Physical Signs of Anxiety

Anxiety looks different for everyone. It’s often thought of a something that only affects the mind, but anxiety can be experienced as a variety of physical symptoms.

When these physical symptoms persist for a long time, it can understandably be worrying and mistaken for other medical conditions. People can go through months of hospital visits, investigations and medical treatments before understanding that their symptoms were anxiety related.

Recognising the physical signs of anxiety can help to keep it in mind as a cause for the way you’re feeling. I’ve included some tips at the end for management of anxiety through a holistic lens. Never be afraid to chat to your GP or call Samaritans if you’re struggling.

Physical signs of anxiety

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • “lump in throat” feeling
  • headaches
  • sleep disturbance
  • excessive sweating
  • trembling or shaking
  • feeling short of breath
  • dizziness
  • stomach ache
  • feeling sick

Understanding anxiety

Anxiety is a normal reaction to danger – the body’s automatic fight-or-flight response is triggered when you feel threatened or under pressure. When anxiety is constant or overwhelming, you may be suffering from anxiety disorder. Anxiety doesn’t exist only in your head. It can be experienced as physical symptoms. It affects everyone differently.

Tips for managing anxiety

  • Know your triggers
  • Be physically active
  • Minimise alcohol & caffine
  • Try relaxations techniques
  • Prioritse sleep
  • Talk to someone you trust

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