Anxiety is exhausting! Anxiety-induced fatigue is that brain foggy, heavy-body, low-energy feeling that makes doing everything feel impossible.
So, what causes anxiety fatigue?
The fear response (increased heartbeat, shallow breathing, nausea, dizziness, etc.), sends a surge of adrenaline into your system in order to prepare the body for fight or flight. Anxiety sufferers spend a lot more time in that feeling of being “keyed up,” agitated or restless than those not suffering from anxiety. Fatigue is a natural result of time spent in this heightened state of alert. You may also know this as adrenal fatigue.
Muscle tightness is a unswerving result of the release of adrenaline in the body. As the body prepares to fight or flee, blood rushes to the major muscle groups causing them to contract. Chronic anxiety causes overuse of muscles—similar to the feeling of working out for hours which drains your energy and leaves you feeling exhausted.
Compulsive and obsessive thinking is a trademark of anxiety; Again, fatigue is a natural result of extreme brain activity.
Many anxiety sufferers have difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. Chronic insomnia obviously is a major cause of fatigue.
There are countless prescription medications that can cause you to feel worn-out and frail. Blood pressure medication, beta blockers, cholesterol lowering meds proton pump inhibitors, antihistamines, Benzodiazepines and anti-depressants are the most common offenders. Sometimes the medications you rely on to help ease your anxiety symptoms may also be the cause of your fatigue.
Fatigue is not only an outcome of chronic anxiety; it is also a coping mechanism for managing chronic anxiety.
Below are few tips for lessening anxiety-induced fatigue.
Take a long slow walk
Reduce your caffeine intake, particularly in the evening
Learn diaphragmatic breathing (deep belly) exercises
Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)
Try some gentle Yoga
Get a massage
Stay cool (warmth induces sleepiness)
Water, water, water. Drink a lot of water (dehydration causes/exacerbates fatigue)
Eat small meals frequently (skipping meals causes fatigue)
Consider melatonin if you are having difficulty sleeping (check with your doctor)
Take Vitamin B supplements (check with your doctor)
Reduce alcohol intake, especially in the evening
Get brain and body rest
Written by Kristé Sprague, Doctor of Transpersonal Counseling, Certified Neuroplasticity Specialist, Certified Holistic Practitioner, Certified Recovery Coach and Reiki Master. Kristé specializes in Anxiety Recovery Therapy in Ellsworth, Maine using a compassionate, heart-centered, solution-focused, holistic counseling and coaching model along with neuroplasticity. Kristé is currently seeing clients for anxiety therapy online across the USA. For more information visit www.gatewaytohappy.com.