I have spoken about anxiety a few times on this blog yet I don’t think I have ever spoken about the physical symptoms of having anxiety. Anxiety overlaps with a lot of other conditions (and vice versa) such as depression and stress so symptoms may extend to these too. I am going to mention some of the symptoms I get and how I cope with/help improve them.
- Tight Chest – This is definitely not a nice feeling and you usually feel as though there is not enough Oxygen in the air or there’s a weight pressing down on you. It can be really hard to get rid of but taking deep consistent breaths and getting into a position where your chest is more open can help. Not panicking is essential as it will make you feel worse! Probably easier said than done but reminding yourself as to why you are experiencing this can help. I also find that Lavender can help to make you feel more relaxed and it becomes a bit easier to help. Alternatively if have something on your mind talking it through with someone calm and logical can help you to break down your thoughts and help you feel less overwhelmed – Cue my dad!
- Tummy troubles – Anxiety is something that triggers my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) which can really make me feel all jumbled. Various pains and funny feelings happen which can make you feel like you want to do nothing but cuddle up on the sofa! On these days I find that having basic foods can help, nothing elaborate, nothing creamy or rich. Something as simple as toast, crackers with added fibre or yoghurt can help to feel less fragile and messy. Drinks wise I find that mint teas and possibly a glass of milk can also help to make me feel more settled.
- Headaches/Body aches – Often anxiety sufferers get pain in a certain area, this is usually a place where you suffer with tension in your body. Quite often this is the head/neck region. I personally suffer with a bad back and shoulders which then inflames nerves affecting my neck and head. This can be super painful and unfortunately not a lot helps! Having someone who has knowledge of pressure points (Hi mum!) is useful, however, when they aren’t with you, you could try painkillers or heat packs. Painkillers don’t tend to do much for me but I have recently purchased a lavender heat pack which you heat up in the microwave and wrap around your neck/shoulders. A lavender gel applied to pressure points could also help as could a relaxing bath!