Tachycardia Due To Anxiety: Why Do They Occur And How To Relieve These Palpitations?

Can you have a heart attack due to anxiety? Why do I wake up with a high heart rate? Discover how to calm tachycardia due to anxiety and the causes of these jumps in the heart.

Tachycardias due to anxiety

Have you ever been so nervous that your heart felt like it was going to burst out of your chest? In this case, it is likely that you have suffered from tachycardias due to anxiety a common problem that can cause many concerns in those who suffer from it.

A study carried out by the Massachusetts General Hospital noted that one in three people will experience ssymptoms of tachycardia due to anxiety at some point in their lives.

What are anxiety tachycardias?

Functional arrhythmias are a physiological disorder that is characterized by sudden heart rate reactions, without an apparent reason or an organic lesion that can explain it. Are tachycardias at rest They are usually explained due to high levels of anxiety. In them, our heart rate can reach between 160 and 200 beats per minute. In these cases it is important to rule out that the tachycardias and their causes are due to any cardiac abnormality.

When the tachycardias are due to anxiety This event is usually accompanied by chest pain, as well as a feeling of difficulty breathing, a lot of sweating, as well as nausea and even dizziness.

Symptoms of anxiety tachycardia

The tachycardias due to anxiety They can be so intense that the person believes they are really suffering from a heart attack, although cardiologists can assure them that they do not suffer from any heart disease.

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Even so, the episode of the palpitations or irregular heartbeats due to anxiety It is so intense that the person can actually believe that they are going to die at any moment. This feeling and thoughts can cause anxiety to increase even more and therefore make it more difficult to relieve palpitations.

Normally these anxiety arrhythmias They are usually the result of exposure to a stressful, distressing, frightening or sad situation that affects us. Despite this, sometimes the simple memory or anticipation of these situations can be enough to trigger the symptoms of tachycardia.

In some cases, a specific thought or emotion can also lead to suffering from heart palpitations due to anxiety since we unconsciously consider this stimulus as something dangerous.

Causes of tachycardia due to anxiety

There are two key brain areas that influence whether we suffer from anxiety: the amygdala and the hippocampus. For its part, the amygdala communicates different parts of our brain, connecting incoming sensory signals with the areas that interpret these signals. In this way, the amygdala is responsible for alerting the rest of the brain that there is a threat and triggering a fear and/or anxiety response.

On the other hand, many memories related to past experiences that may be negative, stressful or anxious are stored in the hippocampus. The main task of the hippocampus therefore is to encode threatening events into our memories. When the brain encounters a threat, whether real or perceived, it releases a wave of neurotransmitters, such as cortisol and norepinephrine. These give us an extra boost, as well as improve our perception, reflexes and speed to be safe if necessary.

These two neurotransmitters also cause our blood vessels to constrict and our heart to start pumping blood and oxygen into our body faster. It is for this reason that we can experience ‘jumps in the heart ‘due to anxiety If these types of responses are activated excessively, they can end up causing certain damage to our body.

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How to calm palpitations due to anxiety

Are palpitations due to anxiety dangerous?

The tachycardias due to anxiety They are not usually dangerous, although they are perceived as such by those who suffer from them. However, if this problem persists over time and you react with great anxiety to a large number of situations, it is likely that your heart could be affected.

According to research carried out by Harvard University, when anxiety is present in excess or for long periods of time, it can be harmful to both mental and physical health. In fact, chronic anxiety can promote the progression of cardiovascular diseases. Mainly, the mechanisms activated by anxiety can end up being a risk for our cardiovascular health due to the following:

  1. Autonomic dysfunction: Cardiovascular autonomic homeostasis implies our body’s ability to maintain stable heartbeats as well as a constant blood pressure. People who have an anxiety disorder and experience the symptoms of tachycardia They may have a dysfunction in this capacity of our body.
  2. Inflammatory pathways: Inflammatory pathways also play a key role in the development of heart disease. In fact, the anxiety arrhythmias or the disorder itself can cause an increase in different inflammatory markers in our body.
  3. Endothelial dysfunction: Anxiety is also related to changes in the vascular endothelium, which plays a key role in our circulatory system. Its dysfunction may be related to the anxiety and palpitations which causes in some cases.
  4. Platelet dysfunction: Research has also shown that anxiety can affect our platelets, which can translate into certain inflammatory problems that can harm our heart health.
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All these effects indicate that although the tachycardias due to anxiety They do not directly cause a heart attack, in the long term they can have a harmful effect on our cardiovascular health. Therefore, it is important to treat them as soon as possible.

How to calm tachycardia due to anxiety?

There are many ways to treat anxiety and therefore relieve the palpitations it can cause. The best way to end these irregular heartbeat due to anxiety It is detecting and facing what causes this disorder. For this, consultation with a mental health professional is crucial. In addition to this, you can do the following:

  • Breathing exercises: For this deep and especially slow breathing to work to lower the heart rate little by little, it must accompany the beating of our heart, generating a feeling of tranquility and well-being to help you eliminate palpitations or arrhythmias due to anxiety
  • Muscle relaxation techniques: Through these techniques you will not only learn to relax but you can also eliminate the body tension that causes anxiety.
  • Learn to have more positive thinking: We must assume that a reaction has been triggered to an anxiety problem that we have been experiencing and at this moment the best thing is to let it slowly come out until it stabilizes, it cannot be stopped because it is like a battery that needs to finish discharging, let’s let it go out slowly and stop. It is not about falling into naive positivism but about developing more rational and adaptive thoughts. when you feel anxiety and palpitations associated with them, try to think that it is a fear reaction that you can control.

When anxiety is suffered constantly and tachycardias at rest They are a habit, this is a sign that we require urgent professional attention. Furthermore, in these cases it is always advisable to perform a cardiological study to be able to exclude other pathologies related to these symptoms.