Mental stress is the main trigger of anxiety. When stressed the brain cannot make good judgements and it incorrectly assumes that your life is in danger. Because of this, many reactions are triggered such as the release of excess amounts of adrenaline in order for the body to protect itself from unseen danger. When in such a condition, the body undergoes various physical changes like increased heart rate which makes your chest feels tight.
Increased amounts of stomach acids are usually produced with the feeling of anxiety. The esophagus lining is irritated when this excess amount of acid flows back into it and this in turn results in heartburn. When this occurs your chest will feel tight and full. Such tightness in your chest is felt mostly after eating meals and becomes worse when lying flat on your back.
Too much anxiety may sometimes result in abnormal muscle contraction in various areas of your body. When your chest muscles become tensed due to anxiety, it feels rather tight. This feeling of tightness in your chest usually lasts for only a couple of seconds. If however, there is a lot of tension on your chest muscles, it may feel more like a mild chest pain.
Relieving Tightness in Chest due to Anxiety
You should have also realized that chest tightness induced by anxiety also comes with breathing difficulty. It is therefore obvious that if you regularize your breathing you will also be able to get significant amount of relief from your chest tightness. You should first normally inhale and then exhale very slowly. As soon as you have completely exhaled, stop your breath for about three seconds then normally inhale again. Then, while exhaling, bend forward slightly and suddenly release all the air. Continue to breathe normally after doing this and you will get relief from your breathing difficulty and your chest pains and palpitations will gradually disappear as well.
Treating Anxiety and Chest Tightness
If you frequently suffer from chest tightness because of anxiety then you should get medical treatment. With the aid of therapy and medicines you can treat your condition. Anxiolytics and antidepressants are used to control the physical symptoms associated with anxiety. Medicines are also available which can induce sleep. Other medicines are also given to those who have developed gastro esophageal reflux disease or acid reflux problem which can control stomach acids.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is also recommended to help you to better deal with anxiety. In this type of therapy the underlying causes which trigger the fears of the patients are identified. Patients are also helped to develop skills for copying in order for them to better manage their fears and anxiety.