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Why does my anxiety sometimes affect me physically, and how can I help prevent that?

19 Answers
Last Updated: 07/20/2020 at 9:08pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Melissa Strauss, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I am client focused and believe everyone has a strength. I feel confident in seeing clients with generalized and social anxiety, depression and relational goals.

Top Rated Answers
Incandecentembrace
February 25th, 2015 12:57am
anxiety affects a lot of parts of your body. Anxiety can cause panic attacks which can cause shortness of breath, dizziness, and affects that make you feel like you're having a heart attack. To prevent these cases you can follow these instructions that can be used at any time Get to a relaxed state. Sit up-right and take consecutive deep breaths. As you’re sitting upright look at something across from you that’s eye level. Keep your head straight and move your eyeballs to the ceiling as high as then can go Once your eyes starts to flutter close your eyes but leave your eyeballs still upwards Take a deep breath and hold it in Release the breath and at the same time drop your eyeballs and open your eyes Repeat until you feel completely relaxed
Anonymous
February 26th, 2015 7:55am
This is to do with the human body's evolved defence mechanism, commonly referred to as "fight or flight." The reason for the physical effects of anxiety in modern times where the world has developed enough not to rely so much on this mechanism is that, when you're faced with fear there seems like an impossible choice - whether to run away or to face it head on. One way to prevent it, I've found, is through a technique called mindfulness. For the most part, it is a tactic to ground yourself and remind yourself of the physical area you're in (so that your thoughts stay with reality and do not become distorted/take off and spiral out of control into a panic attack). The particular mindfulness technique I find most beneficial is to name 5 things I can see, hear and feel.
Gi
April 1st, 2015 3:28pm
When our mind is filled with something, it usually affects our body. The way to prevent that is taking care of the mind first. The best way is look for professional help with therapists. Keep looking until you find one that you feel comfortable to talk about your issues.
Anonymous
April 4th, 2015 3:15am
Just like you would exert it with your words, it is coming out of your body physically. Use calming techniques and anxiety-combatting tactics to calm down.
Anonymous
June 1st, 2015 4:14am
Anxiety impacts us physically because the mind/brain and the gut are interconnected. It is a connection that can cause gastrointestinal issues. To help with this, I would try to reduce your level of anxiety with techniques such as distracting or exercising.
Polyethanase
June 17th, 2015 7:15am
Anxiety is a form of phobia, and therefore, it will cause your body to react very similarly as if you were face to face with your fear. I've personally found that meditation is very helpful, though this is difficult for some. Another alternative would be light/moderate excercise, frequent (but not excessive) reading, and, most importantly, accepting that your anxiety is actually anxiety and not something else. Acceptance will always help in any sort of stressful situation.
brightHorizon87
June 22nd, 2015 2:52pm
It's a circle that is triggered by a thought or a physical sensation that triggers a thought which then leads to a behaviour. If my heart starts pounding and I think to myself something like "I am having a heart attack and I am going to die" then I will feel worse. At this point my focus is on what is going on inside of me and my bodily sensations. The things I can do is to breathe from my stomach and try to relax my body. I guess that the thought of thinking one is going to die would scare anyone, but if one has been to the doctors and checked everything once, chances are extremely high that everything is ok and that this thought needs to be challenged by staying in the situation until fear goes away.
MiraculousShiny62
June 23rd, 2015 3:12am
Anxiety is a reaction to stress. Therefore, when you body is stressed, it can affect many areas of your body physically. You can prevent stress by doing relaxation exercises, meditation, eating healthy, and sleeping at least 8 hours each night.
Anonymous
June 30th, 2015 2:45pm
Normally after the onset of fear, your parasympathetic nervous system quickly kicks in to calm your body down by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. But that does not happen during a panic attack. For some unknown reason, the parasympathetic system doesn't work properly during an attack, which leaves you to face disturbingly prolonged bodily panic
Jodie17
July 6th, 2015 8:36am
when you panic , you feel scared and fear the worst, your body will tense up in response to the fight or flight system to protect you
Anonymous
February 2nd, 2016 11:34pm
Sometimes I get very bad anxiety in my hands? So I try to keep my hands busy but going to the gym, or colouring in, or sometimes I even sit with an elastic bands in my hands. It works :)
AliceisNotLost
July 19th, 2016 5:25am
Anxiety is something that is triggered from your brain when you are typically feeling overwhelmed. Your heart could race, you could shake, and your body's only way to think of how to deal with it is to sometimes shut itself down. Whenever I was faced with anxiety, I would always take myself to a separate place so that I could exercise deep breathing to calm myself, even verbally telling myself that everything would be okay until I could feel my nerves start to relax.
TheShy
September 19th, 2016 5:58pm
Anxiety is inside your brain. There's a lot of chemicals and hormones up there, and a lot of wires and complicated things. Everything is related. Depression with chest ache, anxiety with stomach ache or hyperventilating. You can not prevent anxiety. It happens. But you can keep it from eating you up by distracting yourself and making breathing exercices. Lay down, put your hands next to your sides, take deep breaths through your nose, hold it in for 3 seconds, then exhale through your mouth. Do this for 3-4 minutes. Don't worry! Getting dizzy is completely normal. Focus on your breathing, and on your body. Feel the bad energy escape with every breath. Imagination is the key. Stay safe
littlebearfi
October 24th, 2016 1:27am
I like to take deep breathes and refocus myself on the situation, to not only assess it but to understand why I might be feeling this way.
Anonymous
November 21st, 2016 4:11pm
When you experience anxiety, your mind perceives danger. The body physically reacts to danger by initiating the fight or flight response. Your body begins producing adrenalin, causing the heart to race which pumps blood to the muscles faster. This enables you to use your muscles to run away from danger or to fight the danger off. Shortness of breath and feeling "wired" are also effects of the fight or flight response. With anxiety, we perceive danger even when there may be no real danger or no physical threat (but perhaps a perceived threat to our security, future, etc.). Some things you can do include learning relaxation exercises, challenging anxious thoughts and reducing your perception of danger. The anxiety self-help guide goes into more detail about these things and is a useful place to start.
Thawyn1
December 18th, 2017 5:23am
Anxiety can drain all your energy and make you feel tired almost all the time.This is because it consumes your ''mental energy'' from over thinking.Even though you feel tired , the very first step to do is to divert the mind from continuous thinking.Exercising might seems paradoxical , since your are already tired from thinking,but continual exercise can infact make use less tired and energertic overtime.
brianna67
November 4th, 2019 4:20am
My anxiety also affects me physically! I'll get a racing heart or a lot of tightness in my chest. I'm not sure if these match your physical symptoms. What I've been taught to help those is breathing strategies and mindfulness/meditation. I would try those! But also working on the mental symptoms might also help decrease the physical symptoms. I highly recommend reading the anxiety guide on 7 cups for strategies. There is a lot of useful information there. Different techniques are going to work for different people so you may have to try out a few different ones before finding some that work for you!
musicalEnergy94
November 25th, 2019 7:03pm
Anxiety can affect a person in many ways including physically. To prevent feeling that way is difficult because you may feel tired or anxious. It is good to keep your mind on goals you have and also walking in nature or going to the gym. It is good to talk to someone about how you are feeling because they may be going through the same thing. Medication may help too. Meditation may help to lower anxiety and help with focus. I like to leave my house and get fresh air. Taking deep breaths of fresh air is better for you. Anxiety can set in at any time so preparing before an anxiety attach can help reduce the symptoms if you have a plan in place
HennaHeARTs
July 20th, 2020 9:08pm
the mind and body are very closely related and stress can trigger very real physiological responses in the body such as symptoms associated with panic attacks. There are several exercises you can engage in when feel anxious or nervous to bring you back to center. For instance, when my mind is racing and i am in the middle of a panic attack i like to engage in grounding activities. My go to is engaging in all my senses one at a time. I will hone in on my present condition and try to pick out specific things that i can feel, taste, smell, see, and hear which distracts my racing thoughts and brings me back into the present.