Everyone experiences anxiety sometimes. Whether it is in anticipation for something scary or exciting, apprehension about a difficult situation, or being nervous about performing, everyone has a trigger for anxious feelings. Anxiety can affect people in many different ways. There are mental, emotional, and physical symptoms for anxiety. One of the most common physical symptoms for anxiety is experiencing stomach pain.
What Does Anxiety Stomach Pain Feel Like?
For many anxious people, it is likely that stomach pain is the result of feeling nervous, tense or upset. Some may confuse the pain with being sick, but if there is no fever or other symptoms present, but there is anxiety, chances are the stomachache is due to anxiety. There are several ways a person can experience an anxious stomachache. Such ways include:
- Muscle tension
- Acid reflux
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
What Causes an Anxiety Stomach Pain?
Anxiety causes digestive activity to increase, resulting in the release of stomach acid in reaction to stress. As the stomach becomes more active more acid is produced and the normal digestive functioning is interrupted. If left untreated through mental health or psychiatric treatment, this nervous reaction that happens in the stomach has the potential for major consequences. The more time that goes by without addressing these issues the higher a person’s chances of developing long-term consequences like irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers.
How to Ease Anxiety Stomach Pain
Anxiety stomach pain is quite uncomfortable, and sometimes may be difficult to control. However, there are some tips that can help ease the symptoms of anxiety stomachaches:
- Be sure to keep a healthy diet. Incorporate healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed sugars, caffeine and sodium. Also, try eating ginger and drinking soothing, decaffeinated teas. Do not drink coffees or other products that have high acidity content.
- Maintain your personal self-care regiment. It is important to take care of yourself. If you don’t remember to take time to yourself you will experience burnout. Burnout will cause anxiety, depression, and anxiety stomachaches. As part of your self-care, be sure you get enough sleep. Sleep is important for managing stress and preventing emotional disturbances.
- Practice mindfulness skills. Mindfulness exercises like deep breathing and meditation go a long way in managing anxiety. Deep breathing when feeling anxious will prevent anxiety stomachaches by bringing oxygen to the muscles, which prevents them from tensing. The relaxed muscles will prevent the body from reacting to the anxiety, which will reduce the chances of a stomachache.
- Seek support. It can sometimes be hard to understand what is going on with your anxiety, emotions, and body. That is why it is important to develop a support network. Counseling services like private therapy and support groups can be beneficial in learning how to understand and cope with your anxiety and resulting stomach pain. Having professional and peer support can will you learn skills and treatments to reduce and prevent stomach pain induced by anxiety.
Most importantly, it is important to have a plan. Stomach pain can come about unexpectedly. Sometimes the pain will have a trigger, and sometimes it will not. Regardless of the situation, it is important to be prepared. Developing a safety plan for when you experience symptoms can help a great deal in preventing stomach pain. Be sure take preventative measures, like speaking to a doctor about medication and learning coping skills from a counselor or mental health professional to preventing anxiety stomachaches.