10 Physical Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

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By gareth
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Reviewed: dr. vanta
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. 'Anxiety Disorders.' Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 4 May 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961
  • 2. 'Calm Your Anxious Heart.' Harvard Health, 1 Oct. 2019, www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/calm-your-anxious-heart
  • 3. 'What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety?' British Lung Foundation, 22 Apr. 2021, www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/looking-after-your-mental-health/anxiety/symptoms
  • 4. 'How to Calm an Anxious Stomach: The Brain-Gut Connection.' Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA, 19 July 2018, adaa.org/learn-from-us/from-the-experts/blog-posts/consumer/how-calm-anxious-stomach-brain-gut-connection
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Anxiety is a normal emotional response to a threat or psychological stress. In excess, however, it may severely impact a person's quality of life with physical and psychological symptoms. A racing heartbeat, upset stomach, dizziness and sweating are some common bodily signs of anxiety.1‘Anxiety Disorders.’ Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 4 May 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961

These symptoms may be intense enough to be mistaken for other illnesses. On the other hand, the person experiencing them may be fully aware of the cause, yet feel unable to manage it. There are many possible causes of anxiety, ranging from stress to medication side effects. While the symptoms can be unpleasant, anxiety is usually a manageable condition.

Fight or Flight

Humans evolved to react almost instantly to threats. In times where danger lurked behind the tree line, this served well as a survival mechanism. In the 21st century, scenarios requiring extra awareness and physical readiness still exist but are thankfully rarer.

What are still present, though, are stress-causing situations. Nowadays, problem anxiety commonly occurs due to perceived threats and a resulting stress response. The body prepares itself to either run away or face the danger. It does this by increasing blood supply to vital organs, speeding up breathing and making someone hyperaware of their surroundings.

Anxiety

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