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Is it Worry or Anxiety?





You've likely experienced one or the other at some point in your life. With the state of the world being the way that it has been over the past couple years, anxiety and worry has been present for most people. Both feelings can be uncomfortable and are marked by a sense of concern and stress. However, worry and anxiety are not the same thing. The two terms have been used interchangeably, but they are entirely different from one another. Both have implications for our health and wellbeing.

Most people experience worry and anxiety to a certain degree often. But what exactly are the differences between the two feelings? Here are the key differeces:

  • Worry stays in your head while anxiety affects both the body and mind

  • Worry is specific while anxiety is typically more generalized

  • Worry is rooted in reality while anxiety likes to lie to us

  • Worry does not impair our daily functioning while anxiety does

  • Worry comes and goes while anxiety is longer-term

Examples of worry can look like worrying about a big work presentation, getting to school on time, and worrying about real-life events. When you're feeling anxious, your mind tends to create events or ideas that it will hyperfocus on. Both worry and anxiety aren't necessarily bad things, as they are normal human emotions. Worry and anxiety can help us to be productive or protective. If we are in danger, anxiety can help provide us with a warning so that we are better able to prepare for safety. However when anxiety becomes persistent and impacts our daily functioning and wellbeing, that is when it is best to seek support. A psychotherapist can help you to develop goals and skills to help you manage anxiety, so that you are better able to live life on your terms.