WHY DOES ANXIETY CAUSE DIZZINESS?
There are 4 main ways that anxiety causes dizziness:
1. your anxiety may turn into a panic attack, which will cause an adrenaline rush. This will speed up your breathing and your heart rate and increase your blood pressure and your temperature. So many significant physical changes can overwhelm your body and leave you feeling dizzy
2. your anxiety, if severe, may cause confusion and disorientation. Confusion and disorientation, in combination with your anxiety, can lead to overwhelming dizziness
3. your anxiety may cause visual disturbances. This can lead to a “seasickness” type of dizziness where the world seems to move independently around you
4. your anxiety may cause you to breathe too quickly or too shallowly, causing an imbalance in the oxygen levels in your blood. This imbalance can affect the levels of oxygen in your brain and cause severe dizziness
What Does Dizziness Caused by Anxiety Feel Like?
A big part of dealing with any physical symptom of anxiety is becoming familiar with how it feels. This will help you recognize the symptom when it happens and find reassurance that it’s your anxiety causing the symptom and not something more worrying.
If your anxiety causes dizziness, here’s a list of what you might experience:
you feel as if your head is spinning
you feel faint
you feel like you might pass out
you feel like you’re going to lose your balance
you feel confused
you feel disoriented
you feel like the world is spinning around you
you feel like everything around you is moving too fast
you feel sick or disoriented if you look at moving objects
your dizziness gets worse when you move your head up or down
How to Stop Dizziness Caused by Anxiety
anxiety can cause dizziness in 4 different ways:
as a result of adrenaline released during a panic attack
as a result of disorientation and confusion during severe anxiety
as a result of visual disturbances
as a result of incorrect breathing
The first 3 causes are out of your control. Once anxiety gets bad enough to cause panic attacks, disorientation, or visual disturbances, the dizziness will almost always follow, and by that time it’s too late to stop. So you just have to wait for it to pass.
That’s the bad news.
But the good news is that dizziness caused by anxiety is almost always a result of the 4th cause: the incorrect breathing. That’s something you have the power to change.
There are 2 problems with the way you breathe when you’re anxious:
you breathe too quickly
you breathe too shallowly
Breathing too quickly is a very common problem with anxiety, and at its extreme becomes full-blown hyperventilation.
Breathing too shallowly is also a common problem with anxiety, but it’s one that most people aren’t aware of. Breathing too shallowly means you don’t take deep, full breaths. Instead, you take short, quick breaths.
The result of both of these breathing problems is that your levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide become imbalanced, and either too much or too little oxygen ends up in your system.
And that means you’ll probably feel dizzy.
There are 2 simple techniques you can use to overcome these breathing problems that lead to dizziness:
1. every couple of hours, take slow and controlled breaths for a couple of minutes. Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4, breathe out through your mouth for a count of 8. This controlled breathing will normalize your oxygen levels if they’re low
2. anytime you feel anxious, breathe slowly into a paper bag for 30 seconds. This will prevent your moment of anxiety from leading to shallow breathing, and your oxygen levels will remain in the normal range, hopefully preventing dizziness from happening
Remember to make use of both of these breathing techniques throughout your day, and your chances of experiencing dizziness will be reduced significantly.