“All of us at anxietycentre.com have experienced debilitating anxiety. But we’ve also overcome it and returned to normal and lasting health. Because we know the hardship anxiety unwellness can cause, we are committed to helping others, with over 30 years of service.” - Jim Folk, President, anxietycentre.com

Shaking Anxiety Feelings Symptoms

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

Shaking anxiety feelings symptoms description:

Your arms, hands, feet, legs, stomach, sides, chest, back, head, buttocks, groin, or even your entire body may feel shaky or like they are trembling, shaking, or vibrating.

These shaking, tremoring, vibrating feelings might affect just one part of the body, many parts of the body, might migrate frsom one location to another, or affect the entire body.

Shaking, trembling, and vibrating might be visible or not.

Shaking, trembling, and vibrating feelings can occur on the exterior of the body or feel like it is occurring on the inside, or both.

Shaking, trembling, and vibrating feelings might occur rarely, intermittently, or persistently.

While some people may be able to control their shaking, trembling, and vibrating feelings by calming themselves down or by tightening and loosening their muscles, most often these feelings occur involuntarily, meaning there isn’t much we can do to stop these feelings from occurring.

Some people experience shaking feelings only when moving certain muscles, while others experience shaking all the time regardless of muscle movement.

It’s common for these shaking, tremoring, vibrating feelings to be more noticeable when trying to rest, relax, go to sleep, or when waking up from sleep.

It’s also common for these shaking feelings 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, parts of your body, or your entire body begins to shake, tremble, or vibrate. Then for no apparent reason, moments later, these shaking feelings disappear, only to return again later, even though you haven’t changed position or done anything to alleviate or aggravate these shaking, trembling or vibrating feelings.

These shaking anxiety feelings may precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety sensations and symptoms, or occur by itself.

These shaking anxiety feelings 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.

These shaking anxiety feelings 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.

These shaking anxiety feelings can change from day to day, and/or from moment to moment.

All of the above variations and combinations are common.

Some people describe this anxiety symptom as:

What causes these shaking anxiety feelings symptoms?

Shaking, vibrating, and trembling anxiety 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, 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. When the nervous system becomes 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.

How to stop these shaking anxiety feelings symptoms?

When these shaking anxiety 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 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 these shaking anxiety feelings are caused by persistent stress, it may take a lot more time for the body to recover and to the point where this shaking anxiety symptom feeling is eliminated.

Nevertheless, when the body has fully recovered, these shaking anxiety feelings will completely subside. Therefore, this symptom 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 symptom will completely disappear.

For a more detailed explanation about anxiety symptoms including having shaking anxiety feelings, 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.

Available Therapists Make Appointment

Additional Resources:

Back to our anxiety symptoms and signs page here.

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