Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

How do I know if I am being reasonably anxious about something, or overreacting?

18 Answers
Last Updated: 05/11/2020 at 4:35am
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Paola Giordani, Psychoanalyst

Licensed Psychoanalyst

I have helped and am helping people cope with loss, divorce, anguish and parenting. Depression is also a major issue that comes up.

Top Rated Answers
May 11th, 2015 6:15am
Try to think about the worst possible result that could possibly come from the thing you are anxious about. Go ahead and go big at first, doom and disaster and end of the world. Decide if that's a logical or likely outcome, even if things go really wrong. Start whittling down your worst possible outcome till you've got something with a reasonable likelihood of actually happening if things go badly. Looking at that outcome, is it dire enough to justify the amount of time you have spent worrying about it? And if it is that dire, has the energy you've expended on worrying about it made the outcome less likely? Reasonable anxiety is the sort that spurs you to take greater care and make sure you're doing everything possible to avoid the bad outcome. When anxiety moves beyond that, it's probably time to start taking steps to manage your anxiety.
March 4th, 2015 6:01pm
You need to know what triggers your anxiety, once you do, you need to find ways to cope with it. If you get anxiety symptoms like sweating, shaking and your muscles get tense and even nausea over some unfamiliar situations that people don't find.. stressful, it doesn't particularly mean you're overreacting. Some people are more sensitive than others, so it would never define it as overreacting, it's just how you, yourself react to it. And you can have control over those situations again but you need the right support and guidance from your close friends or family. If very severe, professional help.
July 15th, 2019 1:37pm
I turn to the “the big 5”. These are questions you ask yourself about your anxieties. Think of your situation and ask yourself, 1) what are the chances of that happening? 2) What is the worst thing that can happen? 3) Am I right to think that? 4) The 5 year rule. When I look back on this moment in 5 years time, will it matter anymore. Will it be significant or will I have forgotten all about it? 5) What is this worth? Is it worth worrying over? After you’ve thought about these questions your mind will be clearer and you should be able to assess your situation and see whether you were overreacting or not.
May 11th, 2020 4:35am
- Ask yourself "is this my Logical Mind speaking or is this my Anxiety speaking?" - Validate your own feelings by saying "No matter what the reality is, my feelings are still valid. I have a right to feel this way, no matter what. My feelings are mine, and no one else can tell me how I should feel." - Make a three column chart. In the three columns write: 1) What is the WORST that can happen? 2) What is the BEST that can happen? 3) What is MOST LIKELY going to happen? - Do a grounding exercise to make sure that you are in a state called "wise mind" when you make your judgement. - Try asking a trusted friend or family member to evaluate the situation for you.
April 16th, 2015 11:11am
if the situation is to be judged and you are doing efforts to understand it but it is making you reacting instead of responding then you are being anxious.
May 15th, 2015 9:46pm
You don't. That's the hardest part. You may think it's reasonable or that you're overreacting, but the point is: it's different for everyone. A breakup can be as triggering as the passing of a loved one. If it affects your life negatively: you should do something about it. As little or big as the problem may be. Anxiety doesn't go away by itself, it takes some courage to recognize and accept that it affects you, and to take action.
July 7th, 2015 7:14pm
It's a very tough question and I'm still struggling with it but what I try to do is try to view a situation "objectively" by thinking of another person in the same situation with the same things happened to him/her and evaluate whether or not that person should feel anxious. I know it sounds a bit dull but it helps me to disconnect mysel from the equation. Also, if you have friends you trust you can always ask them if you are overreacting.
September 21st, 2015 3:33am
There may be some signs of anxiety. Trembling, twitching, shaking, etc. some signs of overreacting could be seen as someone who you usually arent and act differently.
December 21st, 2015 1:09pm
There's a reason you're feeling that way. Follow that feeling and explore it. Question why you have that feeling and talk to someone you trust.
December 29th, 2015 10:37am
The solution to the question is simple:If the worry pertains to the pending goal and the steps planned for it's accomplishment is reasonable, then it's reasonably anxious otherwise overreacting .
January 4th, 2016 1:12pm
In all of my life, I have relied on the comfort level in a situation, my instincts I suppose you'd call it. The moment I start to feel I am not comfortable with the conversation I take a pause and relay what is being said. In terms of possibly overeacting again I would seek a second opinion and go through what is being said that is worrying me.
January 25th, 2016 9:14pm
If you obsessively dwell on a specific matter and its taking over a lot of your thoughts, calm down
January 26th, 2016 9:13pm
I think how you feel is the most important thing and if you are feeling anxious then it doesn't really matter if you're overreacting-the feeling is real for you
August 8th, 2016 2:20am
When it comes to mental health it is very rarely an "overreaction". We fear certain things and play them out in our heads-- worst case scenario, best case scenario, impossible things that couldn't happen in a million years. It's often because we desire preparation should we ever be faced with one of those situations in reality. It helps to have coping methods so that you don't get overly anxious and do yourself harm, like deep breathing or memorizing lyrics or poetry to take your mind off it.
August 8th, 2016 12:47pm
To do that you must analyse yourself. Ask yourself why are you axioms about this thing? How does it affects you, what's the probability of it happening (from logic not hunch), then take care to keep your evaluation well rounded, for eg for each support you must look for a negative remark and vice verca. At the end of the day, you will find that being anxious isn't the solution even if it is reasonable to be so unless you are an extremely lazy person who needs suitable pressure to move. But being calm and cool helps a lot.
April 11th, 2017 10:29pm
If you are feeling those legitimate feelings, you are never overreacting. Don't worry about how much you are reacting to something, but instead work on techniques to manage those reactions when it impacts your day-to-day life.
October 2nd, 2017 1:29am
The best way to figure that out is to talk it out with someone who is objective and can help you step outside your bias and emotions that are causing the anxiety. It is also helpful to ask yourself if the symptoms of the anxiety are justified to the event or situation causing the anxiety. An example would be that everyone would feel anxious about an upcoming exam, but would that anxiety prevent you from being able to study is something you need to consider in full
November 27th, 2017 10:49pm
Generally, when the anxiety is causing more harm than help, it's not reasonable anymore. That's a pin point I use all the time anyway c: