Physical Symptoms
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Can Muscle Twitching Be Caused By Anxiety?

Denise Griswold, MSc, LCAS
Can Muscle Twitching Be Caused By Anxiety?

There's no denying that anxiety affects your body. It often seems like anxiety has the ability to move your body involuntarily. Whether it's something as small as a finger or as large as your entire leg, some type of twitching or shaking is incredibly common.

Muscle twitching can be a strange sensation. In some cases your muscle may even move involuntarily. For those suffering from serious anxiety, it's also one of the symptoms that can cause a lot of concern, especially in those with health anxiety, since muscle twitches are associated with some frightening disorders.

Muscle Twitching and Anxiety

Muscle twitching can be a sign of anxiety and can cause a great deal of distress. Some people worry that their twitching may not just be anxiety, or that if it is just anxiety that they won’t ever be able to control it. While muscle twitching is a common sign of anxiety, it's rarely the only symptom.

What Causes Muscle Twitching?

Why your muscles twitch is not entirely known but the two key factors seem to be stress and adrenaline.

It's also possible that the muscle twitching is caused by secondary effects. For example, magnesium is often depleted in times of stress, and low magnesium levels are known to lead to muscle twitching.

Can the Muscle Twitching Be Dangerous?

The fact that muscle twitching is often associated with nerve and brain disorders, many people worry about what twitching muscles means in the overall picture. Twitching muscles may be incredibly annoying and for some people embarrassing, but when caused by anxiety twitching is not dangerous. It's simply yet another sign that your body is reacting to stress.

Muscle Twitching Without Anxious Thoughts

It should also be noted that muscle twitching doesn't need stressful thoughts, feelings, or events to occur. Many people find that their muscles twitch even during periods periods when the person is not experiencing any other noticeable anxiety symptoms.

For better or worse, it is genuinely possible to experience many anxiety signs and symptoms - like muscle twitching - even when you don't feel anxious in the moment. Long term stress affects the way your body works, and in many cases you'll find that your anxiety still manifests even when you don't feel anxious.

How to Stop the Muscle Twitching

Muscle twitching is not easy to stop on its own. Exercise can deplete some of the energy in your muscles which may reduce twitching; however, for some people intense exercise itself can cause muscle twitching.

Whether or not you notice reduction of twitching as a result, exercising is an incredibly valuable way to reduce stress in general, so if you're willing to engage in some daily exercise such as running, it can be highly advantageous.

In general, you need to take a proactive approach to controlling your anxiety. Some basic tips include:

These will help you get started towards controlling your anxiety, and give you a better opportunity to start taking your next steps towards anxiety control.

Thinking About Twitching Causes Twitching

Managing your anxiety is extremely important as the mind can cause you to create the body reactions that you fear.

In other words, if you're worried about your muscle twitching, your muscles may be more likely to twitch. It's just another reason that regaining control of your thoughts and worries is such an important tool for dealing with anxiety.

Anxiety reduction is not something that will occur overnight but there are several proven techniques for learning to manage your anxiety so that it no longer has to be a part of your everyday life. 

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