Teenage Mental Health – Coping With Anxiety When it Causes Nausea.

Anxiety can cause nausea in teenagers (and people of any age, for that matter). When someone
experiences anxiety, their body can react in various ways, including triggering symptoms like
nausea, stomach discomfort, and even vomiting.

Outside of your brain, our digestive system contains the second largest number of nerves in
your body hence, some scientists even call your gut your second brain. You’ve probably
heard the phrase to trust your gut feelings.

When you’re anxious, the hormones and chemicals released can cause gut-related issues,
 Nausea
 Stomach cramps
 Loss of appetite
 Diarrhoea or constipation
 Indigestion

A problematic consequence of feeling anxious is that it makes us retreat to a safe place and stay
in it. This is a normal reaction but isn’t helpful as it can mean that teens do not want to go to
school or go out and prefer the safety of home. A consequence of this is it makes the future
prospect of going out even more daunting and very quickly a person can begin to suffer with

In teens, anxiety can be particularly common due to the various pressures and stressors they
face, including academic stress, social pressures, family issues, and hormonal changes. Its
essential for teens experiencing anxiety-related symptoms to seek support from trusted adults,
such as parents, teachers, or counsellors, and potentially from healthcare professionals if the
symptoms persist or significantly impact their daily life.

Anxiety can be triggered by many things especially if something has change as this affects our
sense of safety or security. Adolescence is a time of great change, not just physically, but
mentally and how young people see themselves and operate in their world. This makes
teenagers particularly vulnerable to feeling anxious. Symptoms can be manifested in many
different ways often linked to how the young person deals with their stressors. This can include
anger outbursts, self-harm or physical issues such as fatigue or nausea.

What can create anxiety?

Often linked to change and/or stress including school pressures, social world issues and home
life; anything that can affect someone’s sense of stability. This can be if a good friend is absent
from school, if they’re finding school-work challenging or in their social world has changed or if they’re feeling altered physical sensations. Also, wider world issues that are viewed on social
media such as war or climate change. As a teen’s body changes, this can be unconsciously
distressing as this is a huge change from how a person views themselves and how others
respond to them. All of these things are a movement away from the security of feeling as
they’ve always felt.

Teens and adults can react to their symptoms which can make anxiety worse. For example,
anxiety can create disruptions in the digestive system giving feelings of nausea which creates
fears of being sick. One of our primary fears is fear of public humiliation and the possibility of
being sick in front of others can be frightening. This is often managed with avoidance where
we’ll avoid being anywhere this could happen. This can be dangerous as the reaction to
symptoms creates further and deeper anxiety.

How do I reduce nausea symptoms linked to anxiety?

Managing anxiety-related nausea can involve several strategies. The following techniques can
help in isolation or collectively (what works for one may not for another and it’s important to
experiment to find what may fit best with the individual):

– Deep Breathing Exercises – These help calm your nervous system. You can Click here for
breathing techniques and they work so well as they calm the body and this helps calm the

– Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Progressive muscle relaxation is where we sit comfortably
and tense and relax each muscle group in your body. This helps alleviate tension and
promote relaxation.

– Mindfulness and Meditation: Mindfulness techniques and meditation allows you to focus
on the present and calm your mind. Mobile apps like Headspace or Calm offer guided
meditation sessions specifically designed to reduce anxiety.

– Stay Hydrated: Sip on water or herbal teas to stay hydrated. Dehydration can exacerbate
nausea, so drinking enough fluids throughout the day can be seen as essential.

– Eat Small, Frequent Meals: Instead of large meals, try eating smaller, more frequent meals
throughout the day. Avoid heavy, greasy, or spicy foods that may exacerbate nausea.

– Identify Your Triggers: Try to identify specific triggers that may be contributing to your
anxiety and nausea. Once you recognize these triggers, you can work on strategies to
address them.

– Physical Activity: Exercise can help reduce anxiety and improve overall well-being.

– Seek Support: Talking helps as it allows us to express ourselves, it activates the logical parts
of our brain and can bring us a sense of clarity. When we’re very emotional, it can be hard
to be logical. Experiment with talking to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist
about your feelings of anxiety and nausea. Sometimes, simply talking about your
experiences can provide relief and support and generally, most people like to help,
especially those that like us and love us.

– Facing our fears is how we get over them but it’s important to do this in a gradual way. Try
to be in places where you may have felt a little anxious and when this feels more
comfortable, experiment with going to busier and busier places.

– Try to remain present in place where you feel anxious. This is to prove to you that you can
get through these difficult times and builds a sense of resilience. Avoidance creates further

– Engage in social interactions with friends and family. If this seems daunting, do the easiest
and safest things first.

I hope this information helps and inspires you to consider what would work best for You and to
be more accepting that anxiety can be present and as unpleasant as this can be, we can cope
with it. Seek to live well in whatever way that means to You and your loved ones.
Best wishes, Duncan

Write a comment