Is anxiety increasing your blood pressure?

Apr 18, 2019Anxiety

Is anxiety increasing your blood pressure?

Did you know that stress and anxiety can increase your blood pressure readings?

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is considered to be when your blood pressure readings are too high for your age. Average healthy blood pressure is around 120/80 mmHg., but this will vary at different times of the day with our lowest blood pressure being when we are asleep and our highest blood pressure is in the morning.
The normal range can increase as we get older.  Only a doctor can diagnose high blood pressure. It’s usually assessed after a general health assessment and several blood pressure readings.

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, isn’t good for health as it increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes and other serious conditions. There are two types of high blood pressure

  • Primary hypertension. The cause is unknown but it can be related to poor lifestyle choices and stress and anxiety.
  • Secondary hypertension. The cause is known in secondary hypertension. For example, kidney disease, heart conditions, some medications and blood disorders can cause secondary hypertension.

One form of high blood pressure that is related to anxiety is called ‘White Coat Syndrome’.

White Coat Syndrome

White Coat Syndrome causes a spike in blood pressure when a patient goes to see the doctor or nurse in the health centre or doctors rooms. It doesn’t happen to everyone but we do know that is is related to nervous patients. The high blood pressure is picked up when you have your blood pressure checked. It’s linked to stress and anxiety as feeling anxious can increase body tension as well as confounding negative thoughts. This is because we know that there is a link between how we think, feel and behave and that influences the physical body.

So if you are nervous when you go to see the doctor or nurse and they take a blood pressure reading, it could be higher than normal.

Once a high blood pressure reading is found you will be asked to have it repeated. Often a 24-hour blood pressure machine is recommended as it can record your blood pressure at home throughout a 24 hour period. This will give the doctor a better idea if the blood pressure is high or if it was your anxiety that raised it in his or her rooms.

So what can you do to maintain healthy blood pressure?

You need to reduce the risk factors to prevent or control raised blood pressure.
Things you can do are:
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet that includes a variety of foods.
  • Exercise. This could be walking, cycling or swimming within your limits.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption.
  • Reduce caffeine that is contained in coffee and fizzy drinks.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Reduce your stress and anxiety through regular relaxation.
Finally don’t ignore high blood pressure. It’s a very common problem that can be helped.
Linda from Awaken the Change is a qualified and experienced hypnotherapist, counsellor and coach. She provides help with stress, anxiety and primary hypertension.
This is what one happy client who presented with White Coat Syndrome said:
The aspects of the therapy that helped most were the relaxation from having hypnosis and the coaching to change a negative way of thinking about a situation.
Mrs M. from Ferndown, Dorset.

For a free initial consultation contact Linda at Awaken the Change today.


Awaken the Change is about Focusing Minds for Positive Results

Awaken the Change is a self-help service providing education and information.

Linda sees clients at her practice in Bournemouth, in the UK. She is also happy to provide online help via webcam for hypnotherapy, counselling and supervision. Counselling and supervision can also be provided by telephone.

Linda is an accredited trainer and supervisor.

Linda Witchell
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