Tired of not fully understanding what anxiety feels like?
Want to learn exactly what can happen to you when anxious?
I couldn’t even pull myself out of bed. Have you ever felt like this?
7:38 AM all I could hear was crying, feeling the sweat on my skin. That was a crazy dream…
My heart was racing all I could think about was how was I going to take care of everything today…
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 19.1% of the population every year.
Individuals with anxiety disorders can experience anxiety differently depending on the type and severity of their disorder.
This changes what anxiety feels like from person to person.
Some may have mild symptoms, like feeling butterflies in the stomach, while others may have full-blown panic attacks over things that trigger their anxiety.
Ultimately, this means that you will need to take some time to identify how anxiety affects you.
7 Questions to ask to understand what anxiety feels like.
1. Can anxiety cause chest pain?
Yes, chest pain is sometimes a symptom of anxiety. Often the result of a panic attack or heightened reaction, chest pain is a concern because of the possible connection to heart attacks and other heart conditions.
According to a 2018 research article done by the American Journal of Cardiology, for those admitted into the hospital with non-cardiac-related chest pain, 25-50% of them had mild to severe anxiety disorders.
During an anxiety attack, you can experience chest pains that can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour.
An anxiety attack is generally brought on by intense feelings of worry and fear that can come from a known or sometimes even unknown causes.
What does Anxiety Chest pain feel like?
Chest pain associated with anxiety feels different for each person. Some people may experience chest pain on a gradual basis.
If you don’t have a history of chest pain with anxiety, you may be alarmed. Many people assume they’re having a heart attack and go to the hospital’s emergency room for treatment.
For others, the pain may be sudden and unexpected. Anxiety chest pain can be described as:
- sharp, shooting pain
- persistent chest aching
- an unusual muscle twitch or spasm in your chest
- burning, numbness, or a dull ache
- stabbing pressure
- chest tension or tightness
As you can see, there is no one way to experience chest pain caused by your anxiety, and it can be different depending on the person.
That’s one way to look at it but this chest pain didn’t stop immediately, but what else can anxiety cause? Leading me to my next question.
2. Can anxiety cause high blood pressure?
No. However, it can lead to a short-term increase in blood pressure. Anxiety does not cause any permanent change to a person’s body that leads to high blood pressure.
This has never happened to me thankfully, but that’s all based on what I decided to put into my body, but that’s a topic for the next time…
Rather, it simply causes a spike in blood pressure that may last until you start to be calm.
When you begin to feel anxious because of a stressful situation, your body enters fight-or-flight mode. Anxiety causes high blood pressure by increasing heart rate and constricting the blood vessels.
During fight-or-flight mode, your adrenaline and cortisol levels rise, both of which can lead to an increase in blood pressure.
If you have frequent episodes of high blood pressure that are caused by anxiety, treating the underlying anxiety disorder can help bring your blood pressure back down to healthier levels.
If this has happened to you there is some good news, this is usually only temporary. Music tends to calm me when I feel stressed, find a calm song, plug in your headphones and away you go.
3. Can anxiety cause nausea?
Yes, Nausea is a common anxiety symptom. It involves an uncomfortable feeling of sickness in the stomach that gives you the sense you might vomit.
Nausea due to anxiety can be a considerable barrier to your ability to deal with your hectic schedule.
That feeling you get in your stomach, kinda like you’re about to puke… Holding it in, counting down the time, hoping it finally goes away…
During a moment of high anxiety, you might feel just a bit queasy. What anxiety feels like can be that “butterflies in the stomach” feeling that you might have before giving a public presentation or going on a job interview.
This kind of nausea may pass fairly quickly.
But sometimes, anxiety-related nausea can make you totally sick to your stomach. Your stomach hurts so much that you have to make a dash for the bathroom. You may even reach the point of almost puking or actually vomiting.
How to Stop Nausea Fast
If your nausea continues or worsens there are things you can do to help prevent or stop vomiting. If you’re vomiting or still feeling nauseous:
- Drink water and other clear liquids in small sips to replenish lost fluids.
- Rest and avoid physical activity.
- Don’t eat solid food until it passes.
I found that taking these small steps can make a big difference and help you deal with anxiety-related nausea.
4. Can anxiety cause dizziness?
Dizziness is a common symptom of anxiety stress, you are having an anxiety attack, dizziness can result. On the other hand, dizziness can be anxiety-producing.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, about half of all adults see their healthcare providers at some point for concerns about dizziness. Fortunately, dizzy spells are typically temporary, and rarely the sign of a serious medical condition.
The dizziness that accompanies anxiety is often described as a sense of lightheadedness or wooziness.
There may be a feeling of motion or spinning inside rather than in the environment. Sometimes there is a sense of swaying even though you are standing still.
Research suggests that about 28% of people with dizziness also have symptoms of at least one anxiety disorder. Anxiety-related dizziness may be severe enough to cause fainting.
In fact, this chain of events can contribute to panic attacks.
How to stop dizziness from anxiety?
- Sit down as soon as you start feeling dizzy.
- If sitting down doesn’t help try lying flat to help oxygen reach your brain.
- Hold on to the furniture or use a walking stick.
- If you’re driving, pull over as soon as it’s safe to do so.
- Avoid coffee or tobacco.
When I feel dizzy, I take a seat or lie on the floor until I feel a bit better. Sometimes it’s the simple things right.
5. Can anxiety cause diarrhea & Stomach Pain?
YES! If you tend to get diarrhea around stressful or anxiety-producing situations and events, you’re not alone. It’s fairly common to experience stomach troubles with anxiety. This is an effect of what anxiety feels like.
If you’ve never stopped dead in your tracks and ran to the bathroom just because your anxiety hit you head-on, then clasp those hands and give thanks.
For some, worrying about having diarrhea or stomach pain in public or in an unfamiliar location adds to existing anxiety.
How To Reduce Diarrhea related to anxiety?
- Rehydrating your body is a priority for managing your anxiety-related diarrhea symptoms.
- Practicing mindfulness meditation by focusing awareness on the present moment has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress.
6. Can anxiety cause headaches?
Yes, Headaches tend to be a common condition of what anxiety feels like, and sometimes a spot-on indicator of an anxiety disorder, particularly generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD.
And chronic co-occurring headaches can make functioning even more difficult for someone with an anxiety disorder.
The two most common types of anxiety-related headaches are the following:
- Tension Headaches usually cause mild-to-moderate pain, although they can sometimes become quite severe and usually get better within a few hours.
- Migraine Headaches usually cause moderate-to-severe throbbing pain, can occur alongside nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, and can last for hours or even days
Because light can worsen the headache, turn off, or dim the lights. This could be helpful. Although less common, some other options for headache relief include:
How to get rid of headaches fast at home
- Close your eyes and rub the temples of your head for a few minutes.
- Take a warm shower. Warm showers can relax the muscles, which may reduce some of the pressure in your head.
- Get a massage. Relieving muscle tension, especially in the neck and back, greatly improves the feeling in your head.
7. Can Anxiety cause a Heart Attack?
No, while it may feel like you’re about to have a heart attack, it is highly unlikely that this is the case. Your body’s natural response to perceived danger is to increase your heart rate and blood pressure to help you fight the danger or flee the dangerous situation.
In short-term cases, anxiety affects the heart for good reason. This is all part of the flight-or-fight response.
This is helpful in dangerous situations, such as encountering a rabid dog while out on a jog.
Untreated high blood pressure can increase your risk of serious heart-related events, such as heart attacks and strokes.
The good news is that both anxiety and heart problems are treatable, and exercise is one of the things you can do for both anxiety and heart problems.
Those are just some of the ways anxiety affects your body. That doesn’t mean you have to sit and suffer.
Now that I knew what anxiety feels like and what can cause it, I was finally able to get out of bed.
Now I understood what was happening to me. That meant I could now do something about it.
How To Cope with Anxiety
- Keep physically active, go for a jog, bike ride, lift weights just do something.
Develop a routine so that you’re physically active most days of the week. Exercise is a powerful stress reducer. It can improve your mood and help you stay healthy. Start out slowly, and gradually increase the amount and intensity of your activities.
- Use stress management and relaxation techniques.
Visualization techniques, meditation, and yoga are examples of relaxation techniques that can ease anxiety.
- Make sleep a priority.
Do what you can to make sure you’re getting enough sleep to feel rested. If you aren’t sleeping well, talk with your health care provider.
- Eat healthy foods.
A healthy diet that incorporates vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fish may be linked to reduced anxiety, but more research is needed.
- Learn about your anxiety and begin to find balance in your life.
Find a reputable source of information about your challenges with anxiety, and who understands what anxiety feels like from first-hand experience. Follow a step-by-step guide that will help you find balance in your life and help you cope with and reduce your anxiety.
By the way if you want to Discover How I overcame my anxiety disorder and started living life again click the image below
Share on social media with your friends and family to help them understand what anxiety feels like, then let me know in the comments what anxiety feels like for you or if you have any questions.