4 Physical Signs of Anxiety You Shouldn’t Ignore

The chances are that we will all have to deal with anxiety at a certain point in our lives. It is not just evident in our mood and character. Anxiety also has many intense physical symptoms. When you’re anxious, your nervous system is much more sensitive to external triggers. You will probably find yourself responding to things that don’t usually affect other people. We’ll state the four most common physical signs of anxiety which you shouldn’t ignore. If they ring true to you, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Also, take a look at some easy anxiety-dealing tips given at the end of the text.

#1 Various stomach issues as physical symptoms of anxiety

Emotional imbalance and anxiety create stomach issues. If you suffer from chronic anxiety, you probably experience everyday ups and downs in your digestive system. As your stomach is full of muscles and nerves, prolonged or intense stress disturbs the balance in your complex digestive system. Stomach issues related to anxiety can vary from nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, abdominal pains, cramping, heartburn, etc.

How to calm your stomach

When we are under pressure, we tend to crave more sugar, caffeine, and processed foods. Unfortunately, they have no real nutritional value and can only make things worse. Try eating nutrient-dense foods to improve your microbiome with their digestive enzymes. Also, buy a good probiotic.

A young man in sleepwear suffering from pain.
Stomach issues are among the most common physical signs of anxiety.

#2 Increased heart rate followed by shortness of breath

The biological response to fear and severe stress releases adrenaline and norepinephrine. Those hormones can cause a series of physical signs of anxiety. Increased heart rate is one of the first things you’ll experience when placed in a stressful situation. Shortness of breath will follow. For some people, it can even feel like they’re about to have a heart attack. These “fight or flight” hormones also increase blood pressure and muscle tension. You may feel like you can’t catch your breath, even if you’re perfectly still and in no apparent danger. Extreme shortness of breath is a precursor to a panic attack, and it shouldn’t be ignored.

How to help yourself

To fight these unpleasant symptoms, ensure you have at least 30 minutes each day to disengage your mind. Find something that works for you: reading, singing, watching a comedy, art. The physical and mental health benefits of painting can be enormous. Any other activity that helps you focus and let your mind at ease will be good for you.

#3 Attention deficit, memory lapses, headaches

When we are overly stressed, it becomes challenging to focus on and access our memories and information. In a state of anxiety, our body shuts down all the functions that aren’t directly necessary for surviving. Also, when you’re anxious, you might be annoyed by things you otherwise wouldn’t. Everything can seem more complicated than it really is. For example, relocation often triggers such emotions. Therefore, if you’re moving, make sure to have a precise moving plan to follow, hire professional help, and stay positive throughout the whole process. Remember that every relocation brings new opportunities and chances to start a new life chapter better, with fresh energy.

Another physical symptom of chronic anxiety is frequent headaches. That happens because stress creates muscle tension everywhere in our body, including areas around the head. Additional caffeine consumption can exacerbate this symptom.

How to ease your mind

Try exercising breathing techniques designed for relaxation and focus. To stay productive at your work and other life segments, you need to lower your trepidation. Whenever you can, surround yourself with positive people, spend time outdoors, etc.

Man touching his hair
One of the physical symptoms of anxiety is having frequent headaches.

#4 Sleep disorders and chronic fatigue

If you have a manageable schedule with enough mental breaks and enough sleep, you’ll usually feel energetic right after waking up in the morning. Also, you’ll be able to sleep easily at night, proudly knowing that you did all you could in one day. On the other hand, people who deal with anxiety have the lowest cortisol levels in the morning and higher at night. That leads to troubles in the sleeping cycle. Tired in the morning, yawning throughout the day, then burned-out and unable to fall asleep at night. You want to rest, but you simply can’t. Sounds familiar?

How to establish a healthy sleep cycle

To help your sleeping rhythm, practice a consistent sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each day, with a healthy morning routine to set the mood for the rest of the day.

Tips on dealing with physical signs of anxiety

The key to managing anxiety is finding ways to relax. People who have dealt with anxiety mention the methods listed below as the most helpful. Try to incorporate them into your lifestyle, not all at once, but step by step.

  • Be active – at first, it may be hard to get into a daily exercise routine, but remember that physical activities are very beneficial for combating anxiety symptoms. Yoga can do wonders here.
  • Eat healthy meals – avoid too much sugar, sodas, and fast-food. A balanced diet will help you manage anxiety problems. It’s not “comfort food” if it just makes matters worse in the long run. Also, remember to drink enough water each day – that alone can have very tangible benefits.
  • Be organized – writing things down, having to-do lists, checklists, and a schedule can help get things done. The feeling when you cross things off the list and see your success is incredible. One little win at a time.
  • Stress management – meditation is particularly beneficial. Find a way to relax your body and mind to reduce stress. Maybe a massage or a whole spa day? A day in nature? Whatever makes you happy.
  • Have a good night’s sleep – if you’re dealing with chronic anxiety, sleeping is probably one of the biggest problems you have. Natural supplements like melatonin have proved to be real lifesavers.
Woman stretching before a workout
Exercises are very beneficial for overcoming anxiety symptoms.


You need to know that not all people suffering from anxiety have the same symptoms. The same goes for those struggling with depression. Some individuals will have other physical signs of anxiety, like jaw pain, neck pain, inexplicable sweating, chronic migraines, irritability, etc. Some people deal with high-functioning anxiety and experience an invasive restlessness.

They feel highly energized but in an uncomfortable way, like jumping out of their skin. If any of these feels too familiar to you, speaking with your doctor is the right thing to do.  The first step to cure anxiety is to understand it, accept it, and realize that you’re not alone in the fight. When you know the biology behind the symptoms, there is a way to treat them and lead a happier life. And remember to reward yourself for each accomplished goal!

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