Anxiety Muscle Twitching-How to Stop It?

Written by: Ankita Kathad – MA (Psychology)

Last updated date : January 20, 2023

Anxiety is our body’s response to stress. It is natural and happens to most of us. It refers to a fear of what will happen next. Some common symptoms of anxiety include a fast heartbeat, sweating, or trembling. In some cases, people experience involuntary muscle movements. They are called muscle twitches. This article explores more about anxiety muscle twitching and how to stop it.

Chapter 1:

What Is Anxiety Muscle Twitching?

This is a small or a jerk the movement of muscles that move in response to anxiety. It can occur in any one muscle or many groups of muscles. It can last for a few seconds or a longer period.

For some people. it can occur randomly for any random number of times. Some common examples are:

  • Non-stop and uncontrollable eye blinking.
  • When a person’s nose or part of the nose twitches.
  • Uncontrolled head jerking.
  • Shoulder shrugging.
  • Tic-like sensation in the scalp which causes non-stop head-scratching.
  • Tickles in hands, feet, or toes.
  • Some people can also feel the movement in their abdomen or genitals.

In common language, people call it ‘nervous tics’ In this condition, any kind of stress can trigger these movements. Moreover, it takes time for these twitches to go away and often these tics stay even when you have calmed down.

Chapter 2:

What Do Anxiety Muscle Twitching Symptoms Feel Like?

  • The muscles keep moving involuntarily. This happens even when you try to relax them. The movement doesn’t stop all at once.
  • People describe this feeling as tremors, spasms, vibrating, or contractions. This happens uncontrollably.
  • This feeling can be slow, rapid, intermittent, or in short intervals.
  • People can feel distressed as they cannot control these tics.
  • Additionally, It puts them in an uncomfortable situation.

Chapter 3:

What Causes Anxiety and Muscle Twitching?

Many factors lead to muscle twitching. Some of the common ones are:


When you are anxious, your neurons release neurotransmitters. These are chemicals that our body uses to communicate. These neurotransmitters instruct the muscles to move. When we are anxious, these signals are activated. They send signals to your muscles to move even when there is no need for them to move.

Furthermore, stress sends the body into flight or fight mode. The stress response induces several changes in the body. This helps in preparing the body for emergency action. Stress responses are as follows:

  1. Blood is diverted to the muscles, making them more ready to fight or run.
  2. Increased nervous system electrical activity, making the body more sensitive and reactive to threats.
  3. Additionally, Blood sugar levels are raised, giving the body more energy to fight or flee. Muscle twitching can be caused by just one or a combination of changes.


When a body experiences a stress response, it often recovers quickly. However, when the body experiences stress, again and again, it may not recover quickly. This makes the body overstimulated.

Due to incomplete recovery, the body may stay in a state of semi-stress response preparedness state. Even if a stress response hasn’t been activated, hyperstimulation can create changes that are similar to an active stress response.

Muscle twitching is a frequent indication of overstimulation, which can affect any muscle or group of muscles in the body.

Recreational drugs

Drugs have a stimulating effect. Sometimes the drug can overstimulate the body which can lead to tics.

Lack of sleep

When your body doesn’t get enough sleep, its cortisol level increases. Cortisol is a stress hormone. Therefore, this can lead to twitching.

Chapter 4:

How Do Detect Muscle Twitching?

To stop the muscle twitching, it is important to know how to get it detected. There are many ways that can help in diagnosing the tics. Some methods are:
  1. Detailed case study: This includes questions about the symptoms, duration, and triggers.
  2. Scans: A CT scan or an MRI to understand any problems in the brain structure or functions.
  3. Nerve conduction test: This is done to see if the nerves are working fine.

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Addressing the causes such as lack of sleep or nutrition can help stop muscle twitching. Drinking enough water and having enough rest can reduce stress. In many cases, low blood sugar can also lead to tics. Addressing these causes can reduce twitching.

When the cause is nervousness, the first step to solving the issue is to accept it. It is essential to accept the worry. One can seek help from an expert to get rid of the unwanted anticipation. One can also engage in practices like deep breathing. Meditation has proven benefits for nervousness and stress. It helps reduce stress responses. This is because meditation helps a person to think with clarity.

Treating anxiety is the best way to stop anxiety muscle twitching. You can seek help from a counselor. Psychology uses measures like Cognitive Behavior Therapy or muscle relaxation to treat twitches.

The very first step in the treatment of anxiety is to identify the triggers. Once you have done that, you can reason with the causes. You can note down your thoughts and feelings.You can make use of relaxation techniques to deal with situations that make you nervous.

Changing negative thought patterns can also help to overcome anxiety.

Chapter 5:

Preventive Measures to Stop Anxiety Muscle Twitching

There are several preventive measures to stop muscle twitching. These are general anxiety relief measures that can also address twitching.
  1. Diet: A healthy diet inclusive of vitamins and salts can reduce stress.
  2. Rest: Proper sleep can help a person to think better. A 7 hours sleep reduces stress.
  3. Caffeine: Avoid energy drinks such as coffee, which act as stimulants.
  4. Exercise: This helps to reduce stress. It also helps in making the muscles stronger, which makes them less prone to twitches.
  5. Hydration: Sometimes dehydrated body leads to muscle tics. When you drink enough water, your muscles are hydrated and don’t twitch.
  6. Relax!: Engage in sports or hobbies which let you relax. Pursue it actively to beat the negative effects of stress. Engaging in such activities also improves physical health. Our body releases happy hormones while playing.
  7. Avoid: Avoid harmful substances like drugs and alcohol. They not only cause damage to the body and brain but they are addictive. A person who is trapped in this cycle can lose money, friends, and family.
  8. Don’t worry about the twitch: This can be hard but the best solution is to focus on the job at hand. When you think more about the tics, it makes you more anxious. Therefore do not focus on the tics.

Chapter 6:

End Note

Muscle twitching in public places can be worrisome. It leads to feeling ashamed. You can end up feeling more nervous when it happens in public places. However, it can be noted here that it is a harmless symptom. When we focus on reducing the stress, the tics can go away.

If the twitching is coming in between your daily life, then you can see a doctor for the same and do the necessary tests.

At Epsychonline, there are courses that can help you deal with anxiety. These are self-help courses created by experts in the field. Do check them out.

"Quick online learning, thanks!" Susan

92 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount