Anxiety can have a range of effects on the body both emotionally and physically. If you’ve experienced some strange sensations in your head, your head rushes and anxiety may be related.
With how common anxiety is, it’s normal for people to walk around with symptoms throughout the body. For those of you in need of a bit more information, let’s look closer at anxiety to understand your symptoms more and learn ways you can manage them.
If you’re in need of some quick answers to common questions, we’ve got you covered.
What does an anxiety head rush feel like?
If you have an anxiety head rush, it can feel as though you’re lightheaded and perhaps dizzy. You may even begin to feel faint and start to sweat.
What causes bad head rushes?
Several conditions can cause bad head rushes beyond anxiety symptoms. This includes consuming medication such as sedatives or anything that can lower your blood pressure. Other causes include, dehydration, anemia, extended bed rest, pregnancy, and overheating.
Why does anxiety make you feel weird?
If you have anxiety, you may have felt a bit off at times, and this is centered around anxiety effecting the whole body. Symptoms like a brain fog, feeling lightheaded, pressure, and dissociation can lead to these “weird” feelings, especially if you aren’t used to these signs.
Head Rushes and Anxiety
Those of you with anxiety may have noticed strange sensations in your head, but these feelings are anything but unusual.
Anxiety itself is a common condition that, at some point in life, everyone has experienced. In some cases, it goes away on its own, but in others, it can lead to an anxiety disorder.
No matter if it’s temporary or otherwise, the symptoms can become worrisome. This is especially true when the signs become physical like a head rush.
Head rushes, no matter how ordinary they are, can raise alarms in people. In turn, this can worsen your anxiety as there’s now something new to worry about.
Hopefully, our look into head rushes and anxiety will help alleviate some of your concerns.
Anxiety Symptoms – Mental and Emotional
Anxiety presents itself in numerous ways, and some people may not even notice the same signs.
Cognitively and emotionally, anxiety can wear away at you. These are some of the known symptoms people experience:
- Excessive worrying
- Difficulties concentrating
- Irritability, agitation
- Feelings of impending doom
- Feeling uneasy
- Irrational fear
- “Brain fog”
The thing about many of these symptoms is that you may find yourself worrying over them, which can make your signs worse.
Also, it’s always possible that you can experience things not shown on the list above. These are just some of the more common ones, but you can always bring up any symptoms you have to a healthcare professional in your journey to get a diagnosis and receive proper treatment.
Physical Effects of Anxiety
Many people are aware of some of the common sensations of anxiety that affect the mind and emotions, but it’s equally as important to recognize how anxious thoughts can impact you physically.
Some of these physical symptoms occur right at the moment when your anxiety creeps up on you:
- Nausea, vomiting
- Headache, head rushes
- Chest pain
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness, lightheaded
- Excessive sweating
- Trembling, shaking
When your anxiety strikes, your adrenalin can spike. In this case, it can lead to the physical symptoms laid out above.
Alongside that, many of these symptoms can be contributed to panic attacks too.
A panic attack is a sudden episode where you can feel tremendous fear without an apparent cause. This can strike you at any given moment too whether you’re alone at home or out and about in public. When you have anxiety, there is a risk of you experiencing panic attacks if the anxiety is severe enough.
They aren’t life-threatening by any means, but they can certainly feel like you’re having a heart attack or another medical emergency in the moment. This is why it’s beneficial to seek help and treatment to reduce the likelihood of experiencing such episodes.
Besides within the moment, there are also cases where anxiety can impact your physical health over time. You may experience things like:
- Decreased libido
- Digestive complications
- Unexplained pains
When we mention unexplained pains, this can mean various aches around your body for seemingly no reason at all. Medical testing may not yield any helpful results. If this is the case, your anxiety can be the culprit.
This may be due to adding more stress onto you, and stress is known to damage the physical body.
Also, headaches and head rushes can come into play long-term too. These sensations can disrupt your daily life even when you think you aren’t affected by your anxiety at the moment.
Anxiety Effects on the Head
Whether intense or mild, anxiety can quickly reveal itself to you via your head through the likes of headaches and head rushes.
At first, you may not understand what it causes your physical pain and discomfort. So, it does help to consult with a doctor as they can offer you more insight to what’s going on.
In the meantime, reading up on some important info about the subject may just grant you that little bit of peace of mind to approach everything armed with a bit of knowledge.
Types of Headaches
When you experience a headache, it’s helpful to learn about the type of headache you have. This way, it is easier to narrow down whether your anxiety is causing it or something else in behind the sensation.
There are over a dozen types of headaches. However, these are some of the common ones you may see:
- Tension headache
- Migraine headache
- Cluster headache
- Allergy headache
A tension headache is what many people with anxiety may feel. This is due to the fact that stress tends to trigger this type of headache.
It is typically a dull or throbbing pain that impacts the back of your head down through your neck. This can be severe or mild.
Another common type of headache that those with anxiety can experience is a migraine headache. Research has shown a link between the pair in large part based on how anxiety symptoms can increase your risks of developing a migraine.
This is because anxiety sufferers may experience frequent or daily worrying over their anxiety. Feelings of irritability also contribute to the risk of developing a migraine. Besides that, people with anxiety may find it difficult to relax, which is another way to raise your migraine risk.
There are some types of headaches that don’t appear to have anxiety as a root cause though.
In the case of cluster headaches, an exact cause is unknown. If you don’t know, a cluster headache is intense pain that occurs around one eye or the side of your head.
It gets its name from the fact that these occur in attacks, otherwise referred to as “cluster periods”. You can suffer from these for weeks, months, or years with periods of remission in between.
Besides cluster headaches, allergy headaches aren’t known to be caused by anxiety either. As the name implies, these are caused in large part by allergies. When you get an allergy headache, it can, unfortunately, lead to other types of headaches like a migraine.
With the number of different headaches, it is vital that you do reach out to a healthcare professional if you’re experiencing any. This is a way for a doctor to rule out any other underlying conditions that may be impacting your health.
It could be something as mild as allergies or as manageable as anxiety impacting your head. However, there is a chance that it can be something more serious causing you to feel head pain. Ruling things out can help ease your stress as your aches and pains are no longer a mystery.
With a head rush, you may experience some disorientation or lightheadedness. This discomfort isn’t life-threatening, and thankfully, it doesn’t tend to come with further symptoms beyond feeling a bit dizzy for a few seconds.
Even so, it can be discomforting enough that it interferes with your daily life. Many people experience a head rush at some point such as if they stand up too fast from lying down or sitting, or if they have a change in blood pressure.
When it comes to head rushes and anxiety, your physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety can lead to head rushes. This includes rapid heartbeat and stress about the situation. Such a spike in your heart rate can make your blood pressure abruptly change, which then leads to the feeling of a head rush.
So, if you are experiencing chronic head rushes, reach out to your doctor. This is especially true if you begin to have some issues with your vision or balance with the head rush as it can indicate something else going on.
Treatment and Management Options
Treating and managing your head rushes and anxiety may go hand-in-hand.
Of course, it begins by getting an accurate diagnosis if you haven’t already. We don’t want these symptoms to be caused by something else, so finding the root issue is a great first step to properly treating the signs and symptoms.
For managing head rushes, you should look to controlling your anxiety.
Doctors can recommend numerous options for you to try depending on the severity of your symptoms and how they impact your daily life.
Therapy is a rather common treatment route recommended to those that have anxiety. This is because, in large part, it sees successful results.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a good place to start.
This type of psychotherapy, otherwise known as talk therapy, is a nice way for those with anxiety to discuss their concerns openly. It can help people become more aware of what may be behind their anxiety and how to sort out negative thinking.
Another form of therapy that can be useful is group therapy. Considering the name, this type of therapy is done with more than just one patient and a therapist. Instead, it involves numerous people who have similar conditions.
Group therapy is a solid option for those who seek more support from peers. It can help people feel less alone in their struggles, which has a good chance of making the fight seem more winnable.
Having that support structure is useful too when trying to root out what the cause of your anxiety may be as well as being able to offer and receive advice not typically found in a standard one-on-one therapy session.
If there is some social anxiety found, then perhaps online therapy is more fitting. This therapy can still occur either one-on-one or within a group setting, but it keeps you firmly on the computer, phone, or tablet. By doing so, you are given control of the environment, letting you set up in a space you feel most comfortable at such as your home.
Therapy isn’t for everyone though no matter the success stories behind it. That is why it helps to talk things through with a doctor so you can work out a plan on whether or not therapy is good, if you need to look at other options, or if it’s best to combine therapy with different treatment methods.
When looking for ways to treat your anxiety, doctors may prescribe medication to help you along the way. It can be used with or without therapy as well.
Of course, these medications all need a prescription due to the potency and the potential risk of side effects. No matter what you may be prescribed, it is vital that you follow the doctor’s orders and reach out in the case of side effects to discuss if they are worth it or if you are experiencing severe ones.
Now, as for what medications you can take for anxiety, there are a few known to help manage and treat symptoms.
These medications work on affecting your brain chemistry such as increasing serotonin levels or improving how well your body absorbs them. It is done to help regulate mood and decrease stress, and although typically prescribed for depression, these types of medications do seem to help those with anxiety as well.
They do come with a host of side effects though to keep a watch on, so it’s important to take these when regulated by a doctor. When it comes to antidepressants, you may see specific medication such as Cymbalta or Lexapro.
Another type of medication you can be prescribed is benzodiazepines. These medications focus more on the specific brain receptors gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GAB-A) receptors.
It can help make your brain less sensitive to stimulation, making these useful for treating anxiety, mood changes, and sleep complications. They are known to be fast-acting as well.
However, they are also known to be habit-forming. So, doctors may work on other medications with you beforehand to see if you truly need benzodiazepines. Common types of this medication include Xanax and Valium.
You don’t always have to seek out therapy or take medication to treat anxiety symptoms. This is more so true in the case of head rushes and anxiety.
Even if you are seeking external help, you can still try some lifestyle changes as ways to better cope and manage your anxiety and the symptoms that come with it.
For head rushes alone, you can consider sitting down when you feel one coming on. This way, you lower your chance of losing your balance and hurting yourself further while the sensation is attacking you.
You can also keep hydrated. Dehydration can cause a host of issues such as head rushes, so stick to being hydrated as a way to keep your body healthy overall.
If you are experiencing tension headaches, then you can try some techniques to cope with it beyond taking medication, prescription or over-the-counter.
This includes working on some deep breathing techniques to lower stress levels and better control your breathing pattern. It is also a wonderful way to slow your heart rate down. This can lower your risk of experiencing a head rush too.
Tension headaches can also be managed by massaging the muscles in your neck and head to alleviate the muscle tension and relax.
A good healthy habit to pick up when treating anxiety overall is exercise. Exercise can help cut down on stress while also improving other areas of your health. With anxiety, you may not feel the desire to work out initially, but taking it little by little and starting out small is a helpful way for you to build up the habit.
Exercise can also improve your sleep habits too. This is useful for those of you who experience insomnia due to anxiety.
You don’t need to do anything too intense though if you’re not ready or willing. Instead, you can go the route of light yoga. This can work well at keeping you active while also helping your mind slow down and relax.
It is a mindfulness approach that can better help you manage your anxiety.
Another useful route here is meditation. With mediation, you can center yourself more and focus on the task at hand rather than your consistent worries and anxieties. Also, mediation can help those deep breathing techniques so that if an episode hits, you are better equipped to calm yourself down and lower your chances of experiencing other symptoms of anxiety.
Lifestyle changes can be highly effective because they don’t just stop when you’re done with the activity. They have a lasting impact on your life and health, and they can go beyond just allowing you to manage your anxiety and related symptoms better.
Anxiety can manifest itself in numerous ways, some of which we may not even realize at first. Besides sensing impending doom or anxious thoughts, you can experience mood change and have trouble concentrating.
There are plenty of physical signs to keep an eye on too. Your anxiety can cause your heart rate to elevate or your breathing to get out of control. These sensations can lead to experiencing headaches or head rushes.
With head rushes and anxiety, it’s helpful to know that you aren’t experiencing a life-threatening event even if you are confused and more worried during the brief episode. This only lasts a few seconds though, but it can lead to more injury if you lose your balance as you get lightheaded.
So, it is important that you recognize what you are going through and that it relates completely to your anxiety and not some other underlying issue. Once you know this, you can start on the path to healthier living. This can include many things such as therapy, medications, or simple lifestyle changes that can better help you cope and manage such symptoms.
- Peres, M., Mercante, J., Tobo, P. R., Kamei, H., & Bigal, M. E. (2017). Anxiety and depression symptoms and migraine: a symptom-based approach research. The journal of headache and pain, 18(1), 37. https://doi.org/10.1186/s10194-017-0742-1
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