Your brain is in overdrive and you are in a state of panic. You still haven’t found the perfect Christmas gift for your partner or finalised how many people are coming over for Christmas lunch.
By this point, your blood pressure is increasing and brain is going haywire.
Experts are calling this “Christmas brain” to reflect what happens when people are exposed to prolonged stress.
This chronic stress can rewire the brain, keeping blood pressure high all the time, according to Professor Vaughan Macefield, a neurophysiologist at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute.
If it goes unnoticed and unmanaged, high blood pressure can be bad for the internal organs and lead to long-term heart and hypertension problems.
“Many people are unaware they have high blood pressure,” Professor Macefield says.
“There are over four million people walking around like a ticking time bomb. High blood pressure is symptom-less, but the strokes and heart attacks it causes are not.”
Professor Macefield was part of a team of researchers who discovered that our brains might be one of the biggest determinants of heart health.
So when you’re exhibiting the physiological symptoms of stress, such as dilated pupils and racing heart, you may be elevating the risks of developing long-term high blood pressure, beyond this festive season.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald