Does your chest get tight when you have anxiety? (+11 Home remedies)

The current blogpost will answer if your chest gets tight when you have anxiety. We will also be looking at the actual reason why your chest gets tight when you have anxiety. Finally, we will be listing a few ways through which you can ease chest tightness caused by anxiety.

Does your chest get tight when you have anxiety?

Yes, your chest gets tight when you have anxiety. Not everyone who experiences anxiety will experience chest-tightness. This experience is often felt when the stress or the anxiety comes all of a sudden without any warning, and is intensive in nature.

Why does your chest get tight when you have anxiety?

When you have anxiety, your chest gets tight mainly due to the release of stress hormones in your blood. In response to some stress or anxiety, your body switches into the ‘fight or flight’ response which allows cortisol levels and epinephrine levels to increase in the blood.

Due to the surge in stress hormones, your muscles tense up, and this includes your chest muscles well. The chest pain experienced when you are feeling anxious is often quite different from that experienced when it is caused by some other problem.

For some people, the chest pain which is caused by anxiety may feel like a small twitch in the muscle, while for others it may come like a shooting pain. Still others may feel that the pain is a dull ache felt across a long period of time

Whatever the reason may be, in case of chest pain, it is always advisable that you seek medical treatment as soon as possible. This is even more important when the chest pain you are experiencing is for the first time.

When to see a doctor for chest-tightness caused by anxiety?

If you are experiencing chest-tightness, you need to consult a medical professional as soon as possible, if the following conditions also appear.

  • If your chest-tightness is leading to chest pain for several minutes at a time
  • If you feel that your muscles are clenching or squeezing
  • If you are experiencing any shortness of breath
  • If the pain that you are experiencing travels to other parts of your body
  • If you feel that your chest is burning
  • If you have started sweating all of a sudden

This is mainly because chest-tightness can also be a symptom of a heart-attack, which is a fatal condition. Therefore, it is always wise to seek medical help, especially if you are experiencing chest-tightness for the first time.

On the other hand, if you know well that your chest tightness is due to your anxiety, you may need to consult with a mental health professional who can recommend medications or certain coping strategies.

Remedies for chest-tightness due to anxiety

Chest-tightness can be a miserable experience for anyone going through it. While in serious cases, it may need professional medical intervention, in minor cases it can be easily coped with using simple home remedies.

Become mindful of your feelings and emotions

Since chest-tightness is closely tied with anxiety, it becomes important that you become more aware of what your feelings and emotions actually are. In this way, you will be able to avoid stressors and trigger factors that can worsen the situation.

Deep breathing exercises

You can also try deep breathing exercises when you are going through a spell of chest-tightness. Through deep breathing, you will be able to stretch out your chest muscles. You will also be able to bring a more relaxed state to your body and mind.

Become aware of certain trigger factors

Anxiety attacks which can lead to chest tightness are often caused by certain trigger factors. When you understand what your trigger factors are, you will be able to avoid them and even control your anxiety to a certain extent.

Practice PMR

Certain relaxation exercises can also help when you are experiencing chest-tightness as a result of anxiety. For instance, Progressive Muscular Relaxation can definitely help in not only relaxing your mind, but also relaxing your body, including your chest.

Try visualization and imagery

Using visualization and imagery can also be useful in reducing your anxiety levels when you are experiencing chest tightness. To do this, you can even take the help of podcasts and online videos which guide through the entire process.

Using a smart breathing device

Many people seriously swear by smart breathing devices when they are going through anxiety attacks which can lead to chest tightness. Smart breathing devices give you visual prompts so that you know when to inhale, when to hold in and when to exhale.

Some devices also take the help of aromatherapy, to further increase the effectiveness of deep breathing which can definitely help with chest tightness as well. These can be found online and you can even use your insurance to purchase them.

Eat a healthy diet

Eating a healthy diet can actually help your chest-tightness in many ways. Through a healthy diet, you will be able to keep your stress levels low and immunity levels high, which can keep chest-tightness and anxiety attacks at bay.

Your diet plays a huge role in your mental health, and more and more studies are pointing to the relevance of this. If you are confused about what diet you need to follow for your mental health, you can try consulting with a dietician or nutritionist for the same.

Practice sleep hygiene

Just like food, even sleep hygiene is very important for reducing anxiety levels, which can avoid experiences like chest-tightness. By practicing sleep hygiene, you will be able to improve the quality of your sleep.

Sleep hygiene includes a number of practices like avoiding screen-time before bed, reading a book under soft lighting and investing in high-quality bed linens to improve your experience in the sack.

Avoid stressful situations

The best way to keep your stress levels low and keep away chest-tightness is to simply avoid stressful situations. When you are highly aware that a certain situation is stressful and this is uncontrollable by you, avoiding it is easier than confronting it and getting hurt in the process.

Practice stretching activities

Chest-tightness can be worsened when your chest muscles are already very tight and rigid. So, practice stretching regularly before and after your workout, so that your muscles are supple and flexible enough to thwart tightness of any sort.

Treat yourself

The best way to improve your mental health is by self-care and self-love. Take part in self-love activities on a daily basis for this. Self-care and self-love activities do not have a definite list. Instead, you can simply choose activities that are positive for your mental health.

Self-care and self-love activities can translate to spirituality for some. In this case, activities like prayer, meditation and connecting with nature can be perfect solutions. For others, self-care means little things, like taking a walk by yourself or having a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

Still others may think of self-care and self-love as activities of giving. In this case, volunteering at a homeless shelter or simply giving out free lemonade outside the house can be excellent solutions for mental health.

Whatever your choice for self-care and self-love may be, choose an activity that allows you to express yourself and is enjoyable at the same time without costing too much. Practice the activity on a regular basis so that your stress levels are always low.


The current blogpost will answer if your chest gets tight when you have anxiety. We will also be looking at the actual reason why your chest gets tight when you have anxiety. Finally, we will be listing a few ways through which you can ease chest tightness caused by anxiety.

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