Anonymous asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsHeart Diseases · 1 month ago

Tips to relax when taking blood pressure reading?

I have a form of severe anxiety disorder and a massive phobia of that cuff.

My heart rate, oxygen levels, blood sugars and general blood tests are all within goos range and don t bother me.

But when i use that blood pressure cuff, I have time to think and hate how it cuts my circulation off. It really works me up, like im having a panic attack.

I can confirm this because my fitbit show my heart rate goes up to as high as 160 on some tests whereas other its 120. What interests me is the blood pressure is never the same reading. Its always high at the doctors or emergency services but at home its usually lower.

I keep getting readings anywhere between 150 / 80 - 170 / 85. Sometimes when i really find time to relax and forget about it it will say 130/80 and my lowest was 120/80. I am 28 years old. My doctor says its highly unlikely i would have high blood pressure at my age and bloods have been looked into so he is happy for me to really work on my anxiety and monitor it only if and when if and when im ready.

I just get this horrible anxiety like if its too high i would just really panic.


These readings fluctate when i take them within the same hour. 

3 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago

    1) When the cuff tightens around the arm it compresses two arteries. At first, the brain is fooled into believing that a blockage has developed, so it increases the blood pressure a little to try and dislodge it. This is why most people's initial reading is higher than normal.

    To get a proper representation of the actual blood pressure, several readings must be taken so that the brain is convinced that no blockage has developed. When subsequent readings result in numbers in the same neighborhood, you can accept that as the true blood pressure.

    2) As for the anxiety itself, borrow someone's blood pressure monitor or go to Walmart or some other store that has a free blood pressure checker.

    And practice.

    Take your blood pressure over and over until you can get so that you can force yourself to remain calm when the cuff tightens. With practice, you'll be able to do it in the doctor's office as well.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 month ago

    You didn't say how the readings were taken but they can vary simply because of the way they are taken. Have you tried the version that clips on your wrist. They are much easier to use and can be more consistent with their readings.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    I wish I had an answer but I totally get what your saying. I have a horrible fear of the doctor so whenever they take my heart rate, it’s super high. They thought I had tachycardia and had me set up with a heart rate monitor for 24 hours and everything only to determine there was nothing wrong with me... anxiety sucks but thinking through your fears and trying to be rational about them without invalidating yourself can really help. 

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.