Nausea From Anxiety

Nausea From Anxiety

One of the more unpleasant things I’ve experienced is nausea from anxiety. While all anxiety sufferers have different symptoms, it is quite common to experience nausea from anxiety and panic attacks. It’s also one of the things I hate most. In addition to the anxiety that brought it on, I now have to worry about the mess and humiliation of vomiting in public.

I’ve gotten plenty of unhelpful advice. Eat a cracker. Breathe slowly. Hold your breath. Drink a glass of water. Those are things that help with nausea when you have a stomach problem. Nausea from anxiety is different. It doesn’t start in your stomach, so you can’t make it stop in your stomach.

If the tactics above help to alleviate your nausea from anxiety, then by all means go ahead. It’s never worked for me, but like all anxiety, it will be different for each of us. Abdominal breathing works for my general bouts of anxiety, but not when I experience nausea from anxiety. Unfortunately, I have tried countless ways to control nausea from anxiety and most have failed. However, I will share some of the things that have worked for others, as well as what helps me.

I’ve found that eating or drinking water or soda doesn’t help at all. It actually makes it worse for me. Many people, however, find that they can relieve nausea from anxiety by eating a small amount of bland food like a cracker or drinking a few sips of water or soda. While these make me feel even sicker, quite a few people have found it to be helpful. It’s definitely worth a try.

Some say that holding your breath, taking slow controlled breaths, or other breathing exercises can help. Again, I’ve tried these and didn’t find them helpful when the nausea strikes. If anything, it makes me even more aware of the nausea, and it intensifies.

I have found it useful to have fresh air blowing on my face. In the car, I’ll roll down the window and stick my face out. At home we have several small fans scattered around, so that I’m never too far from one. And on occasion I’ve simply fanned myself with a piece of paper. It isn’t as good as wind or a fan but it helps a little.

Another trick that I like is taking a cool wet washcloth and laying it across the back of my neck. Sometimes I wash my face with it as well, and I’ve even just draped a wet towel over my whole head on a particularly bad day. I looked and felt quite stupid but it did help.

I’m honestly not sure why, but when I experience nausea from anxiety it seems to be related to overheating. Sometimes my face is flushed and the skin feels hot as well. Cool water and air help to remove some of the heat.

Sometimes I’m able to distract myself. If I can get my mind occupied then the nausea from anxiety eventually goes away. Be careful, though, because watching television or waiting around can agitate the nausea.

If all else fails, a cup of chamomile tea will almost always help allay my nausea from anxiety, because it calms me down — plain water and soda just won’t work for me. However, having chamomile around isn’t always an option (for example, when I’m in a movie theater). Another thing to note is that if you drink too much chamomile for several days in a row, you’ll develop a tolerance to it like I do. It’s best to take a break from chamomile every now and then, and practice anxiety-reduction techniques from the Linden Method.

If nausea from anxiety is a frequent problem, you might want to look into medications to help control it. I avoid medications as much as possible, because there are really bad side effects, and most medications come with tolerance and/or dependence — but sometimes there isn’t an option. There are quite a few available, from prescriptions to over the counter medicines to natural herbal remedies. It’s a good idea to give a few a try until you find what helps you.

No matter how bad it gets, remember that like all other symptoms, nausea from anxiety will go away eventually. It can be hard to be patient when you’re miserable, I know, but nothing lasts forever. When the nausea goes away you’ll be able to relax and carry on with life again.