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what physical feelings of anxiety do you get?

Community Member

hey there, what physical symptoms of anxiety do you experience?

I often feel very alone in my experience of having physical chest (what I think are heart) spasms and was wanting to create a space for everyone to list their physical feelings that come hand in hand with anxiety so we can all feel less alone.

hope everyone is well.

795 Replies 795

Community Member
Have been dealing with spasms/twitches in all sorts of places on and off for almost 2 years, but the last few weeks I've had a return of chest and pectoral spasms and a weird spasms/twitch near the bottom of my sternum. It was originally a spasm like feeling in my chest that triggered my first panic attack and ER visit.

They're not painful and might happen a few times every few days but it's frightening as hell. It's hard to describe. They can come out of nowhere but tend to happen when I'm sitting or standing, not moving. I might actually go back and get some blood/electrolyte work done at the GP, but everytime they've come back fine and the GP is left scratching their head. Frequently I'll get twitches in my calves, arms, back, and chest, never had them before my first panic attacks.

On another note, I'd recommend the DARE app and its exercises. That app has really helped me to cultivate an attitude to just stop caring so much about what might happen to me. Plus just also a really nice thing to listen to.

Community Member
In my low level panic attacks I get tingles in my hands and arms, have this drop feeling in my chest and may get the feeling if needing to do a number 2... At my worst I have been dissociative, I couldn't walk, couldn't feel my arms and literally felt like I was going crazy. Like I needed an ambulance. It was after that I decided to do on medication. I still get some physiological symptoms, but definitely not as bad.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Looked at a computer screen and though I could see the words on it, it’s as if I could read it over and over again but it wasn’t going in. Got worse as I panicked about it. A bit different for me as I usually feel anxiety through stomach upset.

I notice too a massive drop in energy level when anxious. Like I suddenly feel a desperate need for a sleep but was fine 2 minutes ago. Then that stresses me out because it’s hard to feel confident completing tasks with no brain power.

Community Member

Hi Annabay!

I’m a bit late to the party as I’m only new to forums but here goes

My physical symptoms of anxiety can include

- a warm burning sensation down the back of my neck or through my arms + chest

- a lump in my throat like I’ve swallowed a large piece of food and can’t quite get it down, which turns into me stressing about choking

- heart palpitations and racing pulse

- blurry vision and the feeling I’m going blind. (Thinking vision is cloudy or getting tunnel vision)

- nausea and stomach problems

- headaches, mostly down the back of my head and into my neck

- I’ll get the shakes, my muscles will twitch and spasm

I don’t usually get all these symptoms at the same time unless I’m having a major panic attack but even then I usually will cycle through them with 1 or 2 at a time. Anxiety is such a strange thing but we have to remember, it’s HARMLESS!!!

hope you’re all well!

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Chest tightness, pins and needles over my whole body, the shakes, dizziness, hyperventilating, “cotton wool” brain where I can’t think.

Community Member

I’m so glad there are other people on here who I can relate to. I don’t know too many people who’ve had similar symptoms to me but reading through the comments makes me understand otherwise!

When I first got anxiety 11 years ago my symptoms were:

- lump in my throat like before you start crying but it never goes away and it makes you freak out about feeling like you’re choking.

- all over body shakes and muscle spasms

- racing heart

- anxiety attacks where I couldn’t breathe

- nausea

- diarrhoea

- heart pain/chest pain

- increased gag reflex

Now, I still get symptoms but they’ve sort of narrowed down and worsened in my opinion and feel more long term.

- lump in throat still

- gag reflex really sensitive

- swallowing reflex

- heart palpitations

- sudden and random pain in lungs lasting a few seconds

- false sense of asthma onset


- panic and especially in crowds when it never used to happen

- fear of heights

i hope this helps anyone struggling and feeling like their symptoms aren’t valid or understood. I think everyone has different symptoms and they’re all valid ❤️

Hey everyone! and to Annabay who created this excellent thread back in 2019

Lucyyy mentioned 'Anxiety is such a strange thing but we have to remember, it’s HARMLESS!!!' Good1 Lucyyy

Hey GG224....Welcome and thankyou for taking the time to post your symptoms...I used to have the same and yes anxiety is an awful set of symptoms for sure

Just from my own experience....If our anxiety begins to interfere with our ability to function on daily basis...whether at work school or personal life seeing our GP can reduce our anxiety issues

my kind thoughts


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Guys! I am new to this and very excited to get involved!

I would say when I get anxious, the number one thing I experience is the sick feeling in the stomach, the tight chest and sometimes my body shakes if I am really anxious about something. Although, it is good to tell yourself that these symptoms are okay and it is just your body trying to keep you safe. I know from my therapy sessions I have learnt that it is a safety mechanism, therefore tell yourself that your safe, your okay and you will get through it. The body and mind can do amazing things to protect us.

I hope this has helped some people,


Brooke 🙂

Hi Brooke

Welcome to the forums and thankyou for helping other members with your own experience! We are usually quick when replying to new members.....oops!

Brooke mentioned 'I experience is the sick feeling in the stomach, the tight chest and sometimes my body shakes if I am really anxious about something. Although, it is good to tell yourself that these symptoms are okay and it is just your body trying to keep you safe"

I really hope you can continue to post Brooke....only if and when you wish of course 🙂

my kind thoughts


Community Member

Hello everyone!

Two years ago, when I was first diagnosed with anxiety, my main symptom was dizzy spells.

This time around, I have been experiencing the "sick to my stomach" feeling, shaking and coldness (especially if something/someone has just upset me) and, weirdly enough, forgetting words when I am speaking or even thinking by myself!

But I just noticed that GG224 mentioned gag reflect and I have been experiencing this for the last few months. I didn't think it would be down to anxiety but thought it was weird that out of the blue I was struggling to take my morning tablets.

Thanks for listening and hope to learn from others.