Can a Sore Throat Be a Symptom of Stress?

June 2015

Sore throat stressed out

If you suffer from chronic a sore throat and your doctor has ruled out a medical problem, you might be suffering from anxiety-related symptoms.

Do you have a lump in your throat?

You know, that feeling of a lump in your throat, which makes it hard to swallow? Turns out it may stem from an experience you find hard to manage. Shocking situations are difficult to accept and the stress experienced as a result creates tension in the throat.

Are you swallowing your feelings?

If you have trouble verbalizing your feelings and you constantly push back your emotions, you may feel like swallowing often. When you want to speak your mind, your vocal chords may be ready for you to speak. By pushing back words instead of speaking out, your throat tightens, which can lead it to swell.

Are you losing your voice?

If this sounds like mumbo-jumbo, consider that your breath reflects your emotions. When you’re anxious, you breathe from higher up in your body, taking shallow breaths which can lead to hyperventilation. Your vocal chords shift apart as you inhale and move closer as you breathe out. Thus, shallow breathing due to stress puts a strain on your vocal chords. It’s no wonder that people get sore throats and can even lose their voice when they are anxious.

Practice slow, deep breathing.

The laryngeal nerves that control the muscles of your voice stem from the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve goes into overdrive when you are anxious, causing increased heart-rate and blood pressure, among other symptoms. One way to deal with an anxiety-related sore throat is to practice deep breathing through the nose, which stimulates the vagus nerve in a beneficial way. Often used as a relaxation technique, deep breathing is known to calm the mind and body. Slowly breathe in and out from your nose so that your throat doesn’t become dry. Pressure from your vocal chords will be relieved, your heart-rate will slow down and you will experience a sense of peace.

Practice mindfulness meditation.

If stress is the reason for your sore throat, try mindfulness meditation. Learn to label your feelings calmly instead of withholding them or blowing off steam. Apps like Relax Meditation will guide you step by step into a daily mindfulness practice.

Although stress is often at the root of a chronic sore throat problem, other issues may also be at stake. Whether it’s due to breathing through your mouth or f it’s related to a thyroid disorder, it’s important to get to the root of the problem, but meditation is beneficial for all conditions.

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References: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/facts/dysphonia.htm

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