Worry and Anxiety

Worry is a common emotion that comes up when you feel uncertain about the future.

What you may be experiencing

Occasional worry is a normal part of life.

Many people worry about things such as health, money, or family problems. But usually, the worry goes away.

When worry lasts for 6 months or longer—even in the absence of life changes— and interferes with daily activities, such as job performance, schoolwork, and relationships, it may be an anxiety disorder.

If you’re worrying a lot and the worrying becomes hard to control, you should get help from a professional. This is especially true if you also have any of the physical symptoms below.

Symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Feeling restless, agitated, or on edge
  • Getting tired easily
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Feeling irritable
  • Experiencing muscle tension or knots
  • Trouble sleeping, including falling or staying asleep

If you have several of these symptoms more days than not for at least 6 months and you have a hard time controlling your worry, you should talk to a health care provider.

This information is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis or suggested treatments for anxiety disorders and cannot take the place of seeing a mental health professional.

What you can do about worry
  • Take five.
    Even 5 minutes to take care of yourself can make a difference.  Take a deep breath and relax.
  • Be Active.
    Take a walk, stretch, or do another physical activity that works for you.
  • Connect with others.
    Reach out to friends, family, neighbors, or your faith community.
  • Take a break from the news and social media.
    Spending too much time watching or reading news can create feelings of distress.
  • Get help from a professional, especially if your worry does not go away.
    If you think you have anxiety, a health care provider may help diagnose your symptoms and find the right treatment.
  • Make an appointment with a counselor.
  • Contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.
    If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.