6 Ways to Manage Anxiety and Stress to aide Dizziness

Managing Anxiety and Stress to Help Dizziness

Your head spins, the room seems to sway, and suddenly, your heart races. If you’ve ever felt this, you’re not alone. Anxiety and stress can make dizziness worse. However, understanding the connection between anxiety and dizziness and learning coping strategies can greatly alleviate its impact on your daily life.

Overview: Dizzy Anxious Cycle

The dizzy anxious cycle is so important in learning about and addressing for best results and management. This can be a ‘chicken or the egg’ scenario, but dizziness can bring on anxiety, anxiety can make dizziness worse, worsening dizziness makes anxiety worsen and on and on this cycle can spiral. Working on breaking this cycle can be a game changer for dizziness. This can be done a variety of ways and different professionals to assist. More on the dizzy anxious cycle in a blog here, or podcast here

Above is a display of the dizzy anxious cycle. The first part shows how dizziness can naturally lead to our fight or flight system to send a "panic" or "danger" warning. This reinforces the dizziness and can make it worse. Taking the detour puts our brain on a new path to learn that different movements, activites, environments and more, are safe.

Overview: Dizziness and Stress

Stress has a tendency to act like gasoline on a fire. Now there is such a thing as good stress. Lifting weights or running faster/longer distances are technically stress to the body, but helps promote adaptations and progress in a way that benefits the body long term when done correctly. Good or bad, stress can take a toll on the body, especially when the body is under more stress than it can tolerate. 

Dizziness and worsening symptoms adds stress to the body, making it hard to tolerate other stressors. Some stress we can be in control of, other times source of stressors are outside our control. Learning how to manage stress, especially stress outside our control, is important part of dizziness progress and management. Learning how to react to stress creates a ripple effect through emotions, attitude/mindset, and actions. 

Overview: Depression and Grieving with Dizziness

While taking time to talk about anxiety and stress, depression or grief may be mixed in with these other emotions. Dizziness can be accompanied with feelings of depression, loss, and mourning of “life before dizziness”. These feelings are valid and real and should be processed in order to find coping strategies and work towards growth. This may need to be done with professional guidance. Check out this website to help find a mental health therapist to work with. 

Managing Anxiety and Stress

Thankfully, there are effective coping strategies to manage anxiety and stress. Drawing insights from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), as well as anecdotal advice from other vestibular warriors and vestibular therapists, here are some practical tips to regain control:

  1. Breathwork
  2. Grounding 
  3. Mindfulness
  4. Movement/Exercise
  5. The Basics
  6. Professional Help (linked here is another source to help find professional help)

We’ll get into the specifics below with examples of each. 

1.Breathwork: There are a variety of breathing techniques that can help with relaxation. The goal of these techniques is to tap into the “rest and digest” part of our nervous system and help turn off the fight or flight system. Finding what works best for you is the goal. Deep, slow breaths is the goal.

Some examples are: yoga breathing, box breathing, triangle breathing, alternating nostril breathing, physiologic sigh etc. 

2. Grounding  Grounding is aimed to help anchor you to the present moment. This is helpful when not feeling connected to ones body and feeling disassociated. 

Try the 5-4-3-2-1 method: identify five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.

Another example is the 5 sense: something you can smell, see, hear, taste, touch. 

3.Mindfulness: practicing mindfulness focuses on the present moment similar to grounding, but focusing on self awareness to help diminish sensations and promote relaxation. There are a few ways to do this and guidance can be helpful! Some examples include: EFT Tapping, Somatic Tracking, guided meditations. All offered in Vestibular Group Fit and interviews to learn more!  

4.Movement/Exercise: Exercise and movement has many health benefits but has vestibular benefits as well. Exercise can help with stress, anxiety, depression, improved sleep, improved energy, reduce migraine attacks, and help build repetition and tolerance to daily movements. Progressing and scaling exercise has many benefits and translation to daily activities that are challenging. Talk to your doctor for clearance for exercise and consider consulting a provider to assist with progressing movement! 

5.The Basics: Good and consistent sleep, proper hydration, healthy well balanced meals/snacks are relatively immediate and low cost changes to make in daily routines. This provides foundation for the body to have space for recovery and resources to help dedicate to recovery. Lots more on this in Vestibular Group Fit. 

6.Professional Help: It takes many professionals that are experts in their own area to best assist and give tools for management. Finding the right profession, and then the right provider can be challenging, and one reason having a community for support and ask for recommendations can help find the right profession and provider faster. Someone like a headache specialist, neurologist with vestibular condition experience, or a vestibular practitioner can help! 

In Conclusion

Living with anxiety-induced dizziness can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to define your life. By implementing these coping strategies and seeking support when needed, you can reclaim control over your well-being. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help, and you’re not alone in your journey toward managing anxiety in an effort to manage dizziness. Embrace these coping techniques, and empower yourself to thrive despite the challenges.

Incorporating these coping strategies into your daily routine can help alleviate anxiety and stress; ultimately helping with  dizziness and empowering you to navigate life with greater confidence and resilience.

Want to learn more about mindset strategies to assist with managing anxiety and stress, as well as other vestibular tools from the experts and be a part of a supportive community to get back to your daily life?  Find out more at this link: https://thevertigodoctor.com/about-group/


Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.


“Tips and Strategies to Manage Anxiety and Stress.” Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA, adaa.org/tips. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.


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