Anxiety is ubiquitous in Canada.
As many as 40% of Canadians report experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression. Clearly, millions of people suffer from this deep and debilitating condition each and every day of their lives.
Contrary to popular opinion, it isn’t ‘all in your head’.
Interestingly, the symptoms aren’t limited to mental and emotional. Understanding anxiety involves a look at the physical experience of it too.
Want to learn more about the physical symptoms? Keep reading.
5 Physical Symptoms
Here are 5 of the primary physiological symptoms to know about.
1. Increased Heart Rate
A racing heart is one sign of anxiety that most of us are familiar with.
Being in an anxious state is often accompanied by a spike in our heart rate. In extreme cases, it can feel like our heart’s going to beat right out of our chest.
Unfortunately, this can be a cause for concern in its own right, which perpetuates the initial anxiety.
Anxiety often makes you sweat.
Sweat glands all over your body are activated, causing increased levels of perspiration. Sweaty palms, for instance, are a classic sign of anxiety that gets discussed in everyday circles.
Alas, sweating can seem like an embarrassing physical response. A vicious circle results: anxiety mounts and the sweating increases, which creates further anxiety.
3. Aching Muscles
Being anxious is clearly a stressful experience.
It’s so distressing, in fact, that muscles tighten as a natural response to it. This tension eventually leads to aches and pains in the body.
Headaches, teeth-grinding, and general muscle soreness and the neck, back, and shoulders are all common.
Feel the pain? Massage therapy might be the perfect solution.
It’s hard to sleep when you’re anxious.
Stress hormone and adrenaline course through the body, making insomnia and/or disturbed nights a common occurrence.
Your mind races and refuses to switch off. When it eventually relents, staying asleep often becomes a challenge too.
Intense fatigue can follow you throughout your day.
5. Upset Stomach
Gastrointestinal (GI) systems suffer as well.
Pain, constipation, diarrhea and so on are all highly prevalent in anxious people.
However, it’s both anxiety itself and the lifestyle of an anxious person that makes digestive issues more likely. Everything from stress to lack of sleep can interact to exacerbate GI problems.
How to Handle the Physical Symptoms
Are you experiencing any of these physical symptoms?
You’ll be pleased to read that numerous means of combatting them exist. A combination of therapy (such as CBT) and medication can be used to tackle the underlying anxiety itself.
To help yourself in day to day life, though, you could/should:
- Try meditating,
- Avoid excessive caffeine intake,
- Distract yourself somehow,
- Exercise regularly, and
- Make sleep a priority
Time to Start Understanding Anxiety Better
Understanding is key to accessing treatment.
Hopefully, this post has highlighted a selection of the physical symptoms of anxiety to know about and understand.
Looking for help with your anxiety? Get in touch today to see how we can be of service.