What Causes Your Hands To Shake
As you might know, the underlying cause of many anxiety symptoms is the bodys fight or flight system.
When your brain detects a stressor, it activates the sympathetic nervous system. This, in turn, floods your body with hormones such as adrenaline to prepare for a dangerous situation.
Very quickly these hormones cause your heart rate to increase, your breathing to speed up and your muscles to be put on full alert. Your body is now ready to fight an aggressoror run for its life.
Theres an obvious problem though
There is nothing waiting to attack or chase you. So theres no reason to run or fightand the adrenaline remains in your system.
So to stop your hand shaking, we need to deactivate the fight or flight system.
But before we can do that, we need to know what not to do
Shaking And Social Anxiety
People with social anxiety are the most likely to start shaking when confronted with triggering situations. While its possible to start shaking when youre alone and start feeling anxious, this phenomenon is far more common when youre surrounded by staring eyes.
Social anxiety has a tendency to get worse as you become aware of its symptoms. For instance, you might notice that youre starting to shake and begin shaking even worse at that realization. Hiding the symptoms of your anxiety or attempting to pretend that you arent anxious can make your symptoms worse, but there are plenty of effective methods you can use to combat social anxiety and anxious shaking.
Rapid Change In Body Temperature
During times of anxiety, the body prepares to enter into fight-or-flight mode, essentially preparing for battle. In a way, the body instantly and automatically prepares to face danger .
One of the ways the body does this is by lowering the internal body temperature . The lowering of body temperature occurs in preparation for the body to drastically increase its temperature during the fight/flight mode. This lowered body temperature can often contribute to the sensation of chills. After a period of time, the body adjusts to the cold, often enabling the person to feel normal again.
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How Can I Learn More About Anxiety
These organizations offer information about and resources for anxiety disorders:
Anxiety Disorders Association of America
This nonprofit organization is dedicated to advocacy and education about anxiety disorders. This link will take you to its website:
American Psychological Association
American Psychiatric Association
Learn more about childrenâs anxiety disorders and other mental health problems. Get help in finding a psychiatrist. This link will take you to the website:
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Learn more about panic disorder, phobias, and treatment that helps. This link will take you to the website:
When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you’ve experienced a panic attack, and especially if you’re dreading another panic attack or changing your behavior to avoid one, it could be worth talking to your primary care provider. They may refer you to a psychiatrist for diagnosis or a psychotherapist for treatment.
Panic attacks are a symptom of a variety of anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, phobia-related disorders, social anxiety disorder, and more. It’s important to get the correct diagnosis so you can seek the most effective treatment for you.
Your healthcare provider will discuss your treatment options with you and help rule out other conditions.
If you or someone you care about is experiencing panic attacks, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
Verywell / Cindy Chung
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How Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Related To Anxiety Disorders
Some people feel the effects of stress in their stomachs. People with IBS have uncomfortable problems with digestion, including stomach pain, constipation and diarrhea. They also frequently have anxiety and depression, which can make symptoms worse.
The connection between IBS and anxiety comes from the nervous system partly controlling the colon. The nervous systems response to stress may affect the stomach. Among people who get treated for IBS, anywhere from 50% to 90% may also have an anxiety disorder or depression. Treatment for IBS may include stress management and psychotherapy to relieve symptoms.
In The Meantime Heres How To Deal
Though professional help is the most effective way to treat physical symptoms of anxiety, therapy and/or medication arent always accessible. In that case, it might be helpful to know some of the common ways people with anxiety practice self-care and help themselves feel better. Like we mentioned earlier, deep breathing is a big one for anxiety symptoms, since hyperventilation can exacerbate many of the symptoms on this list.
Beyond that, our Anxiety Center is full of helpful, expert-recommended tips to make living with anxiety a little easier. Here are a few specific articles to get you started:
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Essential Tremor And Anxiety
Anxiety can affect individuals with ET in different ways. Common types of anxiety disorders seen in conjunction with essential tremor include:
- Panic disorder: One of the most extreme anxiety disorders is panic disorder. Someone with a panic disorder may suddenly feel intense anxiety or fear that reaches a peak. Heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, and feelings of impending doom are all associated with panic disorder. Panic attacks can happen without a trigger.
- Social anxiety disorder: People with social anxiety have high levels of fear and nervousness in social situations. They tend to avoid social situations due to self-consciousness and the fear of judgment.
- Agoraphobia: Those with agoraphobia suffer from the fear or avoidance of places or situations where youre not in control.
- Generalized anxiety disorder: Generalized anxiety is persistent worry about activities or events, even ones that are normal. Usually, anxious feelings are out of proportion with the situation itself. GAD often appears with another disorder or depression.
For some, essential tremor causes both anxiety and stresswhich can make the shaking from essential tremor worse.
How Does Ptsd Affect Sleep
Individuals with PTSD frequently have trouble falling asleep and awaken easily, often waking up many times throughout the night. Many people with PTSD also have nightmares. These issues result in disrupted, non-refreshing sleep.
Those with chronic pain, substance abuse, traumatic brain injury, depression, or other medical problems face an additional barrier to getting quality sleep. Certain sleep medications also interfere with REM sleep, which is the sleep stage during which we dream and an important sleep stage for dealing with traumatic memories.
The most common sleep problems in PTSD can be summed up in three categories:
Treating PTSD-related sleep problems, as well as co-existing disorders such as depression, is an important part of resolving overall PTSD symptoms.
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Anxiety Tremors And Shaky Hands
Millions of Americans suffer from anxiety, which can cause nervousness, difficulty concentrating, shaking, and muscle tension. Anxiety can cause shakiness on its own and it can also make an existing tremor more pronounced.
Its important to note that if you have an existing movement disorder like essential tremor, or ET, feelings of anxiety can exacerbate symptoms but anxiety isnt the root cause of ET. Furthermore, some patients with ET might experience increased anxiety in situations where their tremor is more apparent, for example, eating in a social setting or holding a paper while giving a presentation.
Understanding how anxiety can influence essential tremor and avoiding anxiety-triggering situations can help you better manage your ET symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about how tremors and anxiety interact and how to manage feelings of unease in healthy ways.
Tension And Ptsd Trauma Release Exercises
Only last year I got confirmation for what I had been doing when I found out that Dr. David Berceli had formalized the process, calling it TRE for Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises . When I realized it was a powerful healing tool that could help many people, I was relieved, because it wasnt just a random and odd sensation only I experienced.
Then I watched a television special on PTSD in the military. It showed a soldier in World War I sitting in a ditch, just having left combat. His body was shaking violently. I completely understood how he felt, and at that moment I realized that shaking to release fear is not a new concept our bodies will naturally try to resolve trauma if we let them.
I continue to let my body shake as needed, and consider it one of the most valuable tools Ive ever found to deal with the effects of abuse in my life.
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Why Do People Shake When They Have Anxiety
Anxiety is a type of fear, and your body cant differentiate between fear caused by an external event and fear caused by your mind. As a result, your body reacts the same way to a perceived threat as it would to an actually dangerous situation by flooding your nervous system with adrenaline and provoking a fight-or-flight response.
Also known as epinephrine, adrenaline is a powerful stimulant that is designed to grant you superhuman strength and response times, allowing you to remove yourself from dangerous situations. Adrenaline sends massively increased blood flow to your skeletal muscles, increasing your physical strength, and this natural, body-generated stimulant also increases your heart rate and blood sugar.
Just like pharmaceutical stimulants, the natural stimulant adrenaline can cause tremors or shaking as muscles overloaded with stimulation start spasming out of control. As is also the case with stimulant drugs like amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, this likelihood to shake when anxious progresses the more frequently your body is flooded with adrenaline.
If you experience severe anxious responses multiple times per day, youre more likely to develop tremors over the long run. Conversely, uncontrollable nervous shaking is less common in individuals who dont experience anxious responses very frequently.
Safe Way To Stop Cold Chills
Some people are greatly disturbed by the cold chills they experience. Cold chills, in general, cause no harm. While it is possible for some chills to last a significant length of time , they tend to come and go, and little extra work is necessary to manage and/or avoid them.
Cold chills tend to be related to anxiety. Because they are common during periods of intense anxiety, such as panic attacks, the anxiety rather than the chills themselves should be targeted.
However, if the chills are hugely uncomfortable, a person can try to do a few things to better manage them:
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What Is Panic Disorder
Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that can be diagnosed by a psychiatrist or your primary care provider. According to the DSM-5, a person must regularly experience unexpected panic attacks to be diagnosed with panic disorder.
At least one of these panic attacks must be followed by a one-month period of the person experiencing intense fear and avoidance behaviors around subsequent panic attacks.
Not All Anxiety Is A Disorder
Everyone experiences anxiety and fear at times these are normal and helpful human emotions that help us deal with danger. However, some people experience excessive and irrational anxiety and worries that become ongoing and distressing, and that interfere with their daily lives. This may indicate an anxiety disorder. Often there appears to be no obvious or logical reason for the way the person feels. This may make an anxiety disorder even more worrying to the sufferer.
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Can Drinking More Water Help Anxiety
Water has been shown to have natural calming properties, likely as a result of addressing dehydration’s effects on the body and brain. Drinking enough water is an important step in managing your anxiety. Even if you’re not experiencing anxiety, drinking sufficient water can create feelings of relaxation.
Low Blood Sugar Levels
Uncontrollable shivering can be caused by low blood sugar levels. Shivering, in this case, is accompanied by a headache, dizziness, sweating, and rapid heartbeat. When people with diabetes take their insulin shot and forget to eat food or eat less food, they may end up having excessive insulin in their blood, which can lead to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
Other reasons for hypoglycemia are:
- Alcohol abuse
- Low carbohydrate intake
- Skipping meals
When people with diabetes have low blood sugar levels, it can cause their body to uncontrollably shiver or shake. However, people without diabetes may also experience low blood sugar levels and uncontrollable shaking due to excessive alcohol intake, taking certain herbal supplements, and too much exercise.
It is recommended to eat small frequent meals throughout the day to help prevent a drop in the blood sugar level and prevent episodes of uncontrollable shaking from happening.
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Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorder That You Might Not Recognize
When thinking about anxiety disorder, you probably consider the classic signs shortness of breath, racing heart, and constant overthinking. But physical symptoms of anxiety disorders are real, too. Anxiety is a complex mental illness that gives those who experience it a wide range of symptoms. Its important to know and be mindful about the physical impact anxiety can have on people, because it can feel quite frightening when it happens to you. If you find yourself nodding along in response to the symptoms listed below, you might consider reaching out for help. And as a reminder, more than 30% of adults will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives, so you’re definitely not alone.
How Is Tremor Diagnosed
Because tremor is a symptom rather than a medical condition, your doctor will concentrate on finding out what is causing your tremor. This is key, because the treatment for tremor depends on what is causing it. They can often narrow down the cause of your tremor by asking key questions. These include:
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Who Is At Risk For Anxiety Disorders
A mix of genetic and environmental factors can raise a persons risk for developing anxiety disorders. You may be at higher risk if you have or had:
- Certain personality traits, such as shyness or behavioral inhibition feeling uncomfortable with, and avoiding, unfamiliar people, situations or environments.
- Stressful or traumatic events in early childhood or adulthood.
- Family history of anxiety or other mental health conditions.
- Certain physical conditions, including thyroid problems and heart arrhythmias .
Anxiety disorders occur more often in women. Researchers are still studying why that happens. It may come from womens hormones, especially those that fluctuate throughout the month. The hormone testosterone may play a role, too men have more, and it may ease anxiety. Its also possible that women are less likely to seek treatment, so the anxiety worsens.