Stress. Many people think that stress is necessarily a contributor to or a symptom of hypertension, but this is actually not true. When a person feels stressed, it does cause a small increase in blood pressure, but this is very temporary, and it soon disappears with no long-term results. What stress can do is cause you to engage in a lot of unhealthy activities that can contribute to hypertension or a heart condition in the long run. Among these activities are bad eating habits and a large intake of alcohol, as well as smoking. Over the long term, anyone who engages in these activities is at considerable risk of developing hypertension.

Obesity. When a person is carrying around a great deal of excess weight, this can place a massive load upon his or her heart. If you are suffering from hypertension, and your doctor prescribes a diet, you will find that this diet is as much focused on reducing your calorie intake as upon anything else. You generally find that such diets are rich in fiber as well as in lean protein. Your doctor will also prescribe lots of fresh fruit and plenty of vegetables, and advise you to greatly reduce unhealthy fatty foods, and your intake of sugar. It has been observed that even a small reduction in weight can cause a considerable reduction in blood pressure. Sometimes, this reduction in weight can be as little as ten pounds.