When your heart beats faster, it puts more pressure on your heart. This means it can’t relax as easily, resulting in a rapid heart rate.
However, the opposite effect can occur as well. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, your heart rate can slow down in response.
How long does it last?
The effects of stress on your heart rate will last for several minutes before the response subsides.
You can try to change your environment to reduce the effects of stress. For example, you can take a short walk, get a glass of water, or read a book.
You can also try to reduce your stress levels by:
- Making a list of your top five stressors
- Scheduling regular breaks when you’re in a stressful situation
- Scheduling regular check-ins with a therapist
If you’re having difficulty coping with stress, talk to your doctor. They can recommend ways to help manage your stress levels.
Risks of an elevated heart rate
Heart rate changes are a normal response to stress. However, high heart rates can be a sign of a medical condition.
For example, high heart rates can be a sign of an arrhythmia. This condition causes your heart to beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly.
If you have an arrhythmia, your doctor may recommend medications to help reduce your heart rate.
It’s also possible to develop hyperthyroidism if your thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone.
If you have an overactive thyroid, your doctor may prescribe medication or surgery.
Other conditions that can cause high heart rates include:
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Congestive heart failure
- Heart valve disease
- Pulmonary embolism
How to reduce your heart rate?
If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, you can try the following lifestyle changes to reduce your heart rate:
- Practice deep breathing exercises.
- Reduce the amount of caffeine and alcohol you consume.
- Engage in low-impact exercises.
- Get enough sleep.
- Get plenty of exercise.
- Drink water.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Manage your stress.
If you’re having heart palpitations, it may be a sign of a heart attack. In this case, you should seek emergency medical attention.
How to lower your blood pressure?
Stress can also increase your blood pressure. However, you can take steps to reduce your blood pressure and prevent further increases.
When you’re feeling stressed, make sure to:
- Do deep breathing exercises.
- Reduce your caffeine intake.
- Reduce your alcohol intake.
- Get plenty of rest.
When to see a doctor?
If you have high heart rate, anxiety, or an elevated blood pressure, it’s important to see your doctor. They can help monitor your condition and recommend ways to cope with stress.
It’s also a good idea to talk to your doctor if you:
- Have symptoms of chest pain, such as shortness of breath or tightness in your chest
- Feel dizzy, lightheaded, or faint
- Have a pounding heart or palpitations
- Have numbness or tingling in one or both of your arms, hands, or legs
- Have a fever
- Have headaches
- Have a cough, cold, or sore throat
- Have a sore, red, or purple nose
- Are pregnant
- Have recently had a miscarriage
- Have recently had surgery
How to treat high blood pressure?
There are several steps you can take to manage high blood pressure. Follow these steps:
- If you’re overweight, talk to your doctor about losing weight. Excess weight around your midsection puts pressure on your blood vessels, which increases your blood pressure.
- If you smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting. Quitting smoking can lower your blood pressure.
- If you’re obese, talk to your doctor about starting a weight loss program. This can reduce your blood pressure.
You can also try to lower your blood pressure with medications.
The most common medications for high blood pressure are:
- ACE inhibitors
ACE stands for angiotensin-converting enzyme. These medications work by blocking the action of angiotensin II, a hormone that’s released from your kidneys when you’re stressed.
Common ACE inhibitors include:
The most common medications for high blood pressure and heart failure are:
- Beta blockers
- Calcium channel blockers
The most common medications for treating atrial fibrillation are:
- Antiarrhythmic drugs
Your doctor may prescribe medication if you:
- Have symptoms of heart failure
- Have coronary artery disease
- Have a heart attack
- Have a stroke
- Have unstable angina
- Have a history of heart failure
- Have an enlarged heart
- Have a history of high blood pressure
- Have a family history of high blood pressure or heart disease
Your doctor may also recommend surgery if medications don’t work.
This type of surgery is called a pacemaker implantation. It involves placing a small device, called a pacemaker, directly into your heart. The device monitors your heart rhythm and automatically delivers medication to reduce your heart rate.
Can you prevent high heart rate?
There are several ways to prevent high heart rate:
- Avoid stress.
- Engage in low-impact exercises, such as yoga, walking, swimming, or weight training.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Eat a diet rich in potassium and fruits and vegetables.
- Manage your weight.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Reduce caffeine intake.
- Reduce your stress.
If you notice that you have high heart rate, talk to your doctor. They can help you determine the best treatment plan.
How to lower blood pressure fast?
The following tips can help you lower your blood pressure fast:
- Drink water throughout the day.
- Sleep in a cool, quiet room.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat a diet high in potassium and fruits and vegetables.
If you’re overweight, talk to your doctor about losing weight. Excess weight around midsection puts pressure on your blood vessels, which increases your blood pressure.
You should also seek medical attention if you experience symptoms such as:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath or tightness in your chest
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
- Numbness or tingling in one or both of your arms, hands, or legs
- A pounding heart or palpitations
- A sore, red, or purple nose
- A cough, cold, or sore throat
- A sore, red, or purple face
- A heart attack
- A stroke
- A loss of consciousness
If you’re pregnant, you should avoid medicines that cause high blood pressure.
If you’re experiencing heart palpitations or high blood pressure, it’s a good idea to seek emergency medical help.
The effects of stress on your heart rate can be short-lived and can be improved by reducing your stress levels.
If you’re experiencing a stress reaction, try to reduce your stress levels by:
- Scheduling breaks when you’re in a stressful situation
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