How to deal with anxiety caused by the inability to sneeze?

This blog answers: How to deal with anxiety caused by the inability to sneeze? What is Anxiety? What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety? What are the causes of anxiety? What are some ways to manage anxiety? What are the therapy options for anxiety?

How to deal with anxiety caused by the inability to sneeze?

Anxiety has tremendous consequences for both our bodies and brains. It has a very wide range of causes, from physical abnormalities to parental neglect. Sometimes the mere inability to sneeze can lead to severe anxiety. When one is unable to sneeze, regardless of what’s causing it, it makes the person extremely irritated and worried. 

The inability to sneeze itself is very unhealthy. When the inability to sneeze is accompanied by anxiety, it can have tremendously negative consequences. However, one can learn to control this.

If you have anxiety caused by the inability to sneeze, the following tips may be very helpful:

Do not think too much

If you think too much about sneezing, or anything else, your mind would be so occupied in the thoughts that it would be unable to initiate a sneezing response even if your nose tickles. Just stay calm and let your nose do its functions as naturally as it does.

Remember that sneezing is a reflex, not a function

Sneezing is your nose’s natural response to irritants. If you are not exposed to irritants quite often, you won’t sneeze as much. So, don’t panic if you can’t sneeze. Maybe it’s just because your nose is clean and you don’t need to. 

Slide a small tissue up and down your nose

If you can’t sneeze for a long time and cannot sneeze despite having the urge to sneeze, you have to make yourself sneeze in other ways. One of the best ways of making yourself sneeze is to tickle your nose. 

Sliding a small and soft tissue up and down your nose can stimulate your trigeminal nerve and make you sneeze. This would probably restart your cycle of sneezing after attempting this procedure for some time. This would solve your problem of anxiety as well as sneezing. 

Look at the sun or any other bright light 

We have the innate tendency in us to sneeze when we look at bright lights. This is known as photic sneezing. If you can’t experience normal sneezing, you can induce sneezing in yourself by looking at the sun or any other bright light. 

Just make sure that you don’t look too directly at the sun or any bright light you are using because it’s not good for your eyes. 

Sniff some spices

Spices, especially peppers, have piperine. Piperine is known to cause irritation in the nose. If you inhale piperine, your nose may get irritated and ticklish, stimulating your trigeminal nerve. This will induce a sneeze in you. 

The reason why your brain signals your nose to sneeze in response to exposure to spices is that it wants to get rid of the irritants. So, this is a very good way of making yourself sneeze if you are unable to do so naturally. 

It is important to note here that too much inhalation of spices can cause burning and pain. So, don’t inhale too much. The best spices to try are coriander, red pepper, and cumin. 

Gently pluck your nose hair

Your nose is a very sensitive organ. If you have ever accidentally plucked nose hair, you would know that apart from the pain, it also makes you sneeze. 

The reason here, again, is the trigeminal nerve. One of the ways to stimulate the trigeminal nerve is to pluck some nose hair. This will induce sneezing in you. This will help you control your anxiety as well. 

Eat dark chocolates

Some studies show that dark chocolates may cause or at least enhance sneezing. The mechanism of action is still unknown. However, everybody likes chocolates, so it’s worth a try. If you don’t get a sneeze, you at least got chocolate. 

Have a fizzy drink

Drinks that contain carbon dioxide are known to have a fizzy sensation associated with them. The carbon dioxide bubbles in the drink may induce sneezing. However, don’t have too much of carbonated drinks because they are not good for your health. 

What is Anxiety?

Problems and resulting stress are usually accompanied by some common emotions like confusion, feeling at the edge, a sense of helplessness, and recurrent negative thoughts which can collectively be seen as an individual experiencing what’s commonly called  Anxiety. 

Every human has their unique ways of dealing with these difficult situations and the following emotions, some try to adapt to the circumstances and find the best and most comfortable solution while others try to find an escape route for the same, in both cases the main aim is usually to get over the uncomfortable emotions of anxiety. 

What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety? 

Anxiety is characterized by a set of signs and symptoms such as:


  • Sweating
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sense of choking
  • Complaints of chest pain
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness
  • Fear of losing control over oneself and their environment
  • Fear of impending doom
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Increased heart rate

These symptoms vary in severity from person to person. However, it is noted that many people experience anxiety attacks that are not significantly displayed.

What are the causes of anxiety?

Anxiety often results from accumulated stress or overwhelming feelings. Some common causes of anxiety include.

  • Increased and challenging situations and demands in day-to-day life.
  • Major changes in family dynamics such as marriage, divorce, death of a loved one.
  • Strain interpersonal relationships
  • Intrapersonal conflicts
  • Ineffective coping mechanisms
  • Comorbid conditions both physical and mental
  • Chronic health conditions
  • Genetic factors
  • Changes in the brain region
  • Overdose of caffeine
  • Prolonged use of medications
  • Significant traumatic experiences in the past or recent times
  • Comorbid mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder or any other phobias.

What are some ways to manage anxiety?

Identify and acknowledge the triggers

The most significant strategy that can be used to control one’s anxiety is by identifying and acknowledging those triggers.

Being able to recognize what makes an individual anxious makes them better equipped to take action.

Relaxation techniques


Even though anxiety can be bought under an individual’s control it cannot be predicted. In such situations, it is necessary that an individual actively carries out relaxation techniques.

These might include meditation, yoga, and deep breathing which helps to reduce the intensity of anxiety within a short period.



A key to reducing the frequency and intensity of anxiety attacks could be spending time with close family and friends.

The kind of emotional and practical support provided by these social and personal groups help the person feel connected and aid in distracting one’s mind from negative and recurring thoughts that lead to anxiety.

Apart from friends and families, individuals can also consider speaking to groups of people that are experiencing similar problems.

Set realistic goals

When an individual is feeling overwhelmed, setting goals and targets keeping in mind priorities can help resolve overwhelming feelings of fear or panic.

Setting goals provides structure and routine to an individual’s life reducing space for uncertainty which can be a major trigger for anxiety in many cases.

Take up new challenges

Apart from doing activities that an individual is usually fond of and has expertise in, trying new and challenging activities that put an individual outside their comfort zone in a healthy manner may help reduce the stress and anger temporarily.

Signing up for new activities also provides a path to meeting people with similar stories and concerns.

Lifestyle changes

An individual’s lifestyle plays a major role in their experience of anxiety. An unhealthy and busy lifestyle usually leads to unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, lack of adequate sleep.

A combination of a well-set diet, exercise, and sleep can help to regulate an individual’s mood and equip them with a favorable coping mechanism.

These coping mechanisms in turn help to get control over once anxiety concerns in a more adaptable manner.

lack of proper diet, sleep, and exercise can make an individual sluggish, dependent, moody and vulnerable to anxiety attacks.

Making journal entries

Last but not least having a journal to write down how a person is feeling and thinking when they are anxious helps them to reflect upon their thoughts and feelings.

Putting down one’s thoughts and feelings onto a paper helps to provide a sense of temporary relief.

In the case of journal entry, a person does not even have to fear being judged by another person regarding their thoughts and feelings.

What are the therapy options for anxiety?

Cognitive-behavioural therapy

Cognitive-behavioural therapy helps an individual to control their anxiety by using strategies like relaxation and breathing. It works on the principles of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a kind of therapy in which an individual is exposed to a particular stimulus that they usually fear or are anxious about in a graded order.

As and when the individual gets comfortable with the situation or stimulus introduced or exposed to them with each session, individuals get more comfortable with a real-life situation that might have otherwise been a source for triggering anxiety.

Group therapy


It is based on the principle that when an individual interacts with other people who are suffering from the same fears they might not feel left alone or isolated. Group therapy usually involves a group of individuals who are experiencing similar symptoms and problems.


Anxiety can also be treated with the help of medication prescribed by a health care professional.

Though medication alone cannot help in reducing persistent anxiety it can help in restoring a sense of control and bring temporary relief. 

Online therapy  

In cases where reaching out physically to a professional is impossible or discomforting an individual can opt to seek help through the online medium. 

In this, the therapy sessions are carried out one-to-one over a video or audio call. Some individuals also prefer interacting with the therapist through text as well due to various reasons. One of the most common is the fear of being judged by the therapist or some personal hesitation. 

Online therapy can help individuals to regulate some aspects of their anxiety that aids individuals in carrying out a stress-free life over time


Sneezing is our body’s way of making sure no toxins and irritants enter our bloodstream. That’s why it is a very necessary natural reflex. The inability to sneeze can have harmful consequences, including anxiety. To save yourself from anxiety caused by the inability to sneeze, take help from artificial ways of inducing sneezing. 

Frequently Asked Questions: How to deal with anxiety caused by the inability to sneeze?

What are some other nose-related problems caused by anxiety?

Anxiety can directly or indirectly cause runny nose, nose bleeding, and tingling sensation in the nose. 

What are some consequences of not being able to sneeze?

It can accumulate too much mucus in your nose, leading to breathing as well as other health problems. 

How often do normal people sneeze?

Normal people sneeze around four times a day. This is true for 98% of people. 

Citation:,be%20a%20sign%20of%20rhinitis .

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