Most people have anxious, fearful, or nervous feelings from time to time. These are common reactions to unusual events in daily life.
Anxiety affects certain people regularly. Symptoms might range from feelings of worry or concern to bodily reactions. These symptoms are sometimes wrongly linked to other illnesses.
Chest pain, for example, might be a symptom of worry. Chest pain is a concern because of the probable link to heart attacks and other cardiac diseases. It is often the outcome of a panic attack or heightened reactivity.
If you have a lot of worries, understanding your chest discomfort might help you find symptom relief and recognize when you need more medical treatment.
Anxiety chest pain vs. heart attack
Chest pain is a worrying sign, and if you’re experiencing it, you should seek emergency medical help. Even if the root of your chest pain is anxiety, it’s better to be safe than sorry if you’re experiencing a heart attack.
When someone is undergoing a heart attack, they may experience chest discomfort in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples:
Pain in your chest that spreads to other parts of your body, such as your arms or jaw
chest pain that becomes worse with exertion nausea in addition to chest pain pressure in the chest, as if someone has pressed something heavy against your chest fast heart rate
A feeling of tightness in the chest
According to 2020 research trusted Source, 30 percent of people who are undergoing a heart attack don’t experience chest pain. Back pain and weariness are among the symptoms that some patients report as part of their heart attack symptoms.
Although doctors are aware of a link between anxiety and chest pain, you should not ignore your symptoms and seek medical help.
Contact your local emergency services if you’re having chest pain. Emergency personnel can assess you and decide whether you’re suffering a cardiac episode or whether your chest pain is caused by something else.
What it’s like to have anxious chest pain?
The symptoms of anxiety are rarely the same from one person to the next. Some days, even the same person’s symptoms aren’t the same. Anxiety manifests itself in a variety of ways, making it difficult to notice or comprehend symptoms.
Each person experiences anxiety-related chest pain differently. Chest pain might develop overtime for certain people. Others may experience pain that is abrupt and unexpected. Anxiety chest pain is defined as follows:
acute, stabbing discomfort
An uncommon muscular twitch or spasm in your chest heat, numbness, or a dull discomfort stabbing pressure chest tension or tightness
You should be concerned if you don’t have a history of chest pain associated with anxiousness. Many folks mistakenly believe they’re experiencing a heart attack and seek treatment at a hospital’s emergency department.
According to 2018 research, 25 to 50 percent of people who come to the emergency department with low-risk chest pain (chest pain that isn’t due to a heart attack) have moderate to severe anxiety.
If you visit a hospital’s emergency room and the doctors are unable to pinpoint a specific cause for your chest pain, talk to your doctor about other options, such as worry.
What causes pain in the chest?
When you’re worried, your body can and will react physically, such as sweating or shortness of breath.
When you’re anxious, your brain and body go into overdrive, triggering a stress reaction. A physiological alteration is included in this. Your body may tighten or get rigid.
A stress response might also include a psychological or emotional response. You may become more irritable or angry. The fight-or-flight response is the name given to these reactions. Your body prepares to fight back or flee when you are stressed or anxious.
If you haven’t had this fight-or-flight stress reaction in a long time, your body should be back to normal in 30 minutes. However, if you get it frequently, your body will not be able to recover as rapidly. This might result in increased muscle tension, which can cause pain in your chest.
Similarly, in a more stressful situation, your heart rate may rise and the force of your heartbeats may increase. When this is mixed with tight chest muscles, you may experience strange pain.
Treatment at home
There are some basic tactics you might attempt if you’re feeling worried. These tactics may not always work, but they’re a good place to start if you’re having trouble regulating your anxiety.
Deep breathing should be practiced.
Deep, focused breathing can help to relax both your mind and body. Inhale for a count of 10 in a quiet room or place. Hold for a second, then exhale for ten seconds. As your heart rate drops, repeat this exercise many times.
Assess the situation.
Accept your anxiety, acknowledge it, and then go through putting it into perspective.
Do you have concerns about something you can’t change? Are you afraid of an improbable outcome? Are you dreading a circumstance over which you have no control? Talk through your feelings to understand what’s generating them, and then try to put them into perspective.
Consider a lovely setting.
Try imagining a place that instantly soothes you if you’re feeling anxious. This is especially useful if you’re feeling anxious in an unavoidable scenario, such as a tough meeting. While visualizing this location, practice deep breathing.
Make use of a relaxing app.
Anxiety smartphone apps can help you learn stress-reduction tactics and exercises. When you’re feeling worried, there are also meditation applications that might help you calm down. Because many of these applications are free, you may check out a few to see which one works best for you.
Take charge of your physical well-being.
Are you looking after your body properly? How much sleep do you get regularly? Are you getting enough to eat? Taking care of your body entails taking care of your mind as well. While this will not alleviate anxiety-related chest pain, it may lower your risk of anxiety and consequent chest discomfort in the future.
Consult a physician.
You may need to see a therapist if your anxiety and chest pain is severe or chronic. They can help you work through anxiety-provoking circumstances and teach you coping methods.
If you’re frequently worried, these tactics may not come naturally to you. A healthcare professional can assist you in this situation.
A therapist or doctor might be able to teach you coping skills that will help you feel more in control and secure. Your symptoms, including chest pain, will lessen as you restore a sense of calm.
If coaching tactics or mental exercises aren’t working, a prescription may be necessary. Anti-anxiety drugs include risks and negative effects. However, taking them as a band-aid while you figure out how to deal with your symptoms can be beneficial.
Identifying worry as the source of your chest pain is a crucial first step toward resolving your problem. You’ll learn to manage unforeseen problems like chest pain as you learn to manage the side effects of anxiety.
While it’s impossible to predict whether or not you’ll suffer anxious chest discomfort again, arming yourself with coping skills and practices will help you feel more prepared and in control.