The Dizziness Symptom Of Anxiety Explained

September 28, 2019

Welcome to one of the most alarming sensations of anxiety that many people experience on a daily basis. Light-headedness, dizziness, call this incredibly vulnerable feeling what you’d like. This sensation has one very common cause though, and that is over-breathing and increased respiration.

The dizziness symptom of anxiety shows up when the nervous system believes a threat exists in your environment now, or will in the future.

During my professional tennis playing days I experienced this very worrying symptom of anxiety daily. This was due to the pressure I put on myself to perform during tennis matches. Worst thing about this is that your subconscious mind remembers the times leading up to the sensation of dizziness and hyperventilation. So whenever I was about to play another tennis match, you guessed it, I got incredibly light-headed and dizzy.

Never Worry About Fainting Through This Symptom Of Anxiety Though. Your Blood Pressure Rises During Anxiety, Which Means More Blood To the Brain. People That Faint Do So Due To LOW Blood Pressure.

Since anxiety disorders are often seen only as ‘mental illnesses,’ people who have them often don’t realize that the things that they are experiencing physically might be related.

Sure we all know about what happens during an anxiety attack, such as rapid heart rate, sweating and nausea, but there are other symptoms as well that we need to deal with. They also don’t always happen only when an anxiety attack occurs.

The thing with anxiety disorders, is you’re constantly dealing with a certain level of anxiety. It may not be bad enough to cause you to start hyperventilating but that doesn’t mean that you get away scot free. Lots of people experience depersonalization, dizziness and unsteadiness because of anxiety.

This can only cause more anxiety and be very disorientating. It usually is only a periodic thing, and will pass, but during the dizzy spells you’re not always sure what’s going to happen next. At this point in your journey it’s important to pinpoint the reasons for anxiety so you can take care of this sensitivity at the root.

Usually a dizziness symptom of anxiety like this is your body’s way of telling you what’s going wrong, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to decipher. The best way that I have discovered is to write down when you have these dizzy spells, and everything that was happening at the same time. This way here you can hopefully prevent them from happening.

The same goes for blurred vision and double vision. This is something that almost no one talks about when it come to anxiety.

If you are having a hard time dealing with this dizziness symptom of anxiety, and all physical causes have been ruled out, there are ways to overcome this naturally. One of those ways is to sit and do your deep breathing exercises with a guide through an mp3 for example, or through meditation for anxiety videos such as this one on YouTube.

Try doing these sessions with your eyes closed so that the dizziness symptom of anxiety doesn’t make you nauseous. I recommend either taking each breath and counting to 5 during inhaling and exhaling, or trying to trace a mental box with each breath (square breathing). It helps to slow down your breathing to prevent an anxiety attack while you are having the symptoms.

Another way of dealing with this symptom in the moment is laying down.

It’s important to keep in mind that you aren’t alone in experiencing these symptoms. Many other people who experience high levels of anxiety do as well. What you need to do is first, rule out all other things that can be causing them, and then figure out the best way you can to get through them. You can overcome them, and you can work through all of the symptoms.

Does the dizziness symptom of anxiety exist in your everyday life? Share your experiences in the comment section below. 

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70 comments on “The Dizziness Symptom Of Anxiety Explained

  1. Wow,…reading this article is almost the most incredible feeling of healing for me as a person who suffers from anxiety and panic attacks. For most of my life, I sort of just denied what I was feeling and going through but when I turned 38 a few years ago, my body just decided it had enough of “being strong” and I began suffering physically the symptoms of Anxiety/Depression/Panic…

    Dizziness was perhaps the worst symptom, along with terrible abdominal pain and IBS…The dizziness was in short crippling and robbed me of my life, my confidence, my stability and ultimately my hope as all the medical tests I went through to diagnose the dizziness came up with nothing.
    It became a daily struggle to complete the simplest tasks and I had NO control over the panic attacks…my psychotherapist explained to me that my anxiety/depression was very psychosematic in that the effects were very physically felt in my body. Began ti lose the ability to stop my brain activity at night to sleep. Been on Lorazepam and Imovane for a few months and I am relishing the sleep and slight improvement.
    One of the symptoms I wanted to share was waking up almost every morning in a state of panic and anxiety…to stay in bed after opening my eyes was almost assuring of a panic attack a couple of hours later. Very strange to experience.
    I also want to share that I have been working on my cardio health with a stationary recumbent bike everyday…giving my heart a chance to naturally pick up endurance through interval training and this has so far almost completely resolved the dizziness. When I have moments of anxiety is when the dizziness returns…I at least have my confidence returning to where I can do normal daily activities. Very grateful for my support network for sticking by me…this has been a very lonely experience being ill thia way…hard to explain or for others to understand and that is very islolating.

    Good luck and Health to you all…

  2. Alyce Nov 28, 2014

    I experience this a lot… The feeling like I will faint. I get extremely lightheaded with the dizziness and my vision starts to turn black… It usually only stops if I lay down and I put cold wet towel on my face… The feeling like I will faint is most scary to me… Anyone else get this and what do you do? This happened once while driving and it terrified me…

    • Please look into CBT with the proper guidance to overcome these fears Alice. You may also learn more about our excellent program under end the anxiety program.

  3. Trina Reidy Nov 28, 2014

    Thanks for that. I experience the dizziness on a daily basis (along with many other symptoms) and it is really scary.
    Nice to be explained in such a clear way as to what is going on but more so how to start trying to prevent it.

    • You’re very welcome Trina. If you need any guidance please contact me directly.

      • Taylor Apr 5, 2018

        Hi my name is Taylor and recently I’ve been having some severe anxiety and I get so dizzy randomly especially once I noticed I’m dizzy I’ll freak out then it gets worse

  4. Jackie Nov 28, 2014

    As I was recovering from a blood clot I had severe panic attacks trying to adjust to every day life once I got home from the hospital. Each time I went into the grocery store I would panic and get extremely dizzy and nauseated thinking I would surely pass out. I walked into the same store every day until the dizziness subsided and I could successfully get my groceries. Dizziness is by no far the scariest symptom because you don’t know if it is truly a medical emergency or not.

    • Well in fact Jackie, you do know whether it is physically serious or not. I went to multiple doctors looking for answers, but the one thing I didn’t realize is that a second opinion is fine, but after that you simply have to trust and believe that the information given to you is correct. There simply is nothing physically wrong with you, it really is all in your head.

  5. This was a great read. I have only recently started experiencing anxiety attacks and lots of horrible symtoms at 23. The fainting feeling and blurred vision freaks me out the most and tight throat lump in throat feeling. I just want to feel normal again

    • Sounds like many people in today’s world Mel. Take a look at the end the anxiety program section. It’s where you’ll find the right road-map for exactly what you need.

  6. Jenna Nov 29, 2014

    I do experience blackouts (average 2x a year) and its like I loose all my senses (hearing, labored breathing, vision) although im conscious and know whats going on. I fainted once, lasting about 30 seconds and im almost certain I had a seizure. Everyone’s hands shakes to some degree, but mine shake all the time more then others. Enough to where I get onlookers. Sometimes I shake so bad I cant even put food on a utensil without it falling off. I dont suffer from RLS or anything like that. Ive thought it was anxiety and fear it may be worse.

  7. Trevor Dec 1, 2014

    This is a great write up. I often wondered if people can faint from dizzy spells. My fiance used to get these when getting around large groups of people. Over the last 10 years it has gotten better.

    • Glad it has helped Trevor.

    • Well this came at perfect timing, I had my first panic attack in January and have gotten over the majority of my panic however this unsteady feeling has persisted even at times I dont feel anxious, hard to describe more like inner movements or a swaying feeling when im standing still, it comes with its friends blurred vision and lumpy throat. But as much as I want to think its a major health issue, Im trying to get myself to believe its anxiety. And like you say on your podcasts be grateful for your progress not your set backs Im trying everyday to remember that. Also had to laugh at your latest podcast about asking, has anyone ever,… Im 100 percent guilty of this. Thanks for all your free helpful information its helped me immensely through my tough days!

  8. It’s getting worse. I think once I got true vertigo that lasted about three months which left me unable to function at all then this underlying dizziness has taken over. It’s so hard to focus. There is no rhyme or reason to when it happens. So my method of treating is ibruprophen, half a tablet of Xanax and smothering Frankincense behind my ears . On the roof of my mouth. And across my forehead. At least I can function then. But as I get older now 68, the symptoms are getting worse. I work full time and I live and care for my 99 year old father and my 43 year old son stricken with paranoid schizophrenia. I’m beginning to think that my life is killing me slowly with no way to save myself. It’s to the point that I have anxiety about having anxiety. But god never gives us too much to handle right? Is my faith not strong enough to accept the fact that everything will be ok? That I don’t have to worry so much? If I say it’s too much and retire will I be taking away the hours of saneness I have and submerse myself to a life of mental illness and dementia? I’m not looking for an answer really. I know my path in life. I just need to start accepting it. This is it for me. A caregiving role forever when inside I am a younger social want to have a relationship with someone kind of person. For a girl who only wants to have fun in life this situation would cause anyone to experience anxiety. The stress is just too much. Maybe I need to move to Colorado and smoke weed.

    • Finding peace means finding silence. First thing that came to my mind was to begin practicing meditation to see things clearer. ❤️

    • Laura Apr 8, 2018

      Wow this is me to a T, I have such blurred vision and dizziness that has been happening for months: it freaks me out when I try to focus even on someone that is speaking to me: I’m convinced it’s a tumor or MS: every doctor I tell this to does not even comment on what I’m feeling; I’ve been on antidepressants for a total of 17 years with switching two times and I am convinced it also could be thI’ve been on pristiq for about 7 months, my vision has gotten so much worse on this, I also feel like I’m in a constant fog and have dizziness too, anyone else have any of these symptoms after being on pristiq for a while? It’s really annoying that I feel my eyes are getting worse and worse one I am on now which makes me feel like I am in a constant fog and much more anxious than I ever was and of course the doctors disagree and they just want to add. More drugs to me, I really have no trust at all in any doctor I have ever seen

    • Vanessa Apr 25, 2018

      You are amazing! ❤

  9. Ashley Jan 13, 2018

    Thank you for the write up about this. I often feel nauseas and light headed in the state of panic (in stores etc..) This is often what triggers my anxiety because… well this is hard for me to say but I had an eating disorder (anorexia) for 4 years and have recently recovered over the past 2 years 🙂 but after I recovered and have gained my weight back to a healthy weight I developed this anxiety after passing out when I was underweight and I know the passing out was due to being so far under weight and my sugar and everything being so low but I just cant shake the feeling that it will happen again and I just have to keep reminding myself that, that happened because I was sick. 🙁

    • The videos and anxiety guy podcast episodes will help you greatly to gain a whole other perspective Ashley, much love.

  10. Corey Mar 12, 2018

    I feel that I’m in a constant state of limbo. I have more than normal anxiety levels, but they rarely get to a panic attack (maybe 2-3 in the past two weeks.) I had an incident in my vehicle while driving and thought I was having a heart attack due to the symptoms. I wasn’t, but since then, I haven’t come out of this “trance”. I almost feel drunk, lightheaded, not completely in control, 24 hours a day.

    I’d almost rather have a panic attack and be able to come down from it than be stuck in this “edge of a panic attack” 24/7. I’m starting to seriously wonder if my body is shutting down/dying.

    • You’re in the right place. The podcast, videos, and program will help.

    • Joanne Jun 16, 2018

      Wow! I feel light headed 24/7 too. I have experienced this twice in my life and has lasted for months at a time. This is the 6th day this time. I have been to doctors who have said there was nothing wrong. I know it’s to do with my breathing but I feel too anxious to sit back and breath. I have searched the web to find anyone who has experienced this but you are the first I have found.

      • Glad this site could help Joanne. I also have a few YouTube videos on the subject (The Anxiety Guy Channel). Much Love.

  11. Jenna Hunter Apr 30, 2018

    I didn’t know that dizziness or blurred vision could be a symptom of anxiety. My husband has been getting dizzy lately so I think that we should look into getting some sort of treatment for him. if it is anxiety, then we can get some help for him with that as well.

  12. Michelle Jun 2, 2018

    My name is Michelle. I’ve experienced panic attacks/ anxiety since I was in the 3rd grade. It’s been really hard ever since. I got a really bad panic attack that really affected me. It felt like I was going to faint. I suddenly started walking and I started to feel dizzy. I lost control and I started to get really really dizzy and everything was spinning. It felt like I was going to shut down. I couldn’t stand up because of how dizzy I was and if I moved my head to look up I got extremely dizzy. After that I started to throw up. I’ve gotten at least 6 of those panic attacks my whole life. Ever since that happened I got traumatized. Everytime I get dizzy I feel like that will happen again. Quick triggers my panic attack. And makes it worse.

  13. Michelle Jun 10, 2018

    Hi my name is Michelle and I’m having the same symptoms and many more I really could use any help that you can provide

    • If you search my YouTube channel I have lots of content related to this. As well a structured CBT approach/program can be found on the MY Program page.

  14. Hi, my dizziness came during a panic attack inside a grocery store about 12 months ago. My heart started beating so fast and I felt like I was dying. I sat down on a bench and called my boyfriend, he had to leave work to pick me up.
    Ever since this episode I have had this dizziness in my life. It is especially bad in crowded places, like grocery store and train stations. Sometimes so bad I can’ t walk. Feel like I will pass out. But I never do.

    No doubt this can be caused by dizziness. No question. The big question is, how can we get rid of it?

    • It truly comes down to a battle between your stress response and your rest response Anne. These are symptoms, and they have a cause/reason behind them. The body is reacting in an instinctual way proposing that danger lurks. We get rid of it by engaging in activities that calm the system (parasympathetic) and shift our thinking patterns in moments of internal conflict. This downloadable program will be the road-map you need:

  15. Robert Jun 26, 2018

    Hi Dennis I been having anxiety for the last 10 years I was in medication off and on Xanax was the only thing i took for 10 years. I quit taking it about 2 months ago
    The Dizziness feeling came back and my fear of driving on freeways. But I’m still happy that I was able to quit taking the pill.
    And this was thanks to you and your videos. Great Job

  16. Edite Jun 29, 2018

    Hi I had anxiety years ago and took me years to over come anxiety with out medication , had seen a few phycologists and that was a major help , last year before Christmas my mum passed away and in March this year my anxiety returned I keep telling myself that I have done this and I will do it again meaning that I will be fine but it seems anxiety is stronger than ever every symptoms that comes are more powerful I try not to get overwhelmed but it seems my mind doesn’t listen I decide to allow what ever pain is there to come out but again it seems nothing is working out , by chance I found your videos in YouTube and now this article about dizziness , today is a day that I can’t move with out feeling the world spinning so fast that I feel like I’m going to be sick
    I want to over come this but feeling lost one more time
    I know I done it before but this time I feel like I’m not able
    Thank you for reading me
    Much love to you and you really doing an amazing work

    • The program on this website will help to guide you step by step Edite. Much love.

    • Stephanie Oct 12, 2018

      Couple months behind, but I would like to know a little more about your spinning sensations. Sometimes I feel like I get random bouts of lightheadedness, dizziness maybe even when I am sitting down not doing anything at all and not even anxious. Then of course this makes me anxious. This happens randomely throughout the day. Is this maybe from having anxiety ALL day and my body is still in a funk? I was under an incredible amount of stress and then within 2 months all this came out of no where. I sometimes feel like all I can think about is when will I fee; dizzy or off balance again then get anxious, knots in my belly. Ugh never ending. I guess my question is, does this happen to anyone else?

  17. Addison Oct 21, 2018

    Very interesting and good read. I started having chronic IBS and pretty severe stomach issues at age 10 and it has continued and got worse through now (Im 19 now) however about 3 years ago I started getting off balance and sick feeling, attributed to a low iron and once treated it did improve slightly, however, within the last year the treatments have stopped helping and I feel horribly dizzy and even get double/blurred vision often. Sometimes I feel it may be anxiety but often it comes out of nowhere when nothing is on my mind. Or maybe it is just because I started college within the last year and am overall more stressed than ever before? Im not sure, all I know is it is so hard to function, and so hard for anyone to believe and understand the caliber of physical symptoms this can make one feel.

  18. Sophia Papadopoulos Nov 14, 2019

    I was and sometimes get the dizziness, but with the help of you Dennis and getting to the root of my anxiety/panic attacks my symptoms have almost disappeared. I’m still fighting it but now Being more aware of my symptoms I can redirect them and it helps with changed thoughts. Thank you for helping us on our recovery and more so for helping us get to the root of our suffering.. much love .. your Warrior and devoted always … Sophia ♥️🙏🏻

  19. Can you die from having a bad panic attack ?

  20. Shelly Nov 14, 2019

    I experience the dizziness almost every day. I have to walk down stair several times a day at work at the thought of it terrifies me. So before I even get to the stairs I start saying out loud, I do not fear you stairs and I say this all the way down. Once I get to the bottom I feel much better. With this dizziness I have been teaching myself to say this out loud ever time I feel fear of something. It has worked so far except for driving. I will get there. Baby steps is what I take every day.

    • Enjoy the content here and on the podcast and YouTube videos Shelly. One compassionate day at a time towards healing.

  21. A very good write up, I learnt a lot, my dizziness has reduced over time, I used to be dizzy daily, but now I feel dizzy once in a while and I’m glad understanding that I was never going to faint, Lol.
    You have educated me on the rising blood pressure due to anxiety and I wish to ask : My blood pressure is 140/80 or 140/90 whenever I go to the hospital, even though I have never been hypertensive before my first anxiety attack 2years ago, Am I now hypertensive or should I ignore the elevated BP and continue my anxiety recovery? Kindly guide me, video links will be appreciated too, God bless you.

  22. I start feeling light headed then dizzy, quickly progress to nausea & urgent need to go to the toilet, then I start fainting, sometimes I can crawl back to bed or have to get help. Back on the bed I have a big sweat out & after 10 minutes or so ican get up and be ok again. This has been happening for about 12 years & I have only found out it’s a anxiety attack a couple years ago! I don’t seem to be able to stop it once it starts.

  23. David Nov 14, 2019

    had my first panic attack about 5-6 months ago and have been dealing with all day anxiety ever since. Dizzyness and lightheadedness pretty much all day every day for the past 5-6 months. Been exercising more and watching my diet but it doesn’t seem to go away. I keep getting weird symptoms such as tingly hands and feet, muscle pain, rib pain, ear ringing and the list goes on. I know it’s anxiety but sometimes I get symptoms that make me think otherwise. Was starting to feel better until I started university and then I started feeling worse. Gained 30 pounds in the past few months as well due to stress eating. Just wanna get my life back on track, please help.

    • David, I understand the pain I really do. I’ve lived there for years, in that same mental and emotional state. I believe these are symptoms of anxiety, and with symptoms of anxiety come root causes. These root causes seem to be left over interpretations of the world based on past emotional traumas. I would look into my videos and podcasts related to emotional reframing, and continue to apply calming exercises into you days to relax the nervous system.

  24. Cristins Nov 15, 2019

    Yes! Everyday. All day. Sometimes mild sometimes it hits bad and i have a panic attack. It sucks but will try your recommendations. Thanks for this Dennis❤

  25. Daniela Nov 15, 2019

    Yes I do. Yesterday in my yoga class when a put my head back I had dizziness.
    I was super scared and every time I did that I was dizzy. And of course my mind think that is something else 😔

    • These symptoms of anxiety can be very worrisome yes. Thing is, when we heal the emotional body the physical body follows, so our focus must go there. Much love Danieala.

  26. Three generations of vertigo. Or, 3 generations of anxiety?

  27. Tracie Nov 17, 2019

    Absolutely dizziness shows up often-now I know when it first appears how I need to adjust my body and thinking to move on and function- I check my posture, focus on my breathing and slow myself down to a speed of observing everything around me in slow motion in my mind. It does work and I love that I have been taught this process! Thanks to me and my buddy- Dennis❤️❤️❤️ Forever grateful for what I am learning each day!!

  28. Yasmine Feb 19, 2020

    I had my first attack 3 years ago when I was studying for an important exam, I know I considered my exam and not having enough time as a threat and that’s what caused it to initiate.
    I don’t remember how it started, I only remember me on the floor over breathing and having mixed feelings of fear, sadness, fatigue and dizziness. I think that knowing the most common physical symptoms of anxiety is one of the best ways that helped me prevent myself from having a severe anxiety attack.

  29. Megan W Feb 12, 2021

    How do we know what programs of yours is the best for our situation.?
    What is the difference between the tier programs and inner circle?

    • The inner circle is more of a direct and structured day to day approach to healing. It holds you by the hand and guides you each day. Whereas the end the anxiety program is more of a ‘go at your own pace’ approach that is not as targeted each day (in terms of what to do), and for people that don’t need as much personal guidance. The end the anxiety program also comes with a much broader look at anxiety as a whole, whereas the Inner Circle gets directly to the daily to-do’s for healing anxiety.