Speaking in public. Going on a first date. Interviewing for a new job. There are plenty of situations that cause anxiety -- and cause the sweat glands in your armpits to go into overdrive. When you become anxious, your heart pounds, your mouth becomes dry and you begin to perspire. It's a fear response, one your body has triggered so that you'll be physically ready to respond to an uncertain or potentially dangerous situation.
Unfortunately, you don't really need your muscles to be fueled with adrenaline if you're simply ordering dinner with a new beau or previewing a PowerPoint presentation with colleagues. And you certainly don't need to be sweating, either. For some people, beginning to sweat in a social situation causes even more anxiety, which will cause them to sweat even more [source: Perry].
If just considering this cycle makes your armpits swampy, consider a few tactics that can help combat anxiety. See if you can discover what triggers your anxiety, and try to mentally accept that some circumstances are out of your control. Fortify your body and mind by getting at least eight hours of sleep a night, and practice the power of positive thoughts [source: Anxiety Disorders Association of America].
When it comes to effusive underarm sweating, short-term anxiety isn't the only culprit. Long-term stress contributes, too, and in the next section we'll share some ways to keep it under control.