Panic Disorder Coping How to Stop Your Constant Anxiety and Worry By Katharina Star, PhD Katharina Star, PhD Facebook LinkedIn Katharina Star, PhD, is an expert on anxiety and panic disorder. Dr. Star is a professional counselor, and she is trained in creative art therapies and mindfulness. Learn about our editorial process Updated on May 19, 2022 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Akeem Marsh, MD Medically reviewed by Akeem Marsh, MD LinkedIn Twitter Akeem Marsh, MD, is a board-certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist who has dedicated his career to working with medically underserved communities. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print urbazon / Getty Images Table of Contents View All Table of Contents Symptoms of Constant Anxiety How to Deal With Worry How to Deal With Constant Anxiety When to Get Professional Help Frequently Asked Questions If you experience feelings of anxiety, you probably know firsthand what it is like to live with constant anxiety or worry. Such symptoms can be distressing and disruptive. In some cases, constant anxiety or worry may be a sign of an anxiety disorder. This article explores some of the signs of constant anxiety and worry as well as strategies that you can use to cope. By practicing some of these new coping skills, you may find yourself better able to deal with feelings of worry and anxiety. Symptoms of Constant Anxiety and Worry Many people who struggle with anxiety-related conditions are negatively affected by their worrisome thoughts. However, worry is just one aspect of anxiety. What Is Worry? Worry is that feeling of uneasiness that occurs when your thoughts are focused on current difficulties in your life or potential problems that have not actually occurred. For example, these feelings can range from worrying about an upcoming evaluation at work to feeling worried about the safety of family members even when they all seem to be out of harm's way. Some common symptoms of constant anxiety include: Avoiding social situations Difficulty concentrating Excessive worry Feeling tense Irritability Physical symptoms such as muscle tension, headaches, and fatigue Problems sleeping Restlessness Constant anxiety and worry can be exhausting and often increases your feelings of fear and anxiety. Worry can make it difficult to unwind and relax, even contributing to sleep disturbances, such as insomnia. How to Deal With Worry Given its link to anxiety, it is no surprise that worry is common among those diagnosed with panic disorder. Constant anxiety that seems to occur without any specific source may be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder. There are certain worries that are frequently experienced by those with this condition. For example, people with panic disorder often worry about when they will experience their next panic attack. Those with agoraphobia worry so much about their physical symptoms that they are often prone to engaging in avoidance behaviors, finding it difficult at times to engage in their regular activities. Exercise Engaging in physical activity may help prevent or treat anxiety. Studies have found that getting regular physical activity can help protect against feelings of anxiety. Even brief periods of exercise can be a great way to relieve feelings of anxiety and take your mind off of your worry. The Mental Health Benefits of Physical Exercise Focus on What You Can Control Worrying about the things you have no control over only adds to feelings of stress and anxiety. Focusing your attention on the things that are under your control, on the other hand, can help you feel more empowered and may help you better cope with your worries. Practice Gratitude Experiencing gratitude has been shown to have a number of positive health effects, including reducing feelings of anxiety. Spending a few moments writing in a gratitude journal each day may help you better manage feelings of constant anxiety and worry. Get Enough Sleep Sleep has a complex relationship with mental health. People who are worried or anxious tend to sleep less, but poor sleep can also contribute to problems with anxiety. A bad night's sleep might leave you feeling irritable and moody the next day, but prolonged periods of sleep problems can actually increase your likelihood of developing an anxiety disorder. How to Deal With Constant Anxiety In addition to taking preventative measures to help manage feelings of worry, there are also strategies that may be helpful for relieving feelings of constant anxiety. These methods can be effective for combatting anxiety in the moment. Put Your Mind Elsewhere This tip may sound easy, but it does require some effort to distract yourself from worrying. To get your mind off your worries, try to get busy on something else. For example, you can try walking, watching television, or reading a good book. To prepare yourself for future worrying, make a list of activities that you can do. Label the list “What I can do instead of worrying” and then underneath write down activities that will put your mind elsewhere. Try to come up with a long list of your own. Consider what activities you can do when in different situations, such as when you are at home, traveling, or at work. Having many options listed will increase the chance of you using them when you need them the most. How to Distract Yourself Do some chores inside or around the house, such as laundry or gardeningExercise or engage in a physical activityRead a book, magazine, or newspaperOrganize your home or officeWatch a funny movieEngage in a creative activity, such as drawing or writinh Get Support Talking with a trusted friend or family member can help you feel more relaxed and supported. Sometimes hearing the perspective of another person can help change your view of your worries. You may want to spend a few minutes sharing your worries with someone, but it is best to not let that be the only subject that you talk about. A good friend can help you get your mind off of your worries and onto something else. Building a support network for panic disorder can take some time and effort. However, having others to lean on may help reduce your worry. Many people with panic disorder, panic attacks, and agoraphobia feel isolated and often find it difficult to reach out to others. If you are experiencing loneliness or are uncomfortable talking to others, try exploring your problem on your own through writing. Get a journal or simply a pen and some paper and write out your worries. When you have it all written down, you may be able to better see the big picture. Try writing down some potential solutions to your problems. Also, try to balance out your worries by writing down what you are grateful for. Sometimes when we are worried, we overlook the more positive aspects of our lives. Practice Relaxation and Self-Care Techniques Learning to relax is a proactive way to work towards overcoming your worries. People with panic disorder tend to have an overactive flight-or-fight response, meaning that they often approach life with a lot of fear and anxiety. Relaxation techniques serve the purpose of improving one’s relaxation response and minimizing anxious thoughts. There are many ways to elicit the relaxation response, including progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, and meditation. These techniques can be learned on your own and can help you feel calmer. Decide which strategies work best for you and make an effort to practice your relaxation techniques for at least 10 to 20 minutes per day. Other self-care practices include physical fitness and nutrition, expressing our creativity, tending to our spiritual needs, and developing healthy relationships. Determine which activities you need to practice more in your life. Practicing self-care for anxiety can help you live and feel healthier, which may help defeat some of your worrying. Press Play For Advice On Dealing With Worry Hosted by Editor-in-Chief and therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast shares a technique that can help you worry less. Follow Now: Apple Podcasts / Spotify / Google Podcasts Face Your Fears Sometimes our worries are caused by procrastination or an inability to make a decision. If you are putting something off, worry can serve as a way to avoid facing the issue head-on. However, in the long run, worry and anticipation can actually make you feel much more anxious than if you would just take care of your issue. Stop worrying by taking the steps you need to deal with the problem. You may find that by tackling your problems or projects actually decrease your feelings of worry and stress. Worry Time: The Benefits of Scheduling Time to Stress When to Get Professional Help If your feelings of constant worry and anxiety persist and you cannot find adequate relief using self-help strategies. Consider talking to your doctor or a mental health professional. You may be experiencing some type of anxiety disorder. A professional can evaluate your symptoms, provide an appropriate diagnosis, and recommend treatments that can help. Treatments for anxiety disorders often involve psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of the two. Therapy for Anxiety Disorders Frequently Asked Questions How do I deal with my constant anxiety? Relaxation strategies such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation can soothe some of the physical and mental symptoms of anxiety. Distraction and social support can also be effective. If this anxiety is prolonged and disrupts your life, however, you should seek help from a mental health professional. What causes anxiety and can it be treated? Anxiety can have a variety of causes including genetics, changes in brain chemistry, environmental influences, stress, personality characteristics, and trauma. When should I see a therapist for my constant worry? If your anxiety is interfering with your everyday life, then you should talk to a mental health professional. Anxiety can grow worse over time, particularly if you engage in maladaptive coping strategies such as avoidance. Seeking help early can help you find relief and prevent feelings of constant anxiety from becoming worse. 5 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. American Psychiatric Association (APA). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed, text revision. Washington, D.C.; 2022. Newman MG, Llera SJ, Erickson TM, Przeworski A, Castonguay LG. Worry and generalized anxiety disorder: a review and theoretical synthesis of evidence on nature, etiology, mechanisms, and treatment. Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2013;9:275-297. doi:10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-050212-185544 Kandola A, Stubbs B. Exercise and anxiety. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2020;1228:345-352. doi:10.1007/978-981-15-1792-1_23 Cregg DR, Cheavens JS. Gratitude interventions: effective self-help? A meta-analysis of the impact on symptoms of depression and anxiety. J Happiness Stud. 2021;22(1):413-445. doi:10.1007/s10902-020-00236-6 Shanahan L, Copeland WE, Angold A, Bondy CL, Costello EJ. Sleep problems predict and are predicted by generalized anxiety/depression and oppositional defiant disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2014;53(5):550–558. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2013.12.029 Additional Reading Davis, M., Eshelman, E.R., & McKay, M. “The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook, 6th ed." 2008 Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications. By Katharina Star, PhD Katharina Star, PhD, is an expert on anxiety and panic disorder. Dr. Star is a professional counselor, and she is trained in creative art therapies and mindfulness. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! 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