The Mighty Logo

8 Tips for Dealing With 'Anxiety Nausea'

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Sometimes when my anxiety really gets to me, especially if it’s prolonged, I can feel nauseous. It’s similar to the “butterflies in the stomach” most people have experienced in their life, but it is much more drawn out, and can come unexpectedly. Because I experience this symptom, I have developed a few ways to ease it, and I’d like to share them with you. If you also experience this problem and have some tips, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

1. Deep Breathing

By taking a few minutes to do some deep breathing, I allow my body to relax. It is often in this time I’m able to recognize areas of my body that are tense, and can work on releasing them. It’s important to note that sometimes the area that is tense is actually my stomach, so once I figure that out, I can feel better pretty quickly.

2. Drinking Peppermint or Ginger Tea

Peppermint and ginger are both used as natural remedies for upset stomachs, which personally I find helpful. If I don’t have time for tea, I will also try ginger chews or regular peppermints.

3. Hydrating

On some occasions I find slowly sipping on a glass of water helps my stomach feel better, and it can also be an opportunity to slow down for those few minutes. And really we all need to hydrate ourselves more often, so if nothing else, it’s good for your health.

4. Skipping “Tummy Trouble” Foods

We all have foods that get our tummy rumbling even when we aren’t anxious, and sometimes we choose to eat them even with consequences. When I know I’m already anxious, I do my best to avoid coffee or anything spicy — as I know they will only make the situation worse.

5. Upset Stomach Medicine

Sometimes it’s just best to reach into the medicine cabinet and use whatever is helpful to you in this situation, (and that your doctor has agreed you can take). I’ll use Tums now and then, and while it’s not a permanent solution, it can help in the moment, which sometimes is all I need.

6. Getting Some Fresh Air

By opening a window or stepping outside, even if just for a brief moment, I can sometimes curb the nausea. This can be a great time to do some of that deep breathing or be distracted by the sights and smells.

7. Trying to Eat Something

When a tummy isn’t feeling great, usually the last thing anyone wants to do is try to eat anything. For me though, I have found that having an empty stomach can actually make the feeling worse. It’s worth trying to munch on a few crackers, soup, rice or any of those foods we eat when sick. It can settle things down, and stop you from getting “hangry” on top of being anxious.

8. Utilizing Anxiety Medication

If you are prescribed an anti-anxiety medication, don’t be afraid to use it. If I notice anxiety is coming on, and if I remember to take my pill, I can usually stop the symptoms before they arrive.

Anxiety nausea is not a fun thing, but unfortunately it does come from time to time. If it is something you deal with regularly, it would be wise to discuss it with your doctor. They may be able to help you determine what some of your treatment options are, as well to rule out it isn’t actually coming from a different condition. If, like me, this is something you experience on occasion, hopefully some of these tips will make this problem a little less bothersome.  Please comment with any other suggestions you may have.

Getty Images photo via Dean Drobot

Originally published: June 6, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home