Can Anxiety Cause Sweaty Palms? (Explained)

Ever felt like your hands are turning into little sponges during a nerve-wracking moment? 

Maybe a job interview, a big test, or even just talking to your crush?

You are not alone! Feeling anxious can make your palms sweat a lot, and it’s more common than you might think.

In this post, I’ll explain how anxiety cause sweaty palms and give you some tips to keep your hands cool, even when your stress levels are soaring!

How Anxiety Cause Sweaty Palms

Anxiety causes sweaty palms because it activates your body’s fight-or-flight response.

When you get anxious, our body gears up for action by releasing hormones like adrenaline and cortisol through our sympathetic nervous system.

These hormones make our body ready for a “fight or flight” situation, and cause things like faster heartbeat, rapid breathing, and, you guessed it, sweaty palms.

Our palms have a lot of eccrine sweat glands, and these go into overdrive and make your hands super sweaty.

But why does this happen? This sweating actually has a purpose!

It improves our grip and dexterity when we need to quickly respond to a perceived threat.


Also Read: Driving with sweaty hands

How To Stop Anxiety Sweating

If you’re struggling with sweaty palms due to anxiety, here are some things that can help:

Deep Breathing

The best thing you can do to stop anxiety sweating hands is to take some deep breaths.

Deep breathing triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the opposite of the “fight or flight” mode – the “rest and digest” mode.

This tells your brain that you are safe and not in danger, which helps calm you down.

Breathe in slowly through your nose, feeling your belly rise as you fill your lungs with air.

Hold that breath for a moment, then breathe out completely through your mouth, letting your belly sink back down.

Let Your Hands Breathe

Don’t keep your hands in pockets or cross your arms. Don’t even clench them.

Otherwise it will trap the warmth and make sweaty palms even worse. Without airflow, the extra moisture can’t evaporate, so it builds up and makes your hands feel damp and sticky.

So try to let your hands breathe as much as you can.

If you notice your palms getting sweaty, give them a gentle shake or place them flat on a cool, dry surface like a table.

Rolling up your sleeves can also help air circulate around your wrists and arms.

Also Read: Best Products for Sweaty Hands

Soothing Self-Talk

The next thing you should do is talk to yourself.

Negative thoughts can fuel anxiety. So counter them with positive affirmations.

Remind yourself that your anxiety and sweaty palms are temporary. Tell yourself something like “this sweating reaction is normal and I can get through this”

And if you can, don’t focus on the sweat on your hands.

This would work even better along with some deep breaths.

You should be able to cool down pretty quickly – this worked for me a lot of times and not just for anxiety and sweaty hands.

Drink Some Water

Drinking some water when you are anxious can also help.

Taking small sips of cool water can lower your body temperature and also activate your parasympathetic nervous system.

So keep a water bottle nearby and take a few sips whenever you feel anxious.


Lifestyle Changes

Some lifestyle changes can help you manage anxiety-related sweating in the long-term.

Things like getting enough quality sleep, regular exercise, and practicing stress-relief methods like meditation can really make a difference.

Also Read: Why Do I Have Sweaty Palms All The Time?

Getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night helps your body recover and function better.

Exercise releases feel-good chemicals in your brain and helps burn off excess nervous energy.

And meditation can help you keep calm and collected when stress hits.

Making these lifestyle changes takes consistent effort, but the benefits are worth it. So I highly recommend researching a bit more on these. This will really help you and not just for anxiety.

Bottom Line

Sweaty palms are a common side effect of feeling anxious or stressed.

Deep breathing, letting your hands breathe, self soothing talk and drinking water can all help you control this. These have worked for me a lot of times, and it will work for you.


Does Anxiety Cause Sweating At Night?

Yes, anxiety can cause sweating at night. The stress response can be activated even when you are asleep too – which releases all those hormones which makes us sweat.

For some people, night sweats make them more anxious, which makes them sweat even more and keeps on looping.

Anxiety Sweating Smell

Sweat from anxiety can smell stronger than sweat from exercise. This is because the apocrine sweat glands also get activated under stress.

This sweat has more proteins and lipids in it, and when it mixes with bacteria on our skin, it can produce a stronger odor.

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