The way anxiety affects your body can be upsetting, and in some cases it can feel very distressing. It’s not uncommon to experience symptoms that you might otherwise consider strange, symptoms that may actually lead to an increase in your anxiety as you try to determine why they occur.
That’s what often happens to those who experience buzzing sensations. These sensations are usually physical, not auditory, but some people do hear buzzing sounds. They constitute a strange symptom without an obvious immediate cause, which can create significant distress in those who experience it.
Understanding the Buzzing Feeling
The buzzing sensation is hard for many to explain. What makes it more interesting is that it appears to occur even when no clear anxiety is present. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so hard to describe and diagnose: the buzzing itself doesn’t always occur at the peak of anxiety.
The most common experience of the buzzing feeling entails feeling like your muscles, fingers, or legs are vibrating or shaking inside. It’s not the same thing as “nervous shaking.” Rather, it’s like your body is acting like an electric toothbrush that goes on and vibrates in strange and unusual ways. For some, the twitching is very fast. For others, it’s a bit slower.
Why Symptoms Occur When No Anxiety is Present
One of the reasons this symptom causes so much distress is that it can occur without any clear anxiety being present. Since most anxiety symptoms occur along with an emotional experience of anxiety, this can cause the feeling that something else is wrong with your body. It commonly triggers a large number of the health fears that many with anxiety experience regularly.
Two issues cause the buzzing feeling — and other unusual sensations that occur in the absence of anxiety — to happen when your anxiety dies down:
- Some people experience unconscious fear and anxiety. These are sources of stress that they may not be entirely aware of. Sometimes, when you are used to blocking out or trying to ignore feelings, this can be the case. Your body still responds to the anxiety although you may feel fine at the time.
- Anxiety genuinely alters the way your body works, and long-term stress can alter hormones, tense muscles, and do more
Don’t forget that anxiety is associated with both worst-case-scenario thinking and the tendency to focus on feelings and sensations to such a strong degree that you become overly aware of and sensitive to them. In some cases, you may pay excessive attention to your body, making the sensations more intense without realizing it.
Cause of Buzzing Sensations
The strange thing about these buzzing sensations is that it’s not clear what causes them. Most likely, it’s simply a different way of reacting to that "falling asleep" feeling that comes from anxiety and stress. Anxiety and panic attacks cause issues that lead to tingling in the extremities, but not everyone experiences it the same way. Others experience more of a burning sensation, while still others experience simple weakness. Buzzing may be another experience.
It’s also possible that it’s simply a reaction of the tense muscles to the hormones of the body. Muscles respond directly to hormones and nerves, and if both hormones and nerves behave incorrectly, it may be due to their reactions to the chemicals around them.
It would be easier if there were research into the cause of buzzing, but unfortunately little to no research of this type has been conducted. The key thing to realize is that many people appear to suffer from this type of condition — some do so to such a degree that they can hear the buzzing in their ears — and it would not be unusual for you to experience this sensation yourself.
Turning Off the Health Fears
When you have anxiety, Googling your symptoms is one of the worst things you can do. You’ll find that issues like buzzing — and many other types of disorders — are caused by neurological conditions like MS and ALS.
You should always see a doctor if you are worried about new or changing symptoms. But rest assured that these conditions are rare and your doctor is sure to have experience identifying them. You need to make sure that you are not contributing to your own anxiety by looking up all of your symptoms and convincing yourself you have the worst thing you can find.
Anxiety causes a buzzing sensation, but scientists are still trying to determine why. It is believed to relate to the way hormones interact with your body as a result of persistent, long term stress. Addressing your anxiety is the best way to stop the sensations.