Does living a stress-filled life lead to elevated blood pressure? And if so, do strategies to manage better stress effectively lower blood pressure? This book examines more than a half-century of empirical evidence obtained to test the common assumption that stress is associated with the onset and maintenance of essential hypertension (high blood pressure). While the research confirms that stress does play a role in the exacerbation of essential hypertension, numerous other factors must also be considered, among them obesity, exercise, and smoking, as well as demographic, constitutional, and psychological concerns. The book discusses the effectiveness of strategies developed to manage stress and thereby lower blood pressure, and concludes with suggestions and directions for further study.