Thoughts And Ideas
Published in

Thoughts And Ideas

Comparing Anxiety And Worry

Worry and Anxiety are both often interchangeable in their technical definitions, but how different are they? Are they so similar that when we are feeling one of them, we are simultaneously feeling the other? Let us see just what the differences are of the two, and how either of them relate to our own selves, as we journey the path of Mental Health in our lives.

Experts say that the definition of worry is connected to things that are categorized mentally, and involves things like “what could had been, and what if’s.” The subject or situation involves a potential scary resolution, as a result of unknown and uncertain scenarios. Feeling worry does create a sense of uneasiness, however it does not usually create the physical symptoms. When getting into physical symptoms, that is when we move into anxiety, and that is one of the biggest differences between worry and anxiety. In a nutshell, worry can act as the fuel for anxiety. When the gas tank is full of fuel, the anxiety runs strongest.

Worry and Anxiety usually are represented as two things that crossover. I did some research on these two things and how they stand and work in our brains. Scientists state that they are usually in two different areas of the brain. The less physical, more verbal & or mental thoughts of Worry tends to be on the left side of the brain, while Anxiety itself, with its physical symptoms, and “arousal” tendencies seems to work more on the right side. Though they may operate from different sides, there still is “overlapping” as one often times leads into the other.

So, the signs of anxiety and the traits it brings do vary from each person, however, anxiety and worry as a whole, do follow a similar path. Again, just to reiterate, anxiety is mostly all about symptoms leaning more on the physical side. We have mentioned the arousal that anxiety brings; sweating, the high pulse, tightening of muscles, a elevated blood pressure, and faster but shorter respiration’s. Worry, being on the mental side will Consist of, first the obvious which is “worried,” fast thoughts, easily distracted/lack of focus, forgetfulness, and other things like that.

So, even though these two things reside on opposite sides of brains, they connect to each other so well, that a crossover concept is most likely going to be connected to this. Experts say “worry can change to anxiety when the “what if” thinking about dreaded possibilities, escalate into catastrophic thinking.” So, we end up going from just mental symptoms to now both, physical and mental symptoms.

So you have got those fast pulses, tightened muscles, short breathing, and sweating, that is being fueled by thoughts of doom, scattered confused thinking, those phrases we keep playing out, the “what if this, and what if that” mentality. It can really be so much more debilitating that a lot of people realize. For those who do not experience this, or have this type of problem, it can seem very difficult for those outsiders to understand, and be sympathetic to.

Cognitive therapy techniques that can halt anxiety, fear, and what have you, can be taken on, as ways to also deal with our worry. Especially that worried thinking that eventually becomes anxiety anyway. Taking control of our worry, can be a way of quelling anxiety, by cutting it off at its source.

Good luck to all, on your journeys towards fighting and healing our worry and anxiety. I have been there, and done that more than I would like to admit. I am on my own road to healing, but I still think it is important to write about, and expose these type of problems, as a way to remind everyone, that they aren’t alone, and it’s happening much more than many think.




Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Michael Patanella

Michael Patanella


Author, Publisher, and Editor. I cover mindfulness, mental health, addiction, sobriety, life, and spirituality among other things.