428: What helps when anxiety makes you feel shaky?

In this episode, we are responding to a listener question asking "what helps when anxiety makes you feel shaky inside?" And we’ll be sharing some practical tips from the teachings of Ayurveda.




Ayurveda is India’s ancient Science of Life, and in recent podcasts we’ve been exploring the three different body types of Ayurveda and answering listener questions on how to stay in balance to calm anxiety and build peace of mind.


To learn more about your Ayurveda body type, you can take our dosha quiz

When we experience anxiety, it is usually a vata issue. Vata is the airy body type which is naturally prone to suffering with anxiety, though anyone can experience anxiety as a result of the vata energy becoming disturbed. Feeling shaky is also a sign that vata is out of balance, especially when that shaky feeling comes from anxiety.


What disturbs vata?

Vata is disturbed by late nights, overwork, skipping meals, travel, change, irregular schedules, too much time on screens, stress, and cold windy weather. Stimulants like caffeine and refined sugar are also likely to cause imbalance.

Simple Steps for Calming Vata

Are to look at the possible causes of disturbance and make adjustments where you can. Begin with some supportive practices that you can fit into your day easily. You might not be able to change your work schedule or having to travel, but you can make some lifestyle changes that will help.

When you feel shaky, focus on grounding

Vata is an airy type that is provoked by dryness, movement and change. Vata types feel easily ungrounded and benefit greatly from anything that can help them feel warm and still and safe.

The following tips will help calm vata and anxiety and settle shakiness too:

Curl up with cushions and a blanket

Practice a guided relaxation

You can preview our anxiety calming relaxations here.

Try a belly breathing practice - or the Bumblebee Exercise, a breathing practice from Ayurveda that helps calm anxiety. You can download our guided Bumble Bee Breath exercise with relaxing music in the iTunes Music store

Practice some Yoga for calming and grounding like Child’s pose, Shavasana (you can follow our guided Shavasana: Letting Go practice in our last podcast) or legs up the wall.

Use the Calming Point

To find the point make a fist with your left hand and look for where your middle finger touches your palm. Now press that point with the thumb of your right hand for about a minute while you take deep steady breaths.

Relax your jaw and let your shoulders drop and relax as you hold the point and keep taking slow deep breaths.

Take an anxiety calming bath: add a third of a cup of ground ginger under hot running water with an equal quantity of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) or a cup of Epsom Salts with a few drops of lavender oil.

Other essential oils that calm vata include: frankincense, orange, clove and rose geranium. Diffusing these oils individually, or creating your own blend like clove and orange will also help calm anxiety.

Foods for calming vata and anxiety should be warm, heavy, and slightly oily.

Eat a grounding breakfast like oatmeal, with almond milk and cinnamon and a little maple syrup.

Try and eat a warm lunch and dinner, choose foods that are healthy and comforting like vegetable soup with organic bread.

Drink warm almond milk with a pinch of nutmeg at bedtime.


We hope you found this episode supportive. To learn more about calming anxiety with Ayurveda take a look at Ananga's one-to-one Ayurveda Discovery and Support Sessions.