Anxiety

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DCM
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Location: Wales, UK

Anxiety

Post by DCM » Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:17 pm

Hi. I have been having a constant pain across my chest area for around 3 years. It gets worse when stress increases and is mainly around the physical heart area, but can go across the chest to the other side at the same time.

The pain with stress is around 3 out of 10 and without stress around 1 out of 10, but this is constant. I used to suffer quite badly from anxiety and although that has dissipated some what it is still dormant and can arise every so often.

I had a panic attack 3 years ago and had a check up in hospital which showed everything okay on the ECG and Echo, although I do sometimes have palpitations.

I have had other tests recently as it bugging me and they have come back all clear. I believe this is a manifestation of anxiety as I am probably over focusing on the area, but I am concerned I may be causing myself some damage, and realise I am maybe attaching to my body in a subtle way too much, even though I don’t believe I am!

Has anyone else suffered this and has anyone got any suggestions to help or what else it could be? From a supernatural POV could it be a spirit attaching to me as I have had some very vivid dreams in the past of evil spirits attatching to me, although at the time I was suffering with anxiety quite badly. Thank you in advance.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Anxiety

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:53 pm

Hi DCM,

You've done the right thing to get this checked out professionally. If it gets worse or the symptoms change, please make sure you get yourself to a doctor again.

There is apparently a strong link between stress levels and chest pain. Have a look at this site, which seems quite reasonable:
http://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety/sy ... iety.shtml

And this one, which has some good recommendations:
https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/symptoms/chest-pain

You might like to follow up some other complementary therapies which alleviate stress, and of course breath meditation or other forms of Samatha would be a good practice as well.

I wouldn't worry about supernatural causes. If you have enough stress to cause chest pain, then you have enough to cause weird dreams. They are just another symptom, which will probably go away with more relaxation and calm.

Saengnapha
Posts: 874
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Anxiety

Post by Saengnapha » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:39 pm

DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:17 pm
Hi. I have been having a constant pain across my chest area for around 3 years. It gets worse when stress increases and is mainly around the physical heart area, but can go across the chest to the other side at the same time.

The pain with stress is around 3 out of 10 and without stress around 1 out of 10, but this is constant. I used to suffer quite badly from anxiety and although that has dissipated some what it is still dormant and can arise every so often.

I had a panic attack 3 years ago and had a check up in hospital which showed everything okay on the ECG and Echo, although I do sometimes have palpitations.

I have had other tests recently as it bugging me and they have come back all clear. I believe this is a manifestation of anxiety as I am probably over focusing on the area, but I am concerned I may be causing myself some damage, and realise I am maybe attaching to my body in a subtle way too much, even though I don’t believe I am!

Has anyone else suffered this and has anyone got any suggestions to help or what else it could be? From a supernatural POV could it be a spirit attaching to me as I have had some very vivid dreams in the past of evil spirits attatching to me, although at the time I was suffering with anxiety quite badly. Thank you in advance.
I wouldn't presume to diagnose you from the scanty information that you give, but you might want to go to a hospital where they will give you a full physical with emphasis on your digestive system. This tightness around the chest area is often associated with digestive problems, pre-ulcer symptoms, acid reflux, and what they call plain ol' heartburn.

binocular
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Re: Anxiety

Post by binocular » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:49 pm

DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:17 pm
I have had other tests recently as it bugging me and they have come back all clear.
Have you been tested for internal parasites? Standard tests don't look for those. Chest pain can be a symptom of some parasites living in the lung.

Sorry to bring this up ...

DCM
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat May 27, 2017 7:48 pm
Location: Wales, UK

Re: Anxiety

Post by DCM » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:10 pm

binocular wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:49 pm
DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:17 pm
I have had other tests recently as it bugging me and they have come back all clear.
Have you been tested for internal parasites? Standard tests don't look for those. Chest pain can be a symptom of some parasites living in the lung.

Sorry to bring this up ...
This would usually lead being susceptible to infections and draining of the immune system, which would probably be evident in me over 3 years. But I’m very strong physically, this is my only problem.

DCM
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat May 27, 2017 7:48 pm
Location: Wales, UK

Re: Anxiety

Post by DCM » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:12 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:39 pm
DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:17 pm
Hi. I have been having a constant pain across my chest area for around 3 years. It gets worse when stress increases and is mainly around the physical heart area, but can go across the chest to the other side at the same time.

The pain with stress is around 3 out of 10 and without stress around 1 out of 10, but this is constant. I used to suffer quite badly from anxiety and although that has dissipated some what it is still dormant and can arise every so often.

I had a panic attack 3 years ago and had a check up in hospital which showed everything okay on the ECG and Echo, although I do sometimes have palpitations.

I have had other tests recently as it bugging me and they have come back all clear. I believe this is a manifestation of anxiety as I am probably over focusing on the area, but I am concerned I may be causing myself some damage, and realise I am maybe attaching to my body in a subtle way too much, even though I don’t believe I am!

Has anyone else suffered this and has anyone got any suggestions to help or what else it could be? From a supernatural POV could it be a spirit attaching to me as I have had some very vivid dreams in the past of evil spirits attatching to me, although at the time I was suffering with anxiety quite badly. Thank you in advance.
I wouldn't presume to diagnose you from the scanty information that you give, but you might want to go to a hospital where they will give you a full physical with emphasis on your digestive system. This tightness around the chest area is often associated with digestive problems, pre-ulcer symptoms, acid reflux, and what they call plain ol' heartburn.
I’ve had a very thorough and full health check up as I’m looking to be a donor, and the doctors have said I’m very fit and healthy, well above average for my age.

DCM
Posts: 89
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Location: Wales, UK

Re: Anxiety

Post by DCM » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:14 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:53 pm
Hi DCM,

You've done the right thing to get this checked out professionally. If it gets worse or the symptoms change, please make sure you get yourself to a doctor again.

There is apparently a strong link between stress levels and chest pain. Have a look at this site, which seems quite reasonable:
http://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety/sy ... iety.shtml

And this one, which has some good recommendations:
https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/symptoms/chest-pain

You might like to follow up some other complementary therapies which alleviate stress, and of course breath meditation or other forms of Samatha would be a good practice as well.

I wouldn't worry about supernatural causes. If you have enough stress to cause chest pain, then you have enough to cause weird dreams. They are just another symptom, which will probably go away with more relaxation and calm.
Yes, I’m quite sure it’s the remnants of anxiety as the anxiety used to manifest as sweating but now seems to be chest pain. Thanks for the link. I should have said that there are short periods of time when the pain is non manifest.

binocular
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Re: Anxiety

Post by binocular » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:45 pm

DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:14 pm
Yes, I’m quite sure it’s the remnants of anxiety as the anxiety used to manifest as sweating but now seems to be chest pain. Thanks for the link. I should have said that there are short periods of time when the pain is non manifest.
How is your posture and your gait? Do you slouch? That can lead to constrictions in the body.

dharmacorps
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Re: Anxiety

Post by dharmacorps » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:50 pm

binocular wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:49 pm
DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:17 pm
I have had other tests recently as it bugging me and they have come back all clear.
Have you been tested for internal parasites? Standard tests don't look for those. Chest pain can be a symptom of some parasites living in the lung.

Sorry to bring this up ...
I know you don't like parasites, binocular, but I've never heard of these causing chest pain. Especially in someone from Wales, which isn't exactly the kind of tropical environment you would ever see parasitic infections...

DCM
Posts: 89
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Location: Wales, UK

Re: Anxiety

Post by DCM » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:56 pm

binocular wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:45 pm
DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:14 pm
Yes, I’m quite sure it’s the remnants of anxiety as the anxiety used to manifest as sweating but now seems to be chest pain. Thanks for the link. I should have said that there are short periods of time when the pain is non manifest.
How is your posture and your gait? Do you slouch? That can lead to constrictions in the body.
I do have to correct my posture at times, my job involves quite a bit of driving and when I’m not mindful I will then notice my bad posture.

binocular
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Re: Anxiety

Post by binocular » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:17 pm

dharmacorps wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:50 pm
I know you don't like parasites, binocular, but I've never heard of these causing chest pain.
If they live in the lungs and make it hard for one to breathe, and one automatically constricts the chest because of that.
(And one can get various internal parasites from pets and eating pork, regardless of the climate one lives in.)

(And no, I'm not going to go look up exact data, I'm too grossed out.)

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aflatun
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Re: Anxiety

Post by aflatun » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:44 pm

DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:17 pm
...

This is impossible to do appropriately over the internet...

but based on what you're saying it sounds very probable that its anxiety, and in answer to your questions its extremely common for it to manifest that way, and its something I've experienced myself. There's nothing strange about it. Its a routine cause of emergency room visits that leads to cardiac and other work ups. People can have full blown left upper extremity and jaw numbness, etc, perfect mimic for an acute coronary syndrome.

You've done the right thing by ruling out other causes, so I would try and address the anxiety as best you can and not worry about "physical" causes (but of course get checked out again if there is any doubt). Parasites would be at the very bottom of my differential diagnosis.

Based on my own experience with similar problems, (feel free to ignore all of this if it makes no sense or doesn't help):

Learn to breathe abdominally and make this a 24/7 thing. Keep some peripheral awareness, even 1%, "in your abdomen." at all times, like your life depends on it, while keeping your awareness totally broad and diffuse. Instead of home base being 2 inches behind your eye balls like it is for most people, make home base your abdomen. Relax your core with abandon...let it completely drop if you know what I mean. Slow exhales through the mouth help.

Also experiment with keeping your eyes open and totally relaxed and receptive but fixed on empty space when you do formal meditation, regardless of what you're approach is. This will spill over into ordinary actives. For some reason it seems to work magic for stressed out anxious types, but this is really anecdotal at this point, apologies for that...


Best wishes!

PS Regarding the supernatural, as a believer in such things I would advise you to 'not go there' if you know what I mean.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

DCM
Posts: 89
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Location: Wales, UK

Re: Anxiety

Post by DCM » Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:21 pm

aflatun wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:44 pm
DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:17 pm
...

This is impossible to do appropriately over the internet...

but based on what you're saying it sounds very probable that its anxiety, and in answer to your questions its extremely common for it to manifest that way, and its something I've experienced myself. There's nothing strange about it. Its a routine cause of emergency room visits that leads to cardiac and other work ups. People can have full blown left upper extremity and jaw numbness, etc, perfect mimic for an acute coronary syndrome.

You've done the right thing by ruling out other causes, so I would try and address the anxiety as best you can and not worry about "physical" causes (but of course get checked out again if there is any doubt). Parasites would be at the very bottom of my differential diagnosis.

Based on my own experience with similar problems, (feel free to ignore all of this if it makes no sense or doesn't help):

Learn to breathe abdominally and make this a 24/7 thing. Keep some peripheral awareness, even 1%, "in your abdomen." at all times, like your life depends on it, while keeping your awareness totally broad and diffuse. Instead of home base being 2 inches behind your eye balls like it is for most people, make home base your abdomen. Relax your core with abandon...let it completely drop if you know what I mean. Slow exhales through the mouth help.

Also experiment with keeping your eyes open and totally relaxed and receptive but fixed on empty space when you do formal meditation, regardless of what you're approach is. This will spill over into ordinary actives. For some reason it seems to work magic for stressed out anxious types, but this is really anecdotal at this point, apologies for that...


Best wishes!

PS Regarding the supernatural, as a believer in such things I would advise you to 'not go there' if you know what I mean.
Thanks Aflatun, that’s sound advice, I’ve tried focusing on some deep breathing at the abdominal area and it does seem to help, but my efforts had been sporadic, I’ll try a little more in line with your advice.

The bit on keeping meditating with your eyes open and fixed on empty space, why do you recommend that?

As an aside I’ve recently been drawn to Bhikkhu Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli teachings and Ñāṇavīra Thera. I’ve looked through Ñāṇavīra Thera‘s Clearing the Path and read Bhikkhu Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli essays, and for the first time since starting practising I’ve found a way of approaching the Dhamma that feels right for me. There’s a lot of terminology I don’t fully understand yet but the way I was approaching before just felt to dry. How do you find their approach, perhaps you can articulate it better as you’ve followed them longer.

binocular
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Re: Anxiety

Post by binocular » Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:30 pm

DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:21 pm
As an aside I’ve recently been drawn to Bhikkhu Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli teachings and Ñāṇavīra Thera. I’ve looked through Ñāṇavīra Thera‘s Clearing the Path and read Bhikkhu Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli essays, and for the first time since starting practising I’ve found a way of approaching the Dhamma that feels right for me.
Have you also listened to the mp3 Dhamma talks by Ven. N. Nyanamoli?

DCM
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Location: Wales, UK

Re: Anxiety

Post by DCM » Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:47 pm

binocular wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:30 pm
DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:21 pm
As an aside I’ve recently been drawn to Bhikkhu Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli teachings and Ñāṇavīra Thera. I’ve looked through Ñāṇavīra Thera‘s Clearing the Path and read Bhikkhu Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli essays, and for the first time since starting practising I’ve found a way of approaching the Dhamma that feels right for me.
Have you also listened to the mp3 Dhamma talks by Ven. N. Nyanamoli?
Yes, I am finding them really helpful in explaining the Dhamma from a phenomenalogical pov. I’m not well read on philosophical theories so I’m not going to pretend I do, but this way is helping me focus my mind and have a better understand of Dhamma topics like paticcasamuppada.

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aflatun
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Re: Anxiety

Post by aflatun » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:21 pm

DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:21 pm
Thanks Aflatun, that’s sound advice, I’ve tried focusing on some deep breathing at the abdominal area and it does seem to help, but my efforts had been sporadic, I’ll try a little more in line with your advice.
I'm glad you noticed it helps, its just hard to remember, particularly when the stress hits. For me its not only useful physiologically in the manner we've been discussing, but can also take you elsewhere, as the breathing body is not only "always now" and as such a great way to stay out of distraction (which can rapidly turn into anxious rumination), but it's always there determining your experience of whatever else you're engaged in (the latter point is a big deal for Ven. Ñāṇamoli)
DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:21 pm
The bit on keeping meditating with your eyes open and fixed on empty space, why do you recommend that?
I do this for a variety of other reasons that are beyond the scope of the thread (happy to discuss just don't want to muddy the waters), but I stumbled onto it a long time ago. By "it" I mean the fact that resting my gaze like that promoted calm and clarity, whether I was looking at something or not (and I'm not talking about zoning out!). Then I found out how important "eyes open" is in Chan and Vajrayana and I was intrigued, and inspired to stop resisting the urge to keep them open :).

So I'm not sure why, but for me something about eyes open and relaxed is really calming and centering, similar to the diaphragmatic breathing. I've heard a small handful of others say the same, so I thought it might be of use to you.
DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:21 pm
As an aside I’ve recently been drawn to Bhikkhu Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli teachings and Ñāṇavīra Thera. I’ve looked through Ñāṇavīra Thera‘s Clearing the Path and read Bhikkhu Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli essays, and for the first time since starting practising I’ve found a way of approaching the Dhamma that feels right for me. There’s a lot of terminology I don’t fully understand yet but the way I was approaching before just felt to dry. How do you find their approach, perhaps you can articulate it better as you’ve followed them longer.
Good for you! I'm a huge fan, and I encourage you to try go back and forth with the audio like binocular said as it tends to be less technical and in the form of conversations with students, so it can help clarify the more abstract philosophical writing. Also make sure to check out Ven. Ariyavaṃsa as his writing style is unbelievably clear IMO. If you have any questions, terminological or otherwise, definitely ask pulga and SDC... if you want the B team, you're welcome to ask me :tongue:
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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SDC
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Re: Anxiety

Post by SDC » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:14 am

aflatun wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:21 pm
If you have any questions, terminological or otherwise, definitely ask pulga and SDC... if you want the B team, you're welcome to ask me :tongue:
Well, I'm surely B, possibly C-squad when it comes the western philosophical end of things so don't go selling yourself too short. :console:

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Polar Bear
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Re: Anxiety

Post by Polar Bear » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:03 am

Given what you’ve said I think it probably isn’t a spinal problem but nevertheless it could be a contributing factor. I had an acute pain in my upper rib cage that I thought was from a muscle I pulled their once but it turned to be a spinal problem and getting my back adjusted and doing a couple of other chiropractic things fixed it. In any event, unless the chiropractor is horrible, it wouldn’t hurt to see one and get adjusted twice a week for a month or more and see if that helps at all. You might consider a chiropractic consultation and see what they think. I wish you luck in finding a remedy to your ailment.

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Kim OHara
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Re: Anxiety

Post by Kim OHara » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:09 am

aflatun wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:21 pm
DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:21 pm
Thanks Aflatun, that’s sound advice, I’ve tried focusing on some deep breathing at the abdominal area and it does seem to help, but my efforts had been sporadic, I’ll try a little more in line with your advice.
I'm glad you noticed it helps, its just hard to remember, particularly when the stress hits. For me its not only useful physiologically in the manner we've been discussing, but can also take you elsewhere, as the breathing body is not only "always now" and as such a great way to stay out of distraction (which can rapidly turn into anxious rumination), but it's always there determining your experience of whatever else you're engaged in ...
I've just read the whole thread, comparing the advice already given with what I might have said. Most of it is very good but to me, this is the real key point: anchoring yourself in here-and-now by staying in touch with your breath stops the "what-if" anxiety cycle very effectively, and noticing when your breathing gets tighter or faster is a good early-warning system of anxiety, too.
I have been doing yoga regularly for a few years now and it likewise emphasises awareness of the breath and the benefits of slow, smooth, relaxed abdominal breathing. It also leads (for me, at least) to a more global body awareness, so that I pick up on (e.g.) shoulder tension earlier than I would have done pre-yoga, and that's useful too. It might be something to think about when awareness of the breath is well established.

:namaste:
Kim

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Pondera
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Re: Anxiety

Post by Pondera » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:50 am

From personal experience.

It could be supernatural. There’s no discounting the menacing nature of Mara and his horde - if you believe in that stuff. However,

Anxiety is definitely a “what if” phenomenon as Kim mentions. It’s also a “responsibility” phenomenon - a sort of “I don’t want to ...” in the face of obligations.

So, oddly enough - i’d recommend releasing any tension from the bottom of your heart and releasing tension from the ligatures in your sacroiliac area.

A word of caution. Relaxing the sacroiliac will release profuse amounts of darkness causing immense angst. However, after it is gone there will remain no more - and you can do this as often as you need to.

Sounds crazy - but like I said - this is my personal experience and victory over free floating angst in the heart (heaviness, lightness - however you try to describe it - ie. “stress”; “dukkha “).

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