Unsteadiness Anxiety Symptom

Written by Jim Folk
Medically reviewed by Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Last updated May 19, 2021

Unsteadiness, feel unsteady anxiety symptom description:

  • You feel suddenly unsteady, light-headed, woozy or dizzy.
  • This unsteadiness symptom is sometimes accompanied by a feeling that you might faint or pass out.
  • This unsteadiness symptom also may feel as though you are walking on a boat, or that the floor seems to move up and down and it's hard to balance.
  • You may also have difficulty placing your feet on the ground or floor because you are unsure of your body's strength.
  • It might also seem that even though you are standing on a firm surface, it may seem as if it is vibrating or moving.
  • The unsteadiness symptom might also seem as if you are unsure or your balance, feel wobbly, or that you might fall over.
  • The unsteadiness symptom may seem like your balance is off or that you are feeling off balance a lot.
  • Unsteadiness also might feel like your body is shaking, trembling, vibrating or feels out of balance.

This unsteadiness symptom can persistently affect one area of the body only, can shift and affect another area or areas, and can migrate all over and affect many areas over and over again.

This unsteadiness symptom can come and go rarely, occur frequently, or persist indefinitely. For example, you might feel an unsteadiness once in a while and not that often, feel it off and on, or feel it all the time.

This unsteadiness symptom may precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety sensations and symptoms, or occur by itself.

This unsteadiness symptom can precede, accompany, or follow an episode of nervousness, anxiety, fear, and elevated stress, or occur ‘out of the blue’ and for no apparent reason.

This unsteadiness symptom can range in intensity from slight, to moderate, to severe. It can also come in waves, where it’s strong one moment and eases off the next.

This unsteadiness symptom can change from day to day, and/or from moment to moment.

All of the above combinations and variations are common.

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What causes the unsteadiness, feel unsteady anxiety symptom?

Unsteadiness, dizziness, feeling dizzy or light-headed are common symptoms of stress, including the stress anxiety causes. Unfortunately, doctors often misdiagnose stress- and anxiety-related unsteadiness as a symptom of Vertigo or Meniere's Disease.

Anxiety causes the body to produce the stress response (also known as the fight or flight response). The stress response stresses the body. When the body becomes overly stressed, which we call stress-response hyperstimulation, the body can exhibit a wide variety of odd and unusual sensations and symptoms. The unsteadiness symptom is one of them.

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How to get rid of the unsteadiness, feel unsteady symptom?

Because this unsteadiness symptom is just a symptom of elevated stress, it needn't be a cause for concern. It will subside when you reduce your stress and give your body ample time to calm down. As your body's stress returns to a more normal level, symptoms of stress subside, including the anxiety symptom unsteadiness. Therefore, this anxiety symptom needn't be a cause for concern.

Chapter 9 in the Recovery Support area of our website is our anxiety symptoms chapter. It contains detailed information about all anxiety symptoms, including what they are, why they occur, what you can do to eliminate them, and how many people experience them (the percentage of people who experience each anxiety symptom). Our anxiety symptoms chapter includes a more detailed description and explanation about the unsteadiness anxiety symptom.

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed – which we call the underlying factors of anxiety – a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources

Return to our anxiety disorders signs and symptoms page.

anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and therapy for anxiety disorder and its symptoms, including the anxiety symptom unsteadiness.