Sunday, May 19, 2024

Where Do You Feel Anxiety In Your Body

Don't Miss

Consider What Your Anxiety Is Telling You

6 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Experience Anxiety

Feeling anxious isnt always a bad thing. In fact, anxious thoughts could be your bodys way of giving you valuable information. The next time you feel worry, fear, stress, or overwhelming thoughts of dread, stop, and take a deep breath. Instead of defaulting to this is my anxiety talking, reframe how you view the situation and ask yourself if your body is trying to tell you something. Do you need to slow down? Maybe youre getting sick, and your body is responding with stress. Or maybe, there is a real threat, and you need to take action.

In The Meantime Heres How To Deal

Though professional help is the most effective way to treat physical symptoms of anxiety, therapy and/or medication arent always accessible. In that case, it might be helpful to know some of the common ways people with anxiety practice self-care and help themselves feel better. Like we mentioned earlier, deep breathing is a big one for anxiety symptoms, since hyperventilation can exacerbate many of the symptoms on this list.

Beyond that, our Anxiety Center is full of helpful, expert-recommended tips to make living with anxiety a little easier. Here are a few specific articles to get you started:

Temperature: Hotness Sweating Shivering

‘The state of arousal also leads to a rise in temperature. Your body reacts by trying to cool you down this is why you perspire,’ Nicky explains.

Such sweating, in turn, can make you feel cold. Especially after a panic attack, as your body starts to cool down but is still perspiring to prevent overheating, it is common to feel cold and shivery.

Also Check: Four Subtypes Of Schizophrenia

How To Manage The Physical Effects That Anxiety Has On Your Body

As weâve mentioned previously, the physical effects that anxiety can have on the body are often just as challenging to deal with as the effect it has mentally. Thankfully, there are still plenty of self-care related adjustments you can make in your life in order to cope with the physical symptoms of anxiety. Here are just a few suggestions in terms of managing your symptoms:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet. Try limiting your sugar and carb intake as much as you can and opt for healthier choices that will provide your body with more energy like high fiber and unsaturated fats. Youâll also want to avoid substances that could actually make your anxiety worse, such as alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine.
  • Being physically active. Frequent exercise not only helps release chemicals that can boost your mood and allow you to feel happier, but itâs also great for your physical health. While reducing your stress in general and also strengthening your body physically, exercising is a great coping strategy to reduce a variety of symptoms. It can also help improve your sleep!
  • Utilizing relaxation techniques. Yoga and meditation are just two examples of relaxation strategies that you can try. Breathing exercises are great for calming down, and can actually relax the body physically such as by slowing heart rate. Relaxation and mindfulness techniques are a great way to relieve stress and physical tension in the body, and also distract and ground oneself mentally.

You Might Also Like…

You Constantly Feel Tired

The Effects of Depression in Your Body

Persistent feelings of fatigue and exhaustion are common signs of anxiety. The bodys fight-or-flight response can keep you on high alert, which can be mentally and physically draining.

People with anxiety might also find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep or experience unsatisfying sleep. Elevated stress hormone levels and racing thoughts can make it harder to fall asleep because your body might not relax enough to rest. Sleep issues such as insomnia can also exacerbate anxiety symptoms.

You May Like: Anxiety Causes Fainting

Improving Your Ability To Handle Stress

Get moving. Upping your activity level is one tactic you can employ right now to help relieve stress and start to feel better. Regular exercise can lift your mood and serve as a distraction from worries, allowing you to break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that feed stress. Rhythmic exercises such as walking, running, swimming, and dancing are particularly effective, especially if you exercise mindfully .

Connect to others. The simple act of talking face-to-face with another human can trigger hormones that relieve stress when youre feeling agitated or insecure. Even just a brief exchange of kind words or a friendly look from another human being can help calm and soothe your nervous system. So, spend time with people who improve your mood and dont let your responsibilities keep you from having a social life. If you dont have any close relationships, or your relationships are the source of your stress, make it a priority to build stronger and more satisfying connections.

Engage your senses. Another fast way to relieve stress is by engaging one or more of your sensessight, sound, taste, smell, touch, or movement. The key is to find the sensory input that works for you. Does listening to an uplifting song make you feel calm? Or smelling ground coffee? Or maybe petting an animal works quickly to make you feel centered? Everyone responds to sensory input a little differently, so experiment to find what works best for you.

The Three Parts Of Anxiety

When we feel anxious, we automatically generate a three-part response that includes thoughts physical symptoms and behaviours . All three parts have an interactive and reciprocal relationship. This simply means that each part interacts and influences the other parts. None will occur in isolation. For example, if youre anxious about giving a presentation at work you would likely have some worrisome thoughts , experience some physical sensations , and take some sort of action . If your rehearsal isnt going well you may start having more worrisome thoughts that might lead to more physical sensations which might lead to a new action .

The following diagram exemplifies this process:

Also Check: Dehydration Cause Anxiety

Skin Tingling And Numbness/ Feeling Weak

It is common for anxiety to cause feelings of numbness and tingling. This can occur almost anywhere on the body but is most commonly felt on the face, hands, arms, feet and legs. This is caused by the blood rushing to the most important parts of the body that can aide fight or flight. This, therefore, leaves the less important areas feeling weak, numb or tingly.

It can also be caused by hyperventilation and increased oxygen intake which is particularly felt in the extremities and the face.

Your Stomach Is All Sorts Of Messed Up

Your Body on Fear | What Happens in Your Body When You’re Afraid

Anxiety really hits the G.I. system hard, says Dr. Potter. People with anxiety may notice general stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, or other kinds of G.I. distress, she explains.

A lot of this may boil down to what experts call the gut-brain axis, which is a communication system between your brain and the enteric nervous system that governs your digestion. This connection is why stress can so easily mess with your poop. Theres also the fact that anxiety-induced lifestyle choices like eating foods that dont agree with you or not exercising can affect your digestion as well.

Recommended Reading: Meaning Of Phobic

The Complete Guide To How Anxiety Feels

Anxiety is the worst kind of monster it sneaks up on you, doesn’t announce its presence, takes control of your life, and leaves you on its own terms. Its symptoms are wide-ranging, depending on your circumstances and your physiology. It can even disguise itself as other health problems, like heart arrhythmias and chronic pain. Worst case scenario, chronic anxiety can even cause diseases, such as high blood pressure, obesity, and chronic inflammation.

Anxiety is common-especially in the West. Whereas Eastern cultures focus on family and community, Western cultures tend to focus on the individual and work. People in the West may become isolated and over-worked, triggering feelings of depression and anxiety. In fact, anxiety affects 40 million people in the U.S. alone, which is roughly 18 percent of the population. If you feel nervous or anxious, you are certainly not alone.

So how do you know what anxiety feels like? Use the following as the ultimate guide to assess whether you are feeling anxious. Here’s the ultimate guide as to how anxiety feels:

Like you can’t breathe

Sure enough, when you are anxious, you tend to suck in air, tensing your neck and chest muscles. You breathe shallowly instead of deeply. This disordered breathing pattern leads to an oxygen deficit.

Like your heart is beating out of your chest

Like the world is leaving you behind

Like you are running in place

Like you are dying

Like your head is in a fog

Like you are drifting aimlessly

Symptoms Of Anxiety And Shortness Of Breath

Anxiety is your bodys natural fear response. This is known as the the fight-or-flight response. Your body reacts in physical and mental ways to prepare you to either fight or run from the situation.

Shortness of breath is one of those responses. You may feel like you cant catch your breath, tightness in your chest, or like youre suffocating or hungry for air.

Studies have shown a strong association between anxiety and respiratory symptoms, including shortness of breath.

Other symptoms that can occur during this response and as a result of anxiety include:

Read Also: Phobia Of Stinging Insects

What Causes Nausea With Anxiety

Anxiety can trigger your fight or flight response. Basically, your body is preparing you to face a crisis. This is a natural reaction to a stressful situation and, when called for, can help you survive.

When you feel stressed or anxious, your body releases a rush of hormones. Neurotransmitters in the brain react by sending messages to the rest of your body to:

  • get the heart pumping faster
  • increase the breathing rate
  • tense the muscles
  • send more blood to the brain

Anxiety and stress can affect virtually every body system. This includes your cardiovascular, endocrine, musculoskeletal, nervous, reproductive, and respiratory systems.

In the digestive system, stress can cause:

  • nausea, vomiting

The symptoms you feel due to anxiety are very real. Your body is responding to a perceived threat. Absent a true emergency situation, there are some things you can do help to control anxiety and nausea.

Youre Sweating Up A Storm

Effects of stress on the body

If youre already grappling with anxiety, the thought of sweating profusely may just make it worse. Who wants to worry about pit stains or wiping their palms when theyre already totally anxious? Unfortunately, sweating is a common side effect of anxiety disorders, according to the NIMH.

When your sympathetic nervous system gets activated, it can influence the sweat glands basically all over your body. You have two kinds, according to the Mayo Clinic: eccrine, which cover most of your skin, and apocrine, which are only on body parts that have a lot of hair follicles. Both types of sweat glands can cause anxiety-induced perspiration, but its the milky fluid from your apocrine glands in particular that may make it smell bad.

Don’t Miss: What Is The Definition Of Phobia

Physical Anxiety Symptom : Temperature: Hotness Sweating Shivering

“The state of arousal also leads to a rise in temperature. Your body reacts by trying to cool you down this is why you perspire,” Nicky explains.

Such sweating, in turn, can make you feel cold. Especially after a panic attack, as your body starts to cool down but is still perspiring to prevent overheating, it is common to feel cold and shivery.

When Anxiety Feels More Physical Than Mental

The shaking wouldnt stop. I took deep breaths. I added blankets and then took them off. I tried to relax each muscle in my body one at a time. But still, but no matter what I did, I kept furiously shaking as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep. I felt like I swallowed a brick. I tried to take sips of the water on my nightstand to keep myself from throwing up, but it was tough to swallow.

In the daytime things were easier, but not by much. I would feel dizzy and lightheaded often. It was difficult to eat a full meal, not because I felt full, but because my stomach felt like it was at capacity and wouldnt accept one more bite. Alcohol and caffeine made things worse instead of helping me loosen up or wake up, both just made me feel more on edge.

This had been happening multiple times a week for the past few months, to varying degrees. Id also begun to feel an underlying, unshakable irritability a feeling that something was always wrong. I started researching what illnesses might be causing this specific combination of issues and came up with a short list of contenders: a malfunctioning thyroid, a urinary tract infection, pregnancy.

When I went to the doctor, though, every test came back negative. Nothing was wrong with my body I didnt even have low blood sugar. I was told to track when I felt bad and to come back in a week.

Recommended Reading: What Does Phobia Mean

Physical Anxiety Symptom : Stomach Sensations

During fight or flight, “blood is diverted away from areas of the body where it is not needed for example, away from the stomach. This is why we frequently experience a churning sensation in the stomach or a ‘butterflies’ feeling when anxious.”

It is also very common to urgently need the toilet when you feel panicky. This is the body’s way of trying to get rid of any unwanted weight which could slow it down during fight or flight.

Similarly to chest pains being misinterpreted as a heart attack, Nicky says that “butterflies in the stomach thought of as being a sign that vomiting might occur.” This however, isn’t always the case.

Treatment For Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety

How stress affects your body – Sharon Horesh Bergquist

Treatment for anxiety depends on what symptoms you have and how severe they are.

Therapy and medication are the two main treatments for anxiety. If you experience physical symptoms, talk therapy or medication that improves your anxiety often leads to improvement of these symptoms.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most common and effective therapy options for anxiety.

You may find that therapy on its own is helpful. But if your symptoms dont improve, anxiety medication is an option you can discuss with a psychiatrist.

You can also take action on your own to address anxiety symptoms.

Read Also: What Is The Fear Of Spoons Called

Why Do I Feel Anxious And Panicky

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry or fear. Everyone feels anxious at some point in their life, but for some people it can be an ongoing problem.

A little bit of anxiety can be helpful for example, feeling anxious before an exam might make you more alert and improve your performance. But too much anxiety could make you tired and unable to concentrate.

Anxiety: What It Is What To Do

While anxiety symptoms vary widely, odds are good that at some point youve experienced occasional physical and emotional distress signals such as panicky breathing, your heart pounding in your chest, trouble sleeping, feelings of dread, or even loops of worry. Thats normal.

Experiencing anxiety is normal, says Dr. Gene Beresin, executive director of the Clay Center for Healthy Young Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital. A certain amount of anxiety can even be helpful. The problem is that sometimes the systems underlying our anxiety responses get dysregulated, so that we overreact or react to the wrong situations.

Don’t Miss: Ashley Olsen Anorexic

What Are The Different Types Of Anxiety Disorder

This section provides an overview of the most common types of anxiety disorders.

  • Generalised anxiety disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Generalised anxiety disorder

GAD is common. The main symptom of GAD is over worrying about different activities and events. This may feel out of your control. You feel anxious a lot of the time if you have GAD. You might feel on edge and alert to your surroundings.

This can affect your day-to-day life. You might find that it affects your ability to work, travel places or leave the house. You might also get tired easily or have trouble sleeping or concentrating. You might have physical symptoms, such as muscle tension and sweating.

It is common to have other conditions such as depression or other anxiety disorders if you have GAD.

GAD can be difficult to diagnose because it does not have some of the unique symptoms of other anxiety disorders. Your doctor is likely to say you have GAD if you have felt anxious for most days over six months and it has had a bad impact on areas of your life.

Panic disorder

You will have regular panic attacks with no particular trigger if you have panic disorder. They can happen suddenly and feel intense and frightening. You may also worry about having another panic attack.

Panic disorder symptoms can include the following.

You may also dissociate during a panic attack. Such as feeling detached from yourself.

Social anxiety disorder

Some common situations where you may experience anxiety are the following.

What Is An Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety and My Body (+ES)

Severity of symptoms and a persons ability to cope separate everyday worries or anxious moments from anxiety disorders. National surveys estimate nearly one in five Americans over 18, and one in three teens ages 13 to 18, had an anxiety disorder during the past year.

If anxiety is persistent, excessive, or routinely triggered by situations that arent an actual threat, tell your doctor, who can discuss treatment options or refer you to an experienced mental health professional.

Read Also: Fear Of Bees And Wasps Phobia

Ideas To Consider When Talking With A Professional

List the things which cause stress and tension in your life.

How does this stress and tension affect you, your family and your job?

Can you identify the stress and tensions in your life as short or long term?

Do you have a support system of friends/family that will help you make positive changes?

What are your biggest obstacles to reducing stress?

What are you willing to change or give up for a less stressful and tension-filled life?

What have you tried already that didnt work for you?

500 Montgomery Street,

More articles

Popular Articles