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    9 ways anxiety can show in your body

    9 ways anxiety can show in your body

    When people think of anxiety it is often the psychological symptoms that tend to first come to mind, but there are also some very real physical symptoms linked to anxiety that are worth being aware of. When we experience anxiety our body experiences a chain of events that is designed to help us when we are in situations of real danger: this is known as the ‘flight of fight’ response. As a result of this response, we can experience a range of physical symptoms that we may not initially realise are linked to our anxiety.


    Headaches are one of the first signs of illness. Yet they are also frequently caused by anxiety and may be more common with severe anxiety. Anxiety puts a considerable amount of stress on the body and can lead to several different types of sensations that may be described as headaches. Some people experience more of a pressure than a pain. Others experience dull pain, and still others experience shooting pains.

    Jaw clenching and 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. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching (also called bruxism) doesn’t always cause symptoms but some people get facial pain and headaches, and it can wear down your teeth over time. … It often happens during sleep or while concentrating or under stress. Night guards such as the F.O.S. splint, whilst not addressing the issue of anxiety, can at least protect your teeth from grinding, and prevent the headaches and migraines often caused by bruxism


    High tension levels coupled with worry / mental exhaustion that are common symptoms of anxiety can lead to feelings of extreme tiredness

    Shortness of breath

    This can be a particularly scary symptom. When feelings of anxiety and panic take over, breathing can become much shallower. You may not even be consciously aware of the shorter breaths until it becomes physically difficult to get any air at all.


    Muscle twitching is absolutely a sign of anxiety, and one that can cause a great deal of distress. Usually the fear with muscle twitching is that it might mean something more. People worry that their twitching may not just be anxiety, and if it is, they worry that they can’t control it.


    Most adults have had some trouble sleeping because they feel worried or nervous, but for some it’s a pattern that interferes with sleep on a regular basis. Anxiety may be associated with onset insomnia (trouble falling asleep), or maintenance insomnia (waking up during the night and not being able to return to sleep). In either case, the quiet and inactivity of night often brings on stressful thoughts or even fears that keep a person awake.

    Upset stomach

    Anxiety is a common cause of stomach trouble… and for good reason. The brain and gut are connected via the vagus nerve, one of the largest nerves in the body. This nerve sends signals from the brain to gut and vice versa, increasing digestive irritability and irregularity when stress and anxiety occurs.

    Frequent urination

    Behaving anxiously activates the stress response. Part of the stress response changes include causing the body to eliminate waste so that we don’t have to stop and use the bathroom when in the midst of fighting with or fleeing from danger. Having an urgency to urinate is an example of this. This is why many people who are anxious or nervous have a sudden urge to pee. Moreover, a part of the stress responses changes also cause the body’s metabolism to increase, which can cause the body to process fluids more quickly than normal. So, an active stress response can cause a feeling of urgent or frequent urination, but so can persistently elevated stress.

    Pounding heartbeat

    One of the most common causes of heart palpitations is anxiety. If you’re nervous or stressed out, your brain releases hormones that can cause your heart to pound.