This article will explain if feeling that your legs are weak is a sign of anxiety. It will also show why this happens, and the best ways for you to cope with it.
Are weak legs a sign of anxiety?
Yes, weak legs can often be a sign of anxiety. Those, that are also known as jelly legs, rubber legs, or shaky legs, can be a common symptom of anxiety.
When they happen, you can feel like your legs won’t be able to support you, and walking, or even standing feels difficult. In other moments, it just seems like your legs are numb, or just extremely tired, as you have just run a marathon, but you didn’t.
To some people, the weak legs can come with a sense of stiffness. You feel as if your legs are so stiff, that it would be impossible to move. Having weak legs can make you question if, when you are anxious, you will be able to move, or if you will collapse.
It is important to know that when anxiety leads to weak legs, it doesn’t mean that you will feel both legs this way. Sometimes people can experience just one weak leg, or it can go back and forth from one to the other, and it can also affect both legs.
Depending on the person, it can be a frequent symptom or one that happens rarely, since each person manifests anxiety in a particular way. And it can come before the anxiety is escalating, or during it. And the intensity of it can go from mild, moderate, or severe. But let’s understand a little more about why anxiety can lead to weak legs.
Why does anxiety cause weak legs?
There are two reasons why you will feel weak legs as you become anxious. It can be an effect of the stress reaction, which means that, when your mind understands you are in danger, it will secrete cortisol, the hormone that is connected to stress.
This will activate the fight or flight response in your body, which causes your body to behave differently, and one of these changes is the weak leg. The intensity of it will often be related to the intensity of the anxiety the person is feeling. And it will often improve when the person begins to feel better.
You can also feel weak legs when you have been exposed to stress for a prolonged period, which is called hyperstimulation. It can be that the person is dealing with stress for too long, or it has been quite frequent in their lives, for example, if they are constantly worried about things.
This means that the body won’t have time to recover from stressful situations, and is left in a state of semi-stress, which is also known as stress-response hyperstimulation. And will lead you to have stress hormones constantly throughout your body, which can lead you to experience weak legs.
In this state of perpetual stress, your body can experience muscle fatigue, and even nervous system dysregulation, which can lead to sensory difficulties, explaining why the weak leg will commonly happen when you are stressed.
Since people with anxiety tend to worry, sometimes people can go to the point of trying to understand if the weak leg is a sign of a more severe condition, such as Muscular Sclerosis (MS), but it is important to pay attention, and understand the patterns of the weak leg, so you can treat it according.
So if you have understood that your weak leg is caused by anxiety, here is what you can do.
What can I do if I have weak legs from anxiety?
There are a lot of things that can be done to help you cope with weak legs. You can address the stressful events, but also make changes in your everyday life to help you cope with anxiety. Let’s discuss them all.
Deal with the cause of stress
If the weak leg is a consequence of a particularly stressful situation, or even because of a panic attack, addressing the matter can help. You can try to identify what has triggered the panic attack and focus on dealing with it. But as the attack is happening, be sure to breathe, and know that it will pass, and it has before.
But in case you feel you are going through more permanent stress, and the anxiety and weak legs have been constantly happening, here is what you can do.
Have a healthy lifestyle
Having anxiety or an anxiety disorder can often take a toll on the person. To cope with it, you must care for your lifestyle. Paying attention to what you eat and drink will surely help with that.
Not having too much sugar, caffeine, or alcohol can take away some of the causes why your anxiety has some peaks. That is because if you have too many of them, it can make you agitated, making the symptoms of anxiety worse.
You should also try to start exercising. It is a known fact that it will reduce the levels of cortisol in your body, making you less stressed, and diminishing the chances of you experiencing weak legs. You don’t need to do a bug workout, going for a 30-minute walk in your neighborhood seems to be enough.
Do something you love
Dealing with stress will also imply that you will take some time to step away from difficult things, and do things that bring you joy. The rush of positive feeling you will experience when you are doing something you love will quickly make you less anxious in your everyday life, and cause you to experience weak legs less.
Put it out
Externalizing your feelings, and worries that can be so common when you are anxious can be extremely powerful. It will not only give you a sense of relief, as you vent, but it will also allow you to see your concerns from a different perspective. You can externalize your feelings by writing them out, or even by talking about them with your friends and family.
Take up meditation
Meditation can be a useful tool to help you cope with anxiety. As you begin to practice it, you will focus more on your breathing, and the present than on the worry, and racing thoughts anxiety constantly brings you.
Look for help
And if at any moment you realize that dealing with anxiety by yourself has been hard, know that you can always look for professional help. You can look for a therapist that will help you understand your emotions better, and may even allow you to understand what is triggering your anxiety.
Aside from that, you may want to look for a psychiatrist. This doctor that specializes in mental health, may be able to prescribe you medication whenever it is necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Are weak legs a sign of anxiety?
What is the 3 3 3 rule for anxiety?
The 3 3 3 rule for anxiety is an exercise that will help you calm yourself down whenever you feel anxiety crippling. There is no contraindication for it, and you can do it as many times as you want.
For that, when you start to feel anxious, you should take a deep breath, and try to name 3 things you can hear at the moment. After that, you should name three things you see, and then three of your body parts.
As you do that, you will slowly remove your mind from what is making you anxious, and you will start to calm yourself down.
How long can an anxiety disorder last?
It is difficult to put a timeline on how long an anxiety disorder can go on. It can vary from one person to the next, and from each disorder. But the condition will often go on for a few months, or can even last for a few years, in some cases.
What commonly happens is that people will experience symptoms of anxiety for a long time, but in not such an intense manner. And after a while, those can get more intense, and it is only then that they will be diagnosed.
By that time, they have been dealing with anxiety for a long time, and still have a long road ahead as they go through treatment.
Can someone fully recover from anxiety?
Yes, even though there is no cure for anxiety, which means it won’t be possible to say you won’t ever develop anxiety again in your lifetime. It is possible that through the proper treatment you will fully recover.
Your anxiety symptoms will decrease, and possibly even disappear. When that happens, you will be able to go back to your life as it was before. But keep in mind that it is important to keep caring for your mental health as a way to prevent you from dealing with any problems in the future.
Can you be constantly anxious?
Yes, someone can be constantly anxious. When this happens, it is said that the person has a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). This form of anxiety causes you to feel anxious in doing even the most routine things.
It can impair your ability to function in your everyday life and bring you a lot of suffering, and discomfort. As with any other form of anxiety, GAD should be treated with professional support, and some lifestyle changes.
What are the most common symptoms of anxiety?
Anxiety can affect the person deeply, it can lead them to experience physical and emotional symptoms. Not everyone will feel them in the same way, or intensity. But commonly, when anxious, you will feel that your heart will beat faster, your breathing will also change, and it can become fast, or even shallow.
You may also begin to sweat, experience shaking, or trembling, feel weak, or tired, have trouble sleeping, or even have gastrointestinal problems. Aside from that, the psychological effects of anxiety lead you to feel constantly worried and be unable to relax.
Anxiety can lead you to experience a fear of impending doom, which will make you feel fear and panic. Because you are constantly worried, it may be difficult for you to focus on other things, since that worry will be something hard for you to control.
Finally, since anxiety causes you to feel extremely uncomfortable, at some point it can be that you start to avoid things that trigger your anxiety.
This article explains the relationship between weak legs and anxiety. It also showed why it happens, and how you can cope with it.
If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.