Although anxiety may seem like something that exists only in your mind, it can definitely show up in your body, too. In fact, the physical signs of anxiety can wear on you like any other ailment of the body. It's just another aspect of anxiety's wide-reaching effects.
Characterized by excessive fears and worries, anxiety-related disorders can be debilitating, as explained Anxiety.org. They are also exceedingly commonplace. Approximately 18 percent of United States adults, or around 40 million people aged 18 to 54, experience anxiety disorders, as explained on Anxiety Centre. It's known as the top mental health issue in the US. But unfortunately for the many people affected by it, anxiety definitely does not exist only inside a person's mind. Anxiety can reach out into the body, affecting everything from the way you breathe to your heart rate. It's an insidious and sometimes unrelenting condition.
That said, help is always available. If you or a loved one seems to be dealing with an anxiety disorder, don't hesitate to reach out. A physician, therapist, or counselor can set you on the path toward better mental health. In the meantime, review these physical signs of anxiety to see how many of them sound familiar.
Got a throbbing head? Headaches are a common symptom of anxiety disorders, as noted by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). In fact, someone who visits the doctor specifically for headache pain may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. The two often go hand-in-hand.
2. Jaw Clenching & Teeth Grinding
The muscles in your face can bear the brunt of an anxiety disorder. In particular, anxiety can often lead to intense teeth grinding and jaw clenching, as noted in Everyday Health. This grinding can further lead to joint problems, ear pain, and dental issues, as also explained on Everyday Health. And as someone who once destroyed an expensive dental implant with her habitual teeth grinding, I know this is one aggravating symptom.
You'd think anxiety would give you a ton of nervous energy, if nothing else. But the opposite is often true. The muscle tension, adrenaline crash, and mental fatigue often associated with anxiety symptoms can make you super tired, according to the Calm Clinic. If you're feeling wiped out all the time, anxiety may be to blame.
4. Shortness Of Breath
This can be a particularly scary symptom. When feelings of anxiety and panic take over, breathing can become much shallower, as explained in Very Well mind. You may not even be consciously aware of the shorter breaths until it becomes physically difficult to get any air at all.
Some random muscle spasms here and there are perfectly normal. But anxiety can stress the body and cause nerves to fire off erratically, as explained in Anxiety Center. When this happens, any muscle group or single muscle can start spazzing on its own. Nervous tics are real, in other words.
Anxiety doesn't take the night off, either. As it turns out, anxiety can cause sleeping issues, and sleep deprivation may lead to an anxiety disorder, as explained by the ADAA. They're two sides of the same awful coin.
7. Stomach Upset
Don't blame food poisoning just yet. As it turns out, anxiety is a common cause of stomach trouble, as explained in Calm Clinic. Plus, this symptom can really interfere with your daily life, in addition to making you feel pretty terrible.
8. Frequent Urination
If you're making bathroom trips all the time, it may not mean that you're hydrating too much. In fact, anxiety can cause frequent urination, as noted in Anxiety Centre. It's actually a common stress reaction.
9. Pounding Heartbeat
Is your pulse pounding even when you're not working out at the moment? Anxiety and heart problems are so connected that people who have generalized anxiety disorder appear to suffer higher rates of heart attacks, as explained in Harvard Health. If this or any other symptom of anxiety is causing you more concern, then reach out to your physician for advice today.