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3 Physical Symptoms I Experience Because of My Anxiety

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Everyone experiences things differently and there are a multitude of physical symptoms for anxiety, but I am going to focus on the symptoms I experience. There are many other symptoms I do not experience, and each person’s situation is different from everyone else’s. Many of these symptoms are common among anyone with anxiety, but I wonder if it is common for others to experience all these symptoms together as I do.  These are only the physical symptoms, and this does not include all the emotional or cognitive symptoms I face.

Here are the physical symptoms I experience because of my anxiety:

1. Muscle Tension

This can cause several different symptoms to include aches and pains, muscle stiffness, sore back and shoulders and neck, headaches, jaw pain, etc… With anxiety, my body is in fight or flight mode constantly. This adrenaline causes my blood vessels to constrict which limits the blood flow to my muscles, which causes tension and makes my muscles fatigued. People with anxiety may try to limit their activity, but this feels unnatural to me and causes more muscle stress and can lead to stiffness.

2. Hypersensitivity

I constantly feel every little thing happening in my body. I feel every ache and pain. My nausea is amplified. Headaches can lead to migraines. I feel my heart pumping the blood through my body. I hear pounding in my ears from the blood flow. I feel my whole body shake with each heartbeat when I lay still. Being tired is something I feel throughout my whole body — head to toe. Each time I move my arm, I can feel the knot in my shoulder that has been there for years and no amount of stretching makes it go away. This can increase when I’m experiencing a panic attack or anxiety attack.

3. Hyperventilation

This basically means I have too much oxygen in my body and not enough carbon dioxide. This can cause numbness in my hands, feet, legs and arms. Paresthesia is another effect — the “pins and needles” feeling like you pinched a nerve while sleeping. The body sends shock waves to wake up the nerve and that is what causes the tingling needle feeling. This can also cause your hands and feet too feel cold, which may indicate a blood flow issue.

Some physical symptoms may be caused by something other than anxiety and it is always best to consult with a doctor to be sure and determine the best treatment. Also, be aware that just because someone may have some of these physical symptoms, that does not always mean they have anxiety. Limiting the stress in your life, regular exercise and a healthy diet are the best options to relieve many of these symptoms and always consult with a doctor when considering making serious lifestyle changes. I have only recently realized how long I have been living with these symptoms and I did not treat them properly. Do not let these symptoms go untreated as it will only add to your anxiety and stress and create more physical symptoms.

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Unsplash photo via Keagan Henman

Originally published: February 12, 2018
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