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Anxiety Chest Tremors

Marilyn Folk BScN medical reviewer
Written by: Jim Folk.
Medically reviewed by: Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Last updated: April 3, 2019

anxiety chest tremors symptoms

Chest tremors anxiety symptoms description:

Anxiety chest tremors can feel like your chest area, ribcage, diaphragm, and/or heart area is trembling, shaking, vibrating, and/or has tremors.

Anxiety chest tremors can affect just one area of the chest, many areas in the chest, or can migrate from one location to another, or affect the entire chest.

Anxiety chest tremors might be visible or not visible.

Anxiety chest tremors can occur on the exterior of the body or feel like it is occurring on the inside, or both.

Anxiety chest tremors can come and go rarely, occur frequently, or persist indefinitely. For example, you may feel a chest tremor feeling once in a while and not that often, feel it off and on, or feel it all the time.

Anxiety chest tremors may precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety sensations and symptoms, or occur by itself.

Anxiety chest tremors 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.

Anxiety chest tremors 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.

Anxiety chest tremors can change from day to day, and/or from moment to moment.

All of the above combinations and variations are common.

Anxiety chest tremors can seem more disconcerting when undistracted or when trying to rest or go to sleep.

What causes the anxiety chest tremors feeling?

Anxiety chest tremors feelings are common sensations associated with the stress response, and symptoms of persistently elevated stress, including the persistently elevated stress caused by being overly anxious. Some people say that they have a ‘case of the nerves’ because they are shaking so much.

Just as too much caffeine can cause jitteriness and trembling because caffeine is a stimulant, so can stress and stress-response hyperstimulation (when the body becomes overly stressed and stimulated), since stress hormones are stimulants.

The stress response causes stress hormones to enter the bloodstream where they travel to ‘target’ locations in the body to bring about specific biological, psychological, and emotional changes that prepare the body for immediate action: to fight with or flee from an impending threat.

Since stress hormones are stimulants, they have a dramatic affect on the body’s nervous system, which controls the body’s muscles, including those in the chest, ribcage, and diaphragm. When the nervous system becomes overly stimulated it can have an adverse effect on the body’s muscles, such as causing them to tremor, tremble, shake, and vibrate. As stress response stimulation increases, so can shaking, vibrating, and trembling, including in the chest, ribcage, and diaphragm areas.

How to stop anxiety chest tremor feelings symptoms?

When anxiety chest tremors feelings 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 calms down from the active stress response, this chest tremors 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 anxiety chest tremors feelings symptoms are caused by persistent stress, it may take a lot more time for the body to recover and to the point where anxiety chest tremors symptoms are eliminated.

Nevertheless, when the body has fully recovered, these anxiety chest tremors feelings 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 your anxiety chest tremors feelings. Sure, they can be unsettling and even bothersome. But again, when your body has recovered from the stress response and/or sustained stress, this symptom will completely disappear.

For a more detailed explanation about anxiety symptoms including anxiety chest tremors feelings symptoms, 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.

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.

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Additional Resources:

Return to our section that explains the hundreds of anxiety signs and symptoms, including trembling, numbness, tingling, shortness or breath, and racing heart, and so on.

anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and coaching/therapy for problematic anxiety and its symptoms, including the anxiety chest tremors feelings symptoms.