Buzzing sensation in the feet, toes, hands, fingers, arms, legs anxiety symptoms descriptions:
Your feet, toes, hands, fingers, arms, legs or even your entire body may feel like it is buzzing, shaking, vibrating, or trembling. This feeling may occur rarely, frequently, or persistently, and may occur in one part of your body, or migrate from location to location.
While some people may be able to control this feeling by calming themselves down or by tightening and loosening their muscles, most often this symptom occurs involuntarily, meaning there isn’t much we can do to stop it from occurring.
Some people experience this feeling when moving their feet, hands, arms, or legs, while others experience this feeling all the time regardless of movement.
It’s common for this symptom to be more noticeable when trying to rest or go to sleep.
It’s also common for this symptom to occur intermittently and for no apparent reason. For example, you may be resting when all of a sudden, and for no apparent reason, a part of your body begins to feel like it’s buzzing/vibrating/trembling. Then for no apparent reason, moments later, it disappears, only to return again later, even though you haven’t changed position or done anything to alleviate the feeling. All of the above manifestations are common.
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What causes the buzzing feet, hands, toes, fingers anxiety symptoms?
Behaving in an apprehensive manner (worried, fretful, fearful, nervous) causes the body to activate the stress response. The stress response secretes stress hormones into the bloodstream where they travel to targeted spots in the body to bring about specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that enhance the body’s ability to deal with a threat—to either fight with or flee from it—which is the reason the stress response is often referred to as the fight or flight response.
Part of the stress response changes include tightening the body’s muscles so that they are more resilient to damage and stimulating the nervous system so that our senses are highly tuned and reactions enhanced. These changes can cause a buzzing feeling anywhere on or in the body, such as the feet, hands, toes, and fingers.
When stress responses occur infrequently, the body can recover relatively quickly from the physiological, psychological, and emotional changes the stress response brings about. When stress responses occur too frequently, however, the body has a more difficult time recovering, which can result in the body remaining in a semi hyperstimulated state, since stress hormones are stimulants. A body that becomes stress-response hyperstimulated can exhibit similar sensations and symptoms to that of an active stress response even though an active stress response hasn't occurred. Experiencing buzzing feet, hands, toes, and fingers is an example of how hyperstimulation can affect the body.
While experiencing buzzing hands, feet, toes, and fingers can be alarming, they aren’t harmful. They are just the consequences of how the body can behave when it becomes overly stressed.
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How to get rid of the buzzing feet, hands, toes, and fingers anxiety symptoms?
When buzzing feet, hands, toes, and fingers anxiety symptoms are caused by apprehensive behavior and the accompanying stress response changes, calming yourself down will bring an end to the stress response and its changes. As your body recovers from the active stress response, this feeling should subside and you should return to your normal self. Keep in mind that it can take up to 20 minutes or more for the body to recover from a major stress response. But this is normal and shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
When this anxiety symptom is caused by chronic stress, it may take a lot more time for the body to recover and to the point where this symptom is eliminated.
Nevertheless, when the body has fully recovered, buzzing feet, hands, toes, and fingers anxiety symptoms completely subside. Therefore, they needn’t be a cause for concern.
You can speed up the recovery process by reducing your stress, practicing relaxed breathing, increasing your rest and relaxation, and not worrying about this feeling. Sure, it can be unsettling and even bothersome. But again, when your body has recovered from the stress response and/or sustained stress, this anxiety symptom will completely disappear.
If you are having difficulty containing your worry, you may want to connect with one of our recommended anxiety disorder therapists. Working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to overcome what seems like unmanageable worry.
For a more detailed explanation about anxiety symptoms including this one, why symptoms can persist long after the stress response has ended, common barriers to recovery and symptom elimination, and more recovery strategies and tips, we have many chapters that address this information in the Recovery Support area of our website.
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Return to our anxiety disorders signs and symptoms page.
anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and therapy for anxiety disorder and its symptoms, including buzzing feet, hands, toes, and fingers.
2. Folk, Jim and Folk, Marilyn. “The Stress Response And Anxiety Symptoms.” anxietycentre.com, August 2019.
3. Hannibal, Kara E., and Mark D. Bishop. “Chronic Stress, Cortisol Dysfunction, and Pain: A Psychoneuroendocrine Rationale for Stress Management in Pain Rehabilitation.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2014.
4. Justice, Nicholas J., et al. “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder-Like Induction Elevates β-Amyloid Levels, Which Directly Activates Corticotropin-Releasing Factor Neurons to Exacerbate Stress Responses.” Journal of Neuroscience, Society for Neuroscience, 11 Feb. 2015.