Stress Management Effects on Health Is Face Twitching a Symptom of Stress? By Julia Childs Heyl Julia Childs Heyl Julia Childs Heyl is a clinical social worker who focuses on mental health disparities, the healing of generational trauma, and depth psychotherapy. Learn about our editorial process Published on November 22, 2022 Print FG Trade Latin / Getty Images Table of Contents View All Table of Contents Is Face Twitching a Symptom of Stress? When Is Face Twitching More Than Stress? How Does Stress Impact Our Bodies? How to Decrease Your Stress Levels A Word From Verywell Unfortunately, stress is a normalized experience in our culture. From the hustle-mentality many have adopted as a way of meeting their basic needs to the lasting effects of the pandemic, individuals have grappled with adapting to the stress in their daily life. Unfortunately, stress doesn’t only impact one’s mental health—it can affect your physical health too. The results can be overwhelming, from spiked cholesterol and blood pressure to lackluster sleep. However, other physical indicators you’re experiencing may leave you wondering if stress is the culprit. Face twitching may be one of those things. This article will explore if face twitching is a symptom of stress, how stress impacts our bodies, and ways to decrease stress levels. Is Face Twitching a Symptom of Stress? First, let's explore face twitching as a sign of stress. These types of facial twitches are referred to as psychogenic hemifacial spasms, meaning these are facial spasms caused by a psychological concern. Stress, fatigue, anxiety, and depression can all be factors causing these twitches. While some doctors may recommend botox injections as a form of treatment, treatment protocols will typically address the psychological issues first to resolve stress-induced twitching. Consider this scenario: You’re extremely overwhelmed due to intense work deadlines and discord in your family system around the holidays. You’re drinking more caffeine than usual and may skip meals or overeat. You find that your sleep is less restful, and you’re generally more agitated than normal. You also notice that you’re experiencing facial twitches occasionally, sometimes in your eye. This experience is all too common and can be dialed down to the fact that face twitching can signify stress. An Overview of Stress Management When Is Face Twitching More Than Stress? Sometimes face twitching is a sign of a neuromuscular disorder rather than a sign of feeling anxious. It Could Be Spasms This disorder is called hemifacial spasm and features involuntary twitching on one side of the face. It is commonly seen in middle-aged to older women and typically begins with an occasional eyelid twitching. The twitching is powerful enough to make the eyelid close completely. This twitching will progress until all muscles on one side of the face are involuntarily spasming. Hemifacial spasm isn’t necessarily caused by stress, but a doctor would be the one to determine the exact cause. Some culprits can be a blood vessel pushing on a nerve in the face or even a facial nerve injury. Unlike psychogenic facial spasms, the recommended treatment for hemifacial spasms is botox injections into the impacted areas. Botox will relax the muscle, thus eradicating the spasms. Caffeine Side Effects How Does Stress Impact Our Bodies? There’s no other way to put it: Stress is toxic. However, not all stress is the same. Acute stress, which occurs in response to a rare event, can trigger the body to develop a stronger resilience to stress. Occasional events where acute stress may arise are when you’re involved in an accident or notice you lost your wallet. Your body will release stress hormones, your heart rate will increase, and you might notice you react to the issues at hand rather intuitively. This is your body’s way of naturally adapting to the issue at hand so you can safely resolve it. Chronic stress is prolonged and can cause many health ailments, including facial twitching. Chronic stress is the type of stress that is ongoing, like caregiving for someone with a terminal illness, working in a toxic environment, or living in poverty. This stress can lead to spiked cholesterol, triggering further health issues. It can also result in a smaller brain mass and diminished memory. It may feel overwhelming to hear how stress can begin to attack your physical health. But don’t lose hope—there are ways to decrease stress levels. 10 Strategies to Boost Your Cognitive Health and Fight Brain Aging How to Decrease Your Stress Levels It is ideal to be able to remove stressful situations from your life, but that isn’t realistic for most of us. However, there are still ways to avoid the physical effects of stress that aren’t expensive or time-consuming. Deep Breathing Deep breathing is an excellent option for stress reduction because it can be done anytime, anywhere. So next time you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to breathe. See if you can lengthen each inhale by one second and extend each exhale by two seconds. Doing so can help lower your cortisol levels and keep your blood pressure under control. Meditation Meditation is another form of relaxation that is free and relatively quick. Similar to deep breathing, it can also lower cortisol and blood pressure. Plus, it can be practiced with the whole family. If you’re unsure where to start, check out this loving-kindness meditation. Yoga Finally, consider starting a yoga practice. It is clinically proven to help with stress management, decrease anxiety, and help sustain a sense of general well-being. Don’t be intimidated by the idea of starting something new. Yoga with Adriene is a YouTube page with plenty of beginner-friendly videos of various lengths. A Word From Verywell Above all, try to cultivate a sense of kindness towards yourself. You are trying your best every day, which shouldn’t be overlooked. If you’re feeling called to explore your healing journey further, consider joining a support group or reaching out to a licensed therapist. 8 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Tan EK, Jankovic J. Psychogenic hemifacial spasm. JNP. 2001;13(3):380-384. doi: 10.1176/jnp.13.3.380 Tan EK, Jankovic J. Psychogenic hemifacial spasm. JNP. 2001;13(3):380-384. doi: 10.1176/jnp.13.3.380 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Hemifacial Spasm. Kohn N, Hermans EJ, Fernández G. Cognitive benefit and cost of acute stress is differentially modulated by individual brain state. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2017;12(7):1179-1187. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsx043 Hammen C, Kim EY, Eberhart NK, Brennan PA. Chronic and acute stress and the prediction of major depression in women. Depress Anxiety. 2009;26(8):718-723. doi: 10.1002/da.20571 Muldoon MF, Bachen EA, Manuck SB, Waldstein SR, Bricker PL, Bennett JA. Acute cholesterol responses to mental stress and change in posture. Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(4):775-780. PMID: 1558435. Yaribeygi H, Panahi Y, Sahraei H, Johnston TP, Sahebkar A. The impact of stress on body function: A review. EXCLI J. 2017;16:1057-1072. Doi: 10.17179/excli2017-480 National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Stress. By Julia Childs Heyl Julia Childs Heyl, MSW, is a clinical social worker and writer. As a writer, she focuses on mental health disparities and uses critical race theory as her preferred theoretical framework. In her clinical work, she specializes in treating people of color experiencing anxiety, depression, and trauma through depth therapy and EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) trauma therapy. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist for Stress Management Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.