Muscle pains are common. My sternum has been sore to the touch for years. First I went to chiropractor who charged £35 for 30 mins of clicking and using a tool which pushed down on the tibs connecting to the sternum and clicked. It was supposed to help nudge them into the correct position. This was because I had a strange thing where, when i'd stretch i'd push my chest out. It used to click. It did this for a year or more until I finally stopped forcing it. Once I tried forcing it when it wouldnt click and I literally pulled a rib out of allignment somewhat. It was very painful.
Anyway back to anxiety causing chest pains. It's best to accept it's an anxiety pain as aanything else would have a wealth of other symptoms that you'd know not to be anxiety. When you have anxiety your fight or flight response and brain chemistry is off kilter. You wind up going into fight or flight mode a lot more than the average person. It's a great body mechanism for situations where you have to fight or fly. like a barking dog in a room. Once you're out of the room your body will calm down. With anxiety - when you feel pains it creates fear which tells thde brain and body you're in danger - then fight or flight kicks in.
This pumps blood filled with all sorts of chemicals to help you in fight or flight situations. This blood pumps to the chest wall muscles to strengthen them and protect the vital organs from impact. But with anxiety this fight or flight works overtime. you never truly feel safe because you're constantly scared of symptoms, aches and pains. youo fear disease and death. Ergo your brain and body think there is constant danger and you wind up with excess of adrenaline and other chemicals.
over time this causes inflammation, muscle soreness, spasms and a wealth of other bodily hiccups that cause the symptoms and sensations we feel when we live with an anxiety disorder.
The long and short of it is that you have to simply acknowledge a pain and nothing more. Don't attatch any meaning to it. Don't fire off the hundred "what if?" questions or assume the worst or that it's death or disease. Don't convince yourself it's anxiety either. Simply put - we have to learn to live with uncertainty and understand that it's highly unlikely these pains are anything more than anxiety. You wake up each day alive. You get through each day - often with a barrage of discomfort. But it's all building a case to proove anxiety is causing a lot of nonsense.
Speak to your local Gp and ask about CBT with a therapist. It'll provide you with invaluable knowledge to help you reduce and reign in the leesh on anxiety. When it's bad and we suffer with pains all over the body for years on end we probably say to ourselves "anxiety is ruining my life. Anxiety is in control of my life". This in itself is a lie. There's nothing wrong with the body - it's the mind that must be worked on. We've wired ourselves to hone in on any ache and pain and spark the vicious circle of fear - symptom - more fear - more symptoms.
It takes time and practice to gradually learn to not reacrt to pains. Let them come and go as they please. We are the one's in control of anxiety. Without us - anxiety wouldn't exist. It's not a tangible substance - it's an emotion that we can control. Anxiety is a fear and lack of control and restraint. But think about a symptom - if you worry about it and panic about the worst case scenario what happens? You feel worse and it lasts longer. Therefore you need to practice mindfulness. Almost as if you notice a pain in the 3rd person. Detatch meaning and emotion to it. Have to soldier on through it. Keep busy and really engross yourself in what you do on a day to day basis. Take up new hobbies or rekindle old ones. Don't assume anxiety prevents you from doing things - it's simply your mindset convincing yourself these tasks are impossible. Yes, the early days will be horrid, you will have to endure a lot before you start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. But exposing yourself to these discomforts and getting through the other side - unscathed and alive will proove to you more and more that this will not hurt you any more than you allow it to.
Hope you feel better soon. Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions or just want to chat.
Hope you feel better soon.