Frustration with the symptoms is a common situation with anxiety. Anxiety sweating is one of those common symptoms that is especially frustrating. Part of this frustration is the fact that sweating is something that can easily be seen.
Sweat can pop out on your forehead when you’re anxious. It can soak your underarms and be visible to everyone. Your palms can feel like a wet dish cloth when they sweat and you have to shake hands.
Anxiety sweating is a nuisance. And it’s entirely normal.
When you feel anxious, your body swings into a normal stress response. Certain chemicals and hormones are secreted to help you deal with the anxiety. When these hormones and chemicals go to work, your body heats up. Sweating is the natural way to cool your body down. If you didn’t sweat, your body would overheat. The result of that could be damage to your brain and other organ systems.
Why Do People Fear Anxiety Sweating?
Probably the biggest reason people fear anxiety sweating is the attention it can bring to them. When you’re sweating in a cool room people notice. Someone will want to know what’s going on, if you’re feeling all right. Then everyone else in the room will be looking at you with those expressions of concern or wonder.
And that makes you more anxious.
Then, what if you have to shake hands with someone and your palms are dripping with sweat? Or you have to sign something, and the paper sticks to your skin because of the sweat?
Embarrassing and more anxiety producing.
And then there’s the smell. Or, at least the fear of smelling sweaty. Anxiety sweating, and all other types of sweating as well, is full of body chemicals that make for a perfect place for bacteria to grow. These bacteria bring the sweaty smell we’re all familiar with.
Typical Steps to Anxiety Sweating
Step one: You begin thinking about your sweating as something shameful. Let’s face it, everybody sweats. But people sweat differently and for different reasons. When you see yours as so different as to be shameful, it grows in intensity. There may have been an experience in the past that stamped this into your memory.
Step two: You begin anticipating anxiety sweating. Just like many other things you don’t want to happen, the more you think about it, the worse it feels. All kinds of thoughts about how terrible sweating will be course through your mind. Every one of them feels like a certainty.
Step three: You do everything you can to prevent anxiety sweating. Nothing works. They only focus your mind more on what you don’t want to happen. They only serve to make sweating more likely.
What Can You Do?
The major thing to do is get rid of your anxiety. Find the cause and deal with it. Until then, learn to relax. Find a relaxation method that works for you and do it. Accept sweating as normal. Wear the right kind of clothing that can breathe. Tell yourself it’s okay to sweat.