Can Anxiety Cause Excessive Sweating?

Anxiety can cause excessive sweating! Typically sweating results from anxiety’s effects on your body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate.

And sweating is a common symptom of anxiety disorders and nervous behaviour, including heavy, extreme, and uncontrollable sweat. Some people lose awareness of their body’s responses when they experience excessive anxiety.

In this article, we will share why anxiety causes sweating, where it causes sweating and the symptoms of anxiety sweating. Keep reading till the end to know everything!

Can Anxiety Cause Excessive Sweating?

When you’re scared, you may sweat your palms, face, underarms, groin, or the bottoms of your feet.

Your autonomic nervous system (ANS), also called the “fight-or-flight” mode, is set off by anxiety. This sends a flood of stress hormones (like cortisol) through your bloodstream, which makes your body react in several ways.

When you’re worried, your brain tells your body to prepare for something terrible. Your heart beats fast, your blood pumps, and your body heat increases. So, you start sweating.

People can sometimes sweat excessive due to anxiety. This hyperhidrosis affects between 1% and 3% of people in the United States.

Why does anxiety cause excessive sweating?

There are four reasons anxiety causes excessive sweating. Here we have explained all of these below!

Causes of excessive sweating due to anxiety: One

Being anxious (acting anxiously) triggers the stress response. It makes the body sweat more When danger is sensed, stress hormones change how the body works to prepare it to act immediately. This moves blood to the parts of the body that need it most for emergency action and away from those that don’t.

This change partly increases sweating so the body’s water can leave through the skin instead of the kidneys. This way, you don’t have to stop urinating when trying to protect yourself or get away from danger; as part of the stress response, breathing and heart rate speed up.

The body’s temperature goes up because of this increased breathing and shunting. The other reason the body sweats more is to help cool itself.

Since the feelings and symptoms of a stress response are directly related to the amount of anxiety, different anxiety levels can cause a wide range of feelings and symptoms. For example, someone who is very anxious might feel and have very strong symptoms, while someone who is only a little anxious might feel and have symptoms that are not as strong. Because of the changes in our stress response when we’re worried, we might start to sweat more.

So, being worried can make you sweat more, and the amount of sweating can range from a little to a lot, depending on how worried you are.

Since we know that high anxiety levels are linked to strong reactions, we are usually not afraid of our strong feelings and symptoms because we know why they happen. When we’re very anxious, many of us can accept that our strong feelings and symptoms are just part of being very anxious. But when feelings and symptoms happen for no clear reason, many worry that something more serious is happening, which brings us to point 2.

Causes of excessive sweating due to anxiety: Two

Stress-response Hyperstimulation, which happens when your body is under too much stress, can cause strange feelings and symptoms, like sweating, that you don’t want to do

Just like we can sweat when we’re nervous, we can sweat all over the place when our bodies are under too much stress (stress-response hyperstimulated). When the body is under too much stress, it can act erratically and less voluntarily than usual. This means that feelings and signs of stress can happen anytime and for no reason.

Causes of excessive sweating due to anxiety: Three

Stress-response Hyperstimulation can make us feel and act more afraid of danger. Stress hormones are meant to make us both more aware of the danger and quicker to respond to it.

As stress-response hyperstimulation gets worse, our sense of danger can get worse, and so can the body’s response to it, such as worsening the stress response’s feelings and symptoms.

If you used to break out in a hot or cold sweat when you were nervous, you might now break out in a lot of sweat because your body is overstimulated.

Causes of excessive sweating due to anxiety: Four

Reacting to or worrying about your sweating too much can cause more stress responses, which can cause or worsen stress-related symptoms such as sweating too much.

Keeping your anxiety and staying calm can help you avoid stress responses and their effects. In the Recovery Support section of our website, we talk about “containing” and the “fear cycle.”

Where Does Anxious Sweating Occur?

You can sweat from anxiety almost anywhere on your body. The most embarrassing times to sweat a lot because of anxiety are when others can see it.

Wet spots under your arms, on your hands and palms (like when you shake hands), or beads of sweat on your forehead or running down your face. Some people can even feel their feet sweating.

Being self-conscious or thinking about it makes it worse and makes you feel more insecure. It makes you sweat even more.

What are the common Causes of Anxious Sweating?

Everyone has a list of things that make them feel anxious. These are stressful situations or feelings that make them sweat more than usual.

Here are some common things that can make people sweat and feel more anxious than usual:

  • Talking in public. Most people get nervous when speaking in front of a group.
  • Trying to control things that you can’t control. For example, a daily commute with a lot of traffic and angry drivers behind the wheel.
  • Afraid of people. Some people find meeting new people scary. It’s fine if you don’t like making small talk with strangers. But it’s pretty hard to avoid meeting new people in some situations, like at work.
  • Rejection. In all kinds of relationships, fearing rejection can be a source of anxiety. Some people find it easier to deal with being turned down by learning to “let it go.”
  • Uncomfortable situations. If you don’t like getting into fights, you might be afraid to give negative feedback, like complaining to a customer service rep or disagree with a colleague or peer.
  • First impressions. When trying to make a good impression on someone, whether it’s your boss, a coworker, a potential employer, or someone you’d like to date, your sweat glands may work extra hard.

How to get rid of excessive sweating anxiety symptoms?

Even though it can be annoying and, for some people, embarrassing, sweating too much isn’t bad for you in and of itself. Most of the time, it’s just a response to anxiety, a sign of a body that’s too stressed, or both.

When you are nervous, your stress response changes, which can cause you to sweat a lot. If you calm down, the stress response and the changes it causes will stop. As your body returns from the active stress response, you should stop sweating too much and feel like yourself again. Remember that a major stress response can take up to 20 minutes or more for the body to recover. But this is normal, so you shouldn’t worry about it.

When a body causes too much sweating under too much stress, it may take much longer to recover to the point where this symptom disappears.

But excessive sweating stops completely when the body has fully healed and returned to a healthy stress level. So, sweating a lot shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

You can get better faster if you reduce your stress, practice relaxed breathing, get more relaxation, and don’t worry about sweating. Sure, sweating too much can be annoying and even make you feel bad. But again, excessive sweating disappears once your body has regained from the stress response and/or long-term stress.

As part of your overall recovery plan, though, you should work on the things that cause your anxiety in the first place. Many reasons we feel anxious, like feeling self-conscious, are related to unresolved things that cause anxiety in the first place. Working with a coach or therapist who knows much about anxiety disorders can help you deal with the problems causing your anxiety. Working with an experienced coach or therapist for an anxiety disorder is the best way to deal with troublesome anxiety.

Your goal should be to get rid of this symptom for good. But there are a few things you can do in the meantime to stop sweating too much:

  • Relaxing your breathing is another way to ease stress. Relaxed breathing can help calm the body and nervous system. This can make the body and nervous system less reactive and help stop an active stress response. The less stressed your body is, the less likely it is that it will do things independently, like making you sweat too much.
  • Keeping your anxious thoughts in check can reduce the number and severity of stress responses, which can also calm down a body and nervous system that are too quick to react. 
  • Visualize being calm and relaxed. Calming yourself down can stop your body and nervous system from overreacting and sometimes behaving badly because your stress response overstimulates you.
  • Passive acceptance: In the short term, if you don’t do anything about this symptom, your stress level goes down, and when your stress level goes down, your nervous system calms down and becomes less reactive. The better off you’ll be, the less you care about sweating too much.
  • Reduce the stress on your body. Reducing the stress on your body is a key part of eliminating the symptoms of stress-response hyperstimulation. Again, the less stressed your body is, the less likely it is that it will automatically show signs of stress, like sweating too much.
  • Get good sleep every night. Good sleep every night can help keep the body calm, relaxed, and stressed-free. All of these can help with symptoms of stress, like sweating too much.
  • Avoid stimulants. Stimulants can make the nervous system more irritable, so avoiding them can help the nervous system be less irritated and, as a result, less reactive.
  • Wear clothes that don’t cling to you as much. Looser clothes can help cool the body and hide the fact that you’re wet from sweating too much.
  • Wearing clothes that let air in can help cool the body, which can stop you from sweating too much.
  • Be sure to drink enough water to keep your body hydrated. This can help keep your body from becoming dehydrated from too much sweating.

Even if you sweat a lot, it’s not bad for you. Sweating is good for your health because it helps your body eliminate waste. The only thing you might think is bad about sweating is what people will think of you if they see you sweating a lot. But there are many reasons why many people sweat.

Final Words

Managing and treating anxiety-related sweating is challenging because many things can cause it. You and a friend may react to stress and anxiety differently. Because of this, you are likely to need different kinds of treatment. But there are many different ways to treat sweating that can make it less of a problem in your daily life.

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