Why Do Parts of My Body Go Numb When I Am Anxious?

by Stephen Joseph

Physical numbness is one of the most common symptoms of anxiety. Sufferers often report their fingers, toes, hands, feet or even parts of their faces going numb during a panic attack or strong anxiety moment. This in turn leads to further tension and worry about why the finger or limb is going numb and leads to an increasing circle of anxiety.

However, this need not be the case for temporary numbness in anxiety sufferers can be frequent and is largely explainable. When anxiety strikes, whether in the form of a panic attack or a heightened period of worry or fear, the blood from your body rushes to the important organs and muscle groups of the body associated with defence. These include the brain, heart, arms and legs, which are all vital for the “flight or fight” defence mechanism inherent to mankind and all animals.

This rush of blood away from the extremities such as the hands, feet and also non-essential areas of the body, cause a feeling of numbness in those places. The numbness is not dangerous and should be temporary. Once the panic attack or anxiety moment passes, the feelings should return to normal.

There are other causes of numbness in the body and these should be kept in mind if the numbness is constant and is not affected by the rise and fall of anxiety levels. It’s wise to check these possibilities and notify a doctor if you are overly worried. The sensations of numbness and the tingling (“pins and needles”) which often accompanies an anxiety attack can also make people fear they are about to suffer a heart attack, which also increases the fear and symptoms.

The only way to stop these unpleasant numb and tingling sensations is to eradicate anxiety in its entirety. This is very possible and my confidence in this fact stems from my own experience of overcoming my anxiety disorders and the related symptoms. Trying to get rid of the numbness before destroying the anxiety is like trying to get rid of the ash from a fiery volcano. It’s not going to happen that way round.

However, there are some exercises you can do which will help to alleviate the numbness and tingling sensations. Gentle movement and massage of the area concerned will increase the blood flow once again and should reduce the negative sensations. Mental awareness of why the numbness is happening will also help in that your anxiety levels will not rise further due to fear of the unexplained physical symptoms. Just remember, the numbness, if it comes during an anxiety attack, is normal and above all, harmless.

The outsmarting of anxiety needs a coherent plan of action and from my personal experience, there is no better way to eradicate anxiety disorders than the Linden Method.

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