Does anxiety cause chest pain?
Yes, anxiety can cause chest pain. Chest pain associated with anxiety or a panic attack is usually perceived as a tightness or pressure in the chest area and can sometimes be accompanied by palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, and nausea. The intensity of the pain or discomfort may vary from mild to severe and can last for a few minutes up to an hour or more. It’s important to see your doctor if you experience any unusual chest pains since it could also be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
How Anxiety causes chest pain
Anxiety can cause chest pain by triggering the body’s fight-or-flight response. This response causes your heart to beat faster, your breathing to become shallow and rapid, and increased blood pressure. These physical changes can cause tension in the chest area and lead to chest pain. Additionally, stress hormones such as adrenaline are released during a panic attack which may contribute to the feeling of tightness or pressure in the chest. Other symptoms such as dizziness, palpitations, nausea, and sweating may also be present due to an increase in muscle tension stemming from anxiety.
Chest pain that is caused by anxiety may be attributed to muscle tension. When an individual experiences high levels of stress, the body can naturally tense up in response causing painful sensations throughout the torso as a result.
Anxiety-induced chest pain is typically not a cause for alarm as it can often be resolved with self-care measures. If, however, you are unsure of the underlying cause and experiencing persistent consternation in your chest area then make sure to consult with a healthcare professional immediately – they will work diligently to determine what’s causing this discomfort so that an appropriate treatment plan can be devised.
What Can You do if You Are Suffering From Chest Pain Caused by Anxiety?
If you are suffering from chest pain caused by anxiety, it is important to seek help from a medical professional. While self-care measures such as deep breathing and mindful meditation can be helpful for mild cases of chest pain caused by anxiety, more severe forms of the condition should be handled by a doctor or mental health provider.
As part of treatment for chest pain caused by anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be recommended to help manage symptoms. CBT typically involves identifying and challenging unhelpful thought patterns that contribute to increased levels of stress and anxiety. It can also be used to develop coping skills and healthy ways of dealing with stressful situations.
In addition to CBT, medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be prescribed to reduce feelings of anxiousness and panic attacks associated with chest pain. Although these medications are generally safe, side effects can occur so it’s important to discuss any risks with your doctor before taking them.
To calm yourself down when experiencing chest pain due to anxiety, you can try the following:
- Deep breathing exercises: Slow and steady breathing can act as a natural remedy for soothing anxious feelings. Take deep breaths, feeling the air fill your lungs up to their fullest potential before pausing slightly and slowly releasing it all out again. This mindful technique will help you reach increased levels of inner peace while slowing down your pulse rate at the same time.
- Meditation: Take a moment to center your thoughts and focus on the present. By taking this step, you can find peace of mind amid chaos and release yourself from overwhelming stress.
- Relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing exercises can also be effective in helping relieve chest pain associated with anxiety. Mindfulness techniques such as meditation or yoga can also help you approach stressful situations in a more positive light and manage your emotional responses in a healthier way. Additionally, regular exercise or physical activity has been shown to have an overall calming effect on the body which can reduce symptoms of chest pain associated with anxiety.
Chest pain can be a sign of an underlying medical issue, so it is advised to seek immediate care from your doctor if the discomfort is severe or prolonged. Simultaneously seeking help from a mental health professional may also be beneficial in assessing and managing anxiety levels that could potentially contribute to chest pains down the line.