Is there a feeling of a lump in your throat? Are you concerned if the lump in your throat feeling is a thyroid problem? Does the lump in your throat feeling come and go? Well, it could be possible that the lump in your throat feeling is caused by your anxiety. It is true that the lump in your throat feeling could be due to a medical condition. The difference is that if a lump in your throat feeling is caused by a medical problem you may actually feel lumps in the back, front or sides of your throat. Your throat may feel enlarged, sore, or painful. You may actually feel pain when you swallow or you may be in a constant state of discomfort. Pay attention to any symptoms you may have related to that lump in your throat feeling and if you are concerned, it is important to seek out consultation from your doctor.
What is the Lump in the Throat Feeling?
The lump in the throat feeling can be described in various ways. Some people describe it as a gasping for air feeling, blockage in the throat, or feeling like you are forced to swallow even if you don’t want to or there is nothing to swallow. Remember, there is nothing physically in your throat. You are not in any danger or harm but it is an uncomfortable feeling. If your lump in the throat feeling is related to anxiety it may not be consistent. It may occur frequently, rarely, or on a regular basis. If the feeling comes and goes, pay attention to the trigger. Just as the sensation can occur in varied increments of time, so can its severity. The lump in your throat feeling could be very intense or barely noticeable. To differentiate if this lump in the throat feeling is related to anxiety, it is necessary to recognize when it happens. If the feeling arises before presenting in front of a group of people or telling your partner something that has been eating at you, it may be linked to your anxiety. It is also a sign if the feeling occurs along with, follows, or precedes other symptoms of anxiety. High levels of stress or consistent states of nervousness are also linked to the feeling of a lump in the throat.
How Do I Relieve the Lump in the Throat Feeling?
There are various ways to relieve the feeling of having a lump in the throat. Keep in mind, this sensation is caused by your underlying levels of stress or anxiety that is manifesting in physical form. Therefore, the best way to relieve this symptoms is to deal with your anxiety. In the moment, taking deep breaths, counting to 10 slowly or guided imagery are ways to relax your mind and body. If your body was previously in a heightened state of anxiety or in an active stress response it may take a moment for your body to return to a state of calmness. When your body returns to a state of peace, the lump in the throat feeling will subside, but it may take up to 15 to 20 minutes. Overall, finding ways to reduce your stress levels in your everyday life is key to decreasing your body even reaching an active stress response.
Take a step back and look at your life. What can you identify that triggers anxiety or stress in your life? That doesn’t include typical things like paying bills or your job performance. Let’s not ignore that anxiety and stress are normal responses to life experiences. Our anxiety protects us in situations where we may be in danger, ultimately serving a positive and helpful purpose. When you lose the ability to control your anxiety, or it is something you are experiencing on a regular basis, it no longer serves a positive purpose and becomes a hindrance in your life.
Now that you are taking the time to reflect on your life, be intentional in reducing stressful or anxiety provoking situations in your life. Are you in a relationship that no matter what you do you experience anxiety about having confrontational conversations? Consider what about your relationship can change or if the relationship is healthy at all.
Are you taking too many hours at work and are struggling to juggle them along with the other responsibilities at your job? Be self-aware of what in your life needs to change and make the changes.
Implement physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy practices in your life. Eat healthy, practice yoga, partake in your religious or spiritual practices, take a vacation. Being holistically healthy is the best way to reduce anxiety levels, consequently symptoms like the lump in the throat feeling should subside.
Written by Dr. Grand McDonald, PsyD.