Anxiety is a common feeling we all go through, and it can impact both our minds and bodies in different ways. One of the most common effects of anxiety on our bodies is stomach pain. Stomach pain from anxiety can cause a lot of discomfort if it goes on for a long time. Thus, it is crucial to identify and treat anxiety-induced stomach pain. 

Understanding Anxiety And Stomach Pain

Anxiety is not just a psychological issue, but it can also have a profound impact on our bodies. At a physical level anxiety can manifest in many ways such as a raised heartbeat, shortness of breath, etc. During anxiety, our body’s fight-or-flight response is triggered, leading to the release of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. The release of these hormones can have a profound impact on the digestive system, leading to stomach discomfort and pain. Additionally, stress and anxiety can also change the balance between good and bad bacteria in our bodies, leading to an upset stomach. 

What Does Stomach Pain From Anxiety Feel Like:

  • “Butterflies” in the stomach
  • Tightness, churning, cramping, knots in the stomach
  • Feeling like throwing up, vomiting
  • Shaking, shivering, twitching of stomach muscles
  • Frequent flatulence
  • Stomach upset, nausea, or queasiness
  • Indigestion, or rapid fullness when eating
  • Reduced Diet
  • Warmth, fluttering, or bloated feeling in the pit of the stomach
  • Increased urination and bowel movements

How To Deal With Anxiety-Related Stomach Pain? 

Though stomach pain is often psychosomatic, you may need to drink warm water, do deep belly breathing, and wait it out. However, if the problem persists, it might be helpful to make some lifestyle changes to reduce stomach pain arising from anxiety.

Some useful ways to alleviate stomach pain are:

#1 Try Natural and Homemade Remedies

Certain natural herbs can ease a nervous stomach at the time it occurs. 

Chew a piece of root, drink ginger tea, eat ginger candy, or sip some ginger ale with real ginger in it for benefit.

Other herbs, like spearmint, peppermint, lavender, or lemon balm, are also known to help. These herbs may stop spasms and tightening of smooth muscle that cause stomach butterflies, flatulence, cramps, and upset stomachs.

 #2 Practice Deep Breathing, Mindfulness, and Meditation-

Mental exercises help you focus on your breath and help you come back to the present moment. Practising some forms of breathing and mindfulness can help you stay grounded and manage stress and anxiety that cause a nervous stomach. Deep breaths can be especially helpful.

If you like meditation or have any other mental tricks that calm you down, definitely give them a try. Also, don’t wait until the next time you feel anxious to practice breathing, instead make it a part of your daily routine.

#3 Try therapy-

If such stomach pain and other symptoms are frequently experienced, seeking help from a psychiatrist or therapist may help you make changes to reduce the stress and anxiety in your life. No one can eliminate stress completely, but a therapist can definitely help you identify ways to cope better when you do experience such symptoms.

#4 Eating habits-

It is often a good idea to limit or eliminate foods that can worsen a nervous stomach. These may vary among individuals, but common foods include dairy products and caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, chocolate, soda, and tea. Avoid emotional, binge eating. 

 #5 Stress Relieving Activities-

Engaging in hobbies or activities you like to pursue, such as journaling, taking a walk or listening to instrumental music, can help distract you for a while from your symptoms of anxiety and make you feel better. 

Sometimes, you may also find that you can relieve stress by reducing the number of commitments in your daily schedule. 

“Genius is the one who knows where to STOP.”

 #6 Find a space for yourself to relax-

Lastly, find time and space for yourself to clear your head and take control of your nervousness, even if it must be total alone time. Don’t be afraid to excuse yourself if needed, even from an important event. If talking to a friend, family member, or loved one helps, do so during this time. Talking with someone you trust can help you overcome anxiety.

Conclusion

To summarize, anxiety is a complex disorder that can undeniably affect your body in several ways. Hence, it would be helpful to identify what you might be experiencing in your stomach with the help of the symptoms mentioned above and treat it in the right way. 

It is normal for all of us to experience symptoms of a nervous stomach. However, if the problem persists and gets worse over time, it would be wise for you to consider more long-term treatment options such as consulting a doctor or psychiatrist. 

*Note: This article is just to help its readers understand the link between mental and physical health and it can not substitute medical advice. Please consult the nearest emergency service or consult with a doctor, or psychiatrist for a deeper evaluation of your subjective condition. 

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Sakshi

Sakshi is a Psychologist with expertise in research and writing, she can make the most complex topic sound simple! She has completed MSC in Counselling Studies from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Also, She loves books and music and forgets the world once earphones are plugged in.