Your blood pressure may seem to get higher when you are in the doctor's office. According to the American Heart Association, "Blood pressure may increase temporarily when you're stressed, [however] stress has not been proven to cause diagnosable high blood pressure." There are simple techniques you can use to keep your blood pressure at a normal level when faced with a stressful situation, such as a doctor’s appointment.
Avoid caffeine for one hour prior to your appointment. According to the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute, “Caffeine in coffee as well as in other drinks, such as tea and sodas, only raises blood pressure temporarily.”
Sit comfortably while your blood pressure is being checked, with your feet on the floor, legs uncrossed and your arm supported on a table (if possible).
Visualize a calming scene in your mind’s eye, using all of your senses. It may be an ocean scene, a walk along a peaceful path, a softly flowing river or a beautiful garden--whatever is relaxing for you.
If your blood pressure is elevated, ask for a few minutes to relax and have it taken again.
Leave early for your appointment so you are not rushing, getting caught in traffic and getting there late. This will help keep you calm when your reading is taken.