When most people hear the term anxiety, they think about feelings of unease, fear, or nervousness. While these are hallmarks of anxiety, they’re not the only symptoms. Anxiety can also manifest through physical symptoms and make you feel sick.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal emotion that everyone experiences at some point in their life. It’s characterized by unwarranted feelings of worry, nervousness, or fear. For most people, anxiety is short-lived and manageable. However, for some people, anxiety can be more chronic and debilitating.
When anxiety becomes chronic, it can start to interfere with your daily life. It can make it hard to concentrate, sleep, or eat. Anxiety can also lead to physical symptoms like a racing heart, sweating, shaking, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
How Can Anxiety Make You Feel Physically Sick?
While everyone experiences anxiety differently, there are some physical symptoms associated with anxiety that can make you feel sick. These symptoms result from the “fight-or-flight” response, your body’s natural response to stress or perceived danger.
When you feel anxious, your body releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones increase your heart rate and blood pressure, leading to physical symptoms like racing heart, sweating, shortness of breath, or shaking.
The body also diverts blood from your digestive system and redirects it towards your muscles. This can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or a feeling of “butterflies” in the stomach. The “fight-or-flight” response can also trigger other symptoms like headaches, dizziness, brain zaps, lightheadedness, chronic pain, chest pains, and panic attacks – all of which can make you feel physically sick.
It is worth noting that the physical symptoms of anxiety can be just as debilitating as the emotional and psychological symptoms. If left untreated, ongoing anxiety can lead to other health problems like lowered immunity, heart disease, ulcers, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Managing Symptoms of Anxiety
Living with anxiety can be overwhelming, but there are things you can do to manage your symptoms. It is important to understand that everyone experiences anxiety differently, and what works for one person might not work for another. That said, some general tips for managing anxiety disorder include:
Practicing Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques can help to reduce anxiety and promote feelings of calmness and general wellbeing. Some relaxation techniques that you can try include deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, yoga, or tai chi.
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. It triggers the release of endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. Exercising also helps to reduce tension and improve sleep, both of which can help reduce anxiety.
Eating a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet has also been shown to help to reduce anxiety. Foods high in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium are particularly helpful in reducing anxiety.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation can trigger or worsen anxiety. Make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Getting enough sleep will also help to reduce fatigue, improve concentration, and stabilize mood.
Talk To Your Doctor
If anxiety interferes with your daily life, it’s vital to talk to your doctor. A mental health professional can help identify the root cause of your anxiety and develop a personalized treatment plan. Treatment for anxiety may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both.
Anxiety is a serious mental illness that can interfere with your daily life and make you feel physically sick. If you think you may be suffering from anxiety, talk to your doctor. There are a number of effective treatments and lifestyle changes available that can help you manage your symptoms and live a healthy, happy life.