Everyone experiences some form of anxiety from time to time, with some people experiencing it more than others. Anxiety can also manifest itself in a variety of different ways, especially physically. Many people may not realize that the physical symptoms they’re experiencing aren’t due to an illness, but a result of becoming extremely anxious. Here are some common ways anxiety manifests itself physically, and natural ways to alleviate anxiety symptoms.
Doctors believe that anxiety and headaches are linked, but they aren’t sure how they are exactly. The reason may be that the chemical in the brain that controls mood, pain, and sleep (serotonin) may be a reason. What is known is that headaches are linked to generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), where one is experiencing worry constantly and finds it hard to control. It’s just hard to determine if those who suffer from headaches later develop anxiety, or if those with anxiety later develop headaches— as it could be either of these.
Headaches vary in their intensity, so some remedies may be more effective than others. Aromatherapy is a popular natural remedy used to find relief from headaches, and other ways to alleviate anxiety as well. Lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint oils may have some relieving effects when it comes to both headaches and anxiety.
When dealing with anxiety and stress in general, you tend to hold a lot of tension in certain parts of your body, with the neck and shoulder muscles being two of the most common places. Oftentimes you won’t even realize that you’re doing it and can be holding that tension for hours on end.
Exercising is a good way to relieve some muscle tension since it requires you to engage your muscles intentionally. Exercise is also a good way to relieve stress and anxiety, whether it’s something as simple as yoga or walking, or something more intense like weightlifting and cardiovascular exercises. Just be sure that you’re also consuming a healthy diet. Nutrition can impact workout quality and also help with muscle tightness.
Stomachaches, nausea, and other gastrointestinal problems can be caused by anxiety. This is very common, as it happens when people experience small amounts of anxiety (such as nervousness, resulting in “butterflies” in the stomach). However, if you experience generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or another type of anxiety disorder, it feels more intense than just a “butterflies” in the stomach sensation. It can also trigger heartburn and acid reflux.
More often than not, people tend to seek relief from these symptoms by taking over-the-counter (OTC) antacids. Unfortunately, the popular antacid Zantac has been known to cause cancer in the stomach and other surrounding organs, so it’s best to discontinue use and seek more natural options. This reason alone is why it’s so important to get cancer screenings to know your risk and status. With gastrointestinal issues, ginger is known as a cure-all herb, but it’s probably most well-known for treating nausea. Try ginger chews, ginger tea, and/or all-natural ginger ale. Other good foods to try to help with nausea include plain bread/toast, bananas, applesauce, and rice.
Anxiety is known to cause a variety of other symptoms as well. Every person who experiences anxiety is different, so you may have all, one, or none of these symptoms. The important thing is to try to alleviate your symptoms in the most helpful and healthiest ways possible. Some common ways to alleviate anxiety include exercising, aromatherapy, reducing caffeine intake, writing, chewing gum, socializing with friends and family, yoga and meditation, deep breathing, and listening to calming music. You can also try taking supplements, such as ashwagandha, green tea, and lemon balm, as they all have anxiety-reducing properties.
If you have anxiety and you experience any of the physical symptoms, try these natural remedies. Of course, you should still consult with a medical professional to confirm that this is caused by anxiety, rather than another issue.