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Increases in blood pressure related to stress can be dramatic. But once the stressor disappears, your blood pressure returns to normal. However, even temporary spikes in blood pressure — if they occur often enough — can damage your blood vessels, heart and kidneys in a way similar to long-term high blood pressure.
In addition, if you react to stress by smoking, drinking too much alcohol or eating unhealthy foods, you increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.
While reducing stress might not directly lower blood pressure over the long term, using strategies to manage your stress can improve your health in other ways. Mastering stress management techniques can lead to other behavior changes — including those that reduce your blood pressure.
When looking for ways to manage stress, remember that you have many options. For example:
The goal is to discover what works for you. Be open-minded and willing to experiment. Choose your strategies, take action and start enjoying the benefits.
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