Does your heart beat fast when you have anxiety? (+9 Coping strategies)
In this detailed article, we have discussed if your heart beats faster when you have anxiety. We will also be checking out the actual reason why your heart may beat faster when you have anxiety. Finally, we will explain a few ways through which you can cope with this.
Does your heart beat fast when you have anxiety?
Yes, your heart beats faster when you have anxiety. Apart from your heart beating faster than usual, anxiety may also cause other symptoms like increased sweating, trembling and even shortness of breath.
Anxiety is basically recognized as a dangerous situation by the body and the mind which leads to numerous physical and mental symptoms, such as an increased heart rate. An increased heart rate may also appear in other medical conditions, like thyroid disorders and heart attacks.
Why does your heart beat fast when you have anxiety?
Your heart beats fast when you have anxiety mainly since your body goes into a ‘fight and flight’ mode when you are experiencing certain trigger factors. This ‘fight or flight’ response is triggered by the Autonomic Nervous System.
The ANS leads to many physiological changes in the body and the mind in order to be prepared to face any type of danger. As part of the physiological changes that a body goes through, the heart may also beat a lot faster than usual.
The reason for the heart beating faster is to mainly pump more blood to the extremities so that all parts of the body are oxygenated and strong enough to get out of danger. However, it can be a terrifying experience for those who go through it.
When the heart is beating way too fast, some people may experience it as a change in the regular rhythm of the heart. More specifically, the heart rate may go up all of a sudden and also go down all of a sudden.
Other people may feel that their heart is flipping or fluttering around when their heart rate increases as a response to any anxiety. Most commonly, the increase in heart rate is felt as a pounding sensation in the chest.
How to cope with heart beating fast due to anxiety?
If you are going through anxiety very often and as a result of this your heart is beating too fast, you need to first consult with a medical professional to rule out any other medical conditions and problems.
Your doctor may also recommend certain medications which can reduce your anxiety and help in regulating your heart beat at a consistent rhythm. In order to cope with your increased heart rate as a result of your anxiety, you can use the following strategies and techniques.
Practice relaxation exercises
If you are going through a lot of anxiety and as a result your heart is beating too fast, you can try practicing relaxation exercises like Progressive Muscular Relaxation and Body Scanning. Relaxation exercises can keep your stress levels low and keep your heart rates consistent.
Both PMR and Body Scanning can be helpful in relaxing various muscle groups in your body. When your muscle groups are much more relaxed, your mind automatically understands that the stressor is no longer present and easily relaxes, thus bringing down your heart rate.
Try deep breathing
You can also try deep breathing in order to control your heart rate whenever you are experiencing anxiety. More often than not, your anxiety levels increase whenever you start hyperventilating.
The good news is that when you voluntarily slow down your breathing rates, your heart rate will also slow down. You can try deep breathing exercises, either on your own, or even through a smart breathing device.
Practice Yoga or Tai Chi
Another technique or exercise that you can use is to practice yoga or Tai Chi. These forms of exercise can help you become more mindful, while improving your physical agility and your flexibility.
If you want to get the best results, you need to practice every day. You can also try a workout buddy or even join a class so that you have social motivation and incentive to finish your exercise thoroughly.
Be aware of your stressors
Often, the anxiety which increases your heart rate is caused by your exposure to certain stressors. When you become more aware of your stressors and stress-factors, you will be able to control them and your exposure to them.
Avoid stressors if possible
Once you have become aware of the different stressors around you, you will also be able to avoid them. For instance, if a certain physical location or a person is the cause of your anxiety, you can try avoiding these factors for the sake of your mental health and your physical health.
It may be initially hard to avoid stressors, especially if the stressor refers to a person. If this becomes too painful for you or if you are finding it hard to do so, you can seek the help of those close to you or even try therapy sessions.
Take care of your sleep patterns
The quality of your sleep also plays a big role on your anxiety levels and your stress levels. When you actively try to improve your sleep patterns and the quality of your sleep, you will find that your anxiety levels dip and your heart rate is maintained at a consistent rhythm.
You can also try to incorporate sleep hygiene practices in to your daily life. Sleep hygiene refers to simple practices like using a weighted blanket, spraying your pillow with some essential oil, or taking a warm bath before bed, which can improve your sleep quality.
Limit caffeine and alcohol
Too much caffeine and substances like alcohol in your diet can also lead to anxiety, which can further add to your heart palpitations. You can make small diet changes like limiting caffeine and alcohol to help in keeping your anxiety levels low.
Apart from excluding these items from your diet, you can also change your diet to include more nutrient-dense products which can be great for your anxiety. For instance, foods like salmon, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, can all be splendid for your mental health.
In addition to the points above, you can even try journaling as a coping technique. Journaling allows you to express and vent your feelings and emotions on to paper, which can help in keeping your anxiety levels low.
Furthermore, journaling can also help you become more aware of your trigger factors and stressful experiences that can start off your anxiety attack leading to an increased heart rate. If you are in therapy, your journal can also be useful for information here.
Another important thing that can definitely help in keeping your anxiety levels low is therapy. Therapy sessions can help you vent and express your feelings in a safe space. In addition to this, therapy may also uncover the subconscious traumas that can lead to your anxiety.
Your therapist may also help you learn more about your trigger factors and the way your mind and body respond. In therapy sessions, you will also find new coping strategies and techniques to conquer your anxiety and keep your heart rate consistent.
In this detailed article, we have discussed if your heart beats faster when you have anxiety. We have also checked out the actual reason why your heart may beat faster when you have anxiety. Finally, we have explained a few ways through which you can cope with this.
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