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Today I’m going to give you an overview of the most common facial anxiety symptoms people experience and why they occur.
In fact, once I learned exactly why these symptoms were occurring, I was able to start better managing them on my own.
But first, does this sound familiar to you?
I would be out doing something pretty ordinary, like grocery shopping, and chest pain would get me into a total panic and I’d believe with all my heart (excuse the pun) that I was having a heart attack.
I’m not being dramatic, when you’re in the midst of panic, logical reasoning flies out the window and this is what happened to me every time a physical sensation came on.
If you have anxiety or panic disorder then I just know you can relate.
By now I’m sure you’ve experienced all types of bizarre symptoms, but perhaps when you try to google them you become frustrated because there isn’t always enough info out there about the less talked about anxiety symptoms.
When I first started frantically Googling every symptom I had I’d often end up feeling even worse, because I’d stumble across more than one medical site telling me that my symptom was quite serious.
Let me just say that anxiety symptoms are completely normal, although they can feel pretty damn terrifying and sometimes downright weird.
The symptoms I’m going to talk about in this article all relate to facial sensations and when I first started experiencing them, I would freak out and think I was having a stroke.
I would stare at my reflection and look for signs of drooping in my face or slurred speech and even when it was obvious I was okay, a little nagging voice would still linger at the back of my mind and leave me feeling unsettled for the rest of the day.
If you’re experiencing any kind of weird sensations in your face along with your anxiety then keep reading and see which ones you may have on this list.
1. Facial Tension/Pain In The Face
This feels like a tightness in the face, you know that feeling when you leave a clay mask on for a little too long?
It could be in one area (often the jaw or forehead) or all over.
You may also experience pain that feels like a dull throbbing ache or even shooting pains anywhere in your face.
Often this kind of tension pain can extend into your head, neck, and shoulders.
What causes tension and pain in the face?
This symptom is not pleasant and may have you asking why you have to deal with it, but there’s a logical explanation for your symptoms, even though it may feel like they don’t make sense.
When you’re in a heightened state of stress or anxiety your body naturally releases hormones that stimulate your sympathetic nervous system.
This can cause your muscles to tense up in preparation for the fight or flee response and eventually this tension or tightness can lead to pain and other weird sensations, which we’ll talk about in this article.
2. Facial Tingling
This is the symptom that would always scare the heck out of me.
I would always get a tingling, like a pins and needles sensation, either around my mouth, on my lips or one side of my face (hence the checking for droopy features!)
What causes tingling in the face?
There’s no specific reason for tingling in the face, but it may be due to hyperventilation.
One thing I’ve learned as an anxiety sufferer is that when your body is in a constant fight or flight state, you are much more aware of every tiny sensation that occurs.
Sometimes they don’t make sense, but anxiety doesn’t really make much sense. When going through it all of our senses are heightened so we experience and feel bodily sensations much more, but it feels like we lose all sense in our minds.
3. Facial Redness
When I was studying as an aesthetician (many moons ago) there was an incident one day that was quite unpleasant.
Long story short, a girl I went to school with kind of freaked out at me one day (I understand now that she was dealing with major mental and emotional issues) and she cornered me and threatened to throw a chair at me.
Writing this down seems kind of amusing now, but at the time I was absolutely terrified.
After things settled down and I went to talk to the school director in her office, my whole face and chest started burning and turned super red.
It was like some random rash that erupted out of nowhere. It stayed for an hour or two and started to die down and fade when I started to relax. This redness also feels hot to the touch and can burn quite intensely.
What causes facial redness?
I learned only recently that this kind of redness is caused by a dilation of the blood capillaries and can happen when you’re in a really stressed-out state.
Thinking back, I actually had it happen a few times when I was very upset or very nervous, like before a speech at school.
I had no idea what was happening but knew it only came when I wasn’t happy.
4. Facial Twitching
Ah, twitching, my old friend. NOT.
Twitching used to get me into a real state of panic, because when I looked up my symptoms all I came across were articles about debilitating diseases.
Just sitting with my finger hovering over the Google search bar would get me into a state of fear; I would sweat, shake and my heart would race.
I’m actually embarrassed to admit that, but I know that you may relate reading this so I want to be as honest as I can.
Fear is a scary emotion to have and it can seriously mess with your headspace.
Twitching would be a trigger for my fear, and as a twitch came on, I would obsess over it and guess what, it only got worse. Sometimes it would hang around for weeks!
No, make that months.
I started out with a twitch in my finger, then my wrist, my ankle, my knee, my eye, you name it and it’s twitched. Okay so that sounds a little weird, but seriously, I have twitched everywhere! Yes…my butt too.
I even started crying one morning when my eye twitch got super intense because I thought it was something serious.
Trust me, crying makes eye twitching worse, I learned the hard way.
So you may know about eye twitching, maybe your eye is twitching as you read this, but perhaps you’re wondering what other parts of your face can hop, skip and jump too.
I’ve had twitching in my forehead, my cheeks, my nose (that one was a little uncomfortable), my eyelid, under my eye, my lips, my neck, my jaw, yep all over my face.
The more you panic and stress and tense up your muscles, the more intense the twitches get and the longer they hang around.
What causes facial twitching?
To give you the best possible answer, I am going to quote directly from a website that helped me tremendously when I was dealing with anxiety symptoms:
“Behaving apprehensively stresses the body. A body that becomes overly stressed (stress-response hyperstimulated) can cause the nervous system to behave erratically, which can cause nerve impulses to fire erratically. Since nerve impulses control muscles, an erratically behaving nervous system can cause muscles to twitch. As long as the nervous system is even slightly overly stressed, it can cause erratic muscle twitching.”
So as you can see, anxiety is definitely to blame for chronic muscle twitching and as long as your body remains in a heightened state of stress, they’re going to stick around.
For me, just learning that they weren’t serious was really all I needed. I became far more relaxed every time I had a twitch and this chilled out response caused them to disappear much quicker!
Which of these facial anxiety symptoms have you experienced the most?
Let me know in the comments!
And if you found this article helpful, I’d greatly appreciate you sharing on your social media channel of choice 🙂