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Rapid Heartbeat and Anxiety

Micah Abraham, BSc
Rapid Heartbeat and Anxiety

One of the greatest challenges facing those that have anxiety is that anxiety feeds itself. For example, if you are afraid of social situations because you are worried about being embarrassed, and then you go out to a public place, stumble over your words, and embarrass yourself, you’ll be even more likely to experience anxiety the next time you decide to go out.

The symptoms of anxiety are often able to do the same thing. That is especially the case with a rapid heartbeat. Anxiety can make your heartbeat speed up, and when it does, it can be a scary event that creates even more anxiety.

How Anxiety Causes Rapid Heartbeat

Anxiety is the activation of the fight or flight system. It is reacting as though it is about to experience a dangerous situation. If you were to run or fight, you would need your heartbeat to speed up so that blood could flow quickly to your muscles so that you can run for your life or punch your attacker in the nose.

But there is no danger.

So all you’re left with is a pounding, fast heartbeat that you are unable to slow down. The fight or flight system is linked to a hormone called adrenaline, which triggers all of the different responses your body has to dangerous situations. The adrenaline is moving through your veins, keeping your heart rate fast, and leading to the unease you feel about it.

In addition, because there is no danger, you are likely well aware of how fast your heart is going. For many, that creates more anxiety, leading to a sustained rapid heart rate. The technical term for this is Sinus Tachycardia.

Yet that’s not even the only link between anxiety and rapid heartbeat.

These are some of the many links between anxiety and rapid heartbeat. They also explain yet another reason that anxiety feeds itself. Your heart is responsible for your life. It is perfectly normal to feel more anxiety when it seems like something is going wrong with your heart.

Controlling Rapid Heartbeat from Anxiety

Because rapid heartbeat is linked to anxiety, the best way to control it is to reduce your anxiety. But for those looking for specific tips to address this one symptom, there are different strategies and techniques you can try:

A rapid heartbeat is, unfortunately, one of those symptoms of anxiety that is not easily stopped. Anxiety is the fight or flight system, and the fight or flight system releases adrenaline which races your heart.

Instead, what you should try to do is focus on preventing rapid heartbeat from creating more anxiety for you. You can do this by learning to breathe during times of anxiousness, waiting out the rapid heartbeat in a comfortable place, and gaining a greater level of understanding about how it occurred.

It may not stop the way your heart beats, but it will give you a chance to prevent rapid heartbeat – and other anxiety symptoms – from feeding on themselves and causing more anxiety to occur.

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