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Can Anxiety Cause Chest Pain? 

Written by Integrative Health Daily Staff

A Guide of Natural Solutions for Anxiety Relief

Why It Matters: The majority of people will experience a form of anxiety during their lifetime. Recognizing symptoms, like chest pain, and knowing how to treat it will enhance overall well-being and stress relief. 

Can Anxiety Cause Chest Pain?

Suffering from anxiety affects the physical body and chest pain is a common symptom. Anxiety is a widespread mental health concern that affects countless individuals worldwide, with chest pain being one of its most disconcerting physical symptoms. 

In this article, we will explore the connection between anxiety and chest pain, while also offering a range of natural solutions to help alleviate anxiety. Drawing from the wisdom of popular experts in the integrative health industry, we share effective strategies to ease anxiety and enhance your overall well-being.

If you are experiencing chest pain often or to the point where it disrupts your daily life,  contact your trusted provider or browse our practitioner directory

Understanding the Link Between Anxiety and Chest Pain

Anxiety can manifest in various ways, with chest pain being one of its most distressing symptoms. Tightening in the chest and elevated heartbeat are two of the body’s natural reactions to anxiety.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, “Anxiety can cause chest pain because the body’s stress response leads to increased muscle tension, heart rate, and blood pressure, all of which can contribute to discomfort in the chest area”. 

Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that people with generalized anxiety disorder have a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease. This emphasizes the importance of addressing anxiety and its symptoms to maintain a healthy heart.

“Anxiety can cause chest pain because the body’s stress response leads to increased muscle tension, heart rate, and blood pressure, all of which can contribute to discomfort in the chest area”  Dr. Andrew Weil.

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Natural Solutions for Anxiety Relief

Now that we have answered, “can anxiety cause chest pain,” here is a guide of natural remedies and solutions that can be incorporated into your wellness routine starting today.  

  1. Mindfulness Meditation 

Mindfulness meditation helps slow the mind and breath down making it easier to focus on the present moment. Begin by focusing on your breath, body sensations, or surroundings, and gently bringing your attention back to the present whenever your mind wanders.

Dr. James S. Gordon, founder of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, recommends mindfulness meditation as a natural solution to alleviate anxiety. He states, “Mindfulness meditation helps to reduce anxiety by training the brain to be present and aware of the current moment, rather than being preoccupied with worries and fears”. 

  1. Exercise

Moving your body daily is proven to boost mood and alleviate stress and anxiety symptoms; set an alarm throughout the day to stretch, walk or move for at least ten-minutes. Create a goal to achieve at least 30-minutes of brisk walking, cycling, swimming or hiking several days a week.

 As Dr. Kelly Brogan, a holistic psychiatrist, suggests, “Engaging in regular exercise can help to release endorphins, which are natural mood elevators, and regulate stress hormones like cortisol”. 

  1. Balanced Diet 

A balanced and healthy diet plays a crucial role in managing anxiety. Dr. Daniel Amen, a psychiatrist and founder of Amen Clinics, advises, “Consuming a diet rich in whole foods, lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates can help to stabilize blood sugar levels and support brain function, which in turn may reduce anxiety symptoms”. 

Additionally, include foods high in magnesium, such as leafy greens, nuts, and seeds, as magnesium is known to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.

  1. Herbal Remedies 

Several herbal remedies, tinctures and teas have been studied for their potential to alleviate anxiety. Dr. Weil recommends passionflower, valerian, and kava as natural alternatives for anxiety relief. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal supplements, as they may interact with medications or have side effects.

  1. Relaxation Techniques 

Relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing exercises, can help to reduce anxiety and chest pain. Visualize each muscle softening while deep breathing. This is especially effective for shoulder, neck and upper back muscles, where many people hold stress.

Dr. Gordon explains, “Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and releasing different muscle groups in a systematic manner, which can help to release tension and promote relaxation throughout the body”. Likewise, deep breathing exercises can help to activate the body’s relaxation response and reduce anxiety.

START SMALL FOR SUCCESS

  • Incorporate meditation & relaxing breathing techniques into your day
  • Eat a diet full of high-quality proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs to stabilize blood sugar and support brain function
  • Prioritize moving your body daily; several times a week incorporate at least 30-minutes of moderate walking, cycling or swimming
  • Use anxiety-relieving natural remedies, supplements and teas once consulting with a healthcare professional

Conclusion

In conclusion, anxiety can indeed cause chest pain, but by implementing the natural solutions discussed in this article, you can effectively manage anxiety and its symptoms. By incorporating mindfulness meditation, exercise, a balanced diet, herbal remedies, and relaxation techniques into your daily routine, you’ll be well on your way to alleviating anxiety and achieving a healthier, happier life. Remember, your well-being matters, so don’t hesitate to embrace these natural solutions for anxiety and take the first steps towards a more balanced and peaceful state of mind.

Amen, D. (2019). The end of mental illness: How neuroscience is transforming psychiatry and helping prevent or reverse mood and anxiety disorders, ADHD, addictions, PTSD, psychosis, personality disorders, and more. Tyndale Momentum.
Brogan, K. (2016). A mind of your own: The truth about depression and how women can heal their bodies to reclaim their lives. Harper Wave.
Gordon, J. S. (2018). The transformation: Discovering wholeness and healing after trauma. HarperOne.
Roest, A. M., Martens, E. J., de Jonge, P., & Denollet, J. (2010). Anxiety and risk of incident coronary heart disease: A meta-analysis. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 56(1), 38-46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2010.03.034
Weil, A. (2020). Spontaneous happiness: A new path to emotional well-being. Little, Brown Spark.

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