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Excessive Yawning Anxiety Symptoms

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

Excessive yawning anxiety symptoms description:

This anxiety symptom is often described as:

You find yourself doing an unusual amount of yawning in an attempt to catch your breath.

Excessive yawning anxiety symptoms can come and go rarely, occur frequently, or persist indefinitely. For example, you may experience excessive yawning once in a while and not that often, feel it off and on, or feel it all the time.

Excessive yawning anxiety symptoms may precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety sensations and symptoms, or occur by itself.

Excessive yawning anxiety symptoms 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.

Excessive yawning anxiety symptoms 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.

Excessive yawning anxiety symptoms can change from day to day, and/or from moment to moment.

All of the above combinations and variations are common.

Excessive yawning anxiety symptoms can seem more disconcerting when undistracted or when trying to rest or go to sleep.

Why does anxiety cause excessive yawning?

Because there are many medical conditions that can cause anxiety-like sensations and symptoms, including yawning excessively, we recommend all new, changing, persistent, and returning symptoms be discussed with your doctor to ensure nothing medical is causing this symptom. If your doctor concludes your excessive yawning is caused by anxiety, you can be confident that there isn't another medical cause.

Anxiety stresses the body. Stress causes specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes in the body to 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 these stress changes include increasing heart rate, respiration, and tightening the body’s muscles so that it is better able to deal with a threat. These changes can cause excessive yawning. Many people notice they yawn when nervous or anxious.

When stress is infrequent, the body can recover relatively. When stress occurs too frequently, however, the body has a more difficult time recovering, which can result in the body remaining in a semi-stressed state. A body that becomes overly stressed can exhibit symptoms of stress, such as excessive yawning.

How to get rid of anxiety-caused excessive yawning?

When excessive yawning is caused by being anxious, calming yourself down will bring an end to the stress response and its changes. As the body recovers from the active stress response, excessive yawning should subside. 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 excessive yawning is caused by persistent stress, it may take a lot more time for the body to recover and to the point where excessive yawning subsides.

Nevertheless, when the body’s overly stressed state has been corrected, this symptom should completely disappear. Therefore, the excessive yawning anxiety symptoms needn’t be a cause for concern.

You can accelerate the recovery process by reducing your stress, practicing relaxed breathing, increasing your rest and relaxation, and not worrying about your excessive yawning.

For a more detailed explanation about anxiety symptoms including the excessive yawning anxiety symptoms, why anxiety 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 excessive yawning.