Hypertension and stress

Stress is one of the major causes for hypertension therefore it is necessary to learn to cope with stress.

Stress is the body's response to intense stimuli, e.g. cold temperatures, noise, conflicts. This leads to the stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system (part of the autonomic nervous system) and release of the epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol stress hormones from the adrenal cortex and the adrenal medulla. There are 'good' stress situations (eustress) that spur on life's activities and 'harmful' stress (distress).

In a state of distress, the stress responses of the body are overextended and in the case of a chronic reaction, can adversely affect the course of hypertension and arteriosclerosis. Noise, the pressure to perform, agitation, lack of recognition, the fear of losing one's livelihood, family problems or work-related worries: all these can be triggers for stress.
The stress response prepares our bodies for difficult situations. The blood pressure rises, breathing becomes faster, the heart beats faster and the muscles become tenser. Once the 'danger' has passed, the body can once again relax and draw new strength.

Constant stress however can make us ill. Therefore, it is necessary to learn to cope with stress. In the case of high blood pressure, sufficient rest and relaxation are particularly important. Persons suffering from hypertension should ensure that they have sufficient sleep, recreational holidays and relaxing pastimes and avoid unrest and conflict in everyday life.
There are different approaches for active stress management.