Zumba, kick boxing),
  • Swimming, and water aerobics 
Reduce caffeinated beverages

Black brewed coffee has 96 mg of caffeine but 8 ounces of decaffeinated coffee only have 2 mg of caffeine. Black tea includes 47 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces, compared to 28 mg in green tea and just 2 mg in decaffeinated black tea.  

Black coffee

Black Decaf Coffee

Black Tea

black decaf tea

green tea

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This is a simple way to cut back on our caffeine consumption without sacrificing the taste of a cup of decaf coffee or tea.


Many studies have demonstrated the benefits of meditation in lowering blood pressure, anxiety, and stress. 

Long-term benefits of meditation include: 

  • Lowering blood pressure 
  • Calming the mind
  • Reducing the release of stress hormones
  • Better restful sleep
Obtain help from a healthcare profession such as family physician or counselor

It is a good idea to see your primary care physician on a regular basis for general checkup. High blood pressure should be carefully monitored by a trained healthcare professional regardless if you are on a prescription medication or not.

If the high blood pressure is coupled with stress and anxiety, a psychologist can help with counseling and provide other psychotherapy to help you to cope and eliminate the factors that causes stress.

  • Spa treatments 
  • Mini-vacation (short trips to a neighboring town) 
  • Hiking 
  • Cooking 
  • Painting

About the author 


I have been working in healthcare for about 20 years. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities and the people I met along the way. My journey online started 15 years ago and is still an ongoing learning experience.

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