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What's the difference between anxiety and just being nervous?

205 Answers
Last Updated: 08/14/2018 at 1:36am
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United States
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Stacey Kiger, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

My belief is that therapy is not about giving advice, but joining you on your journey

Top Rated Answers
November 1st, 2015 5:43pm
Anxiety you sometimes can't control. You live in constant fear of something. To be nervous is just you being a little excited or unsure about something new or something you care about and it doesn't last very long.
November 1st, 2015 6:53pm
I would always say that anxiety is a reoccurring thing that is physical as well as an emotion… nervous is sort of a feeling or emotion, but anxiety is when you can feel anxious for no apparent reason or if you start to have frequent anxious episodes… Although they can often cross over into one, at least in my case they did, but anxiety is usually a lot more physical
November 5th, 2015 6:30am
Anxiety is much deeper than just being nervous. It feels like everything can go wrong in a quick second , it is overthinking, as well as trouble breathing, speaking, and even thinking clearly.
November 5th, 2015 5:27pm
Anxiety is when there is a lot of worry at little things, and worry is usually a bit less extreme. Anxiety can affect the things you do by making you avoid certain situations
November 6th, 2015 2:03am
Anxiety is when instead of being nervous about something new or a change you worry about it. That worry will turn into paranoia and so on. Nervous is when you face something new or a change in your life you will feel it. But its just your nerves it settles once you get to it.
December 5th, 2015 11:47pm
Nervous energy can be a natural and appropriate response to some situations. Adrenaline can give us the kick and the focus to deliver an ace presentation, for example, or to tell someone the truth about how we really feel. Anxiety, to me, is a more pervasive state of being that isn't always in response to stimuli. It can be a feeling that lingers over you regardless of where you are and what you are doing, although some situations may make it worse. If you feel anxious generally, with no clear cause, it may be a deeper issue that needs attention.
January 8th, 2018 1:14pm
Well,being nervous is not that intense or harmful like anxiety.The feeling a nervousness can be explained but the feeling of anxiety cannot be described in words and does not always have a reason to it.But it's better to ask this question to a psychiatrist if you want to know the exact difference.
August 14th, 2018 1:36am
I’m both. Nervousness is the feeling you get before seeing someone you love for example the butterflies in your stomach and how your heart skips a beat or two. Anxiety is more complicated and harder to explain,it has physical impacts as panic attacks. Nervousness can’t stop you from getting on a roller coaster,anxiety indeed well.
May 9th, 2015 10:40pm
That's hard to answer since both are pretty similar. More often than not, anxiety will be a recurring feeling of tension or panic while nervousness is often a temporary feeling of tension.
August 11th, 2015 3:12pm
Anxiety is mostly cause by fear or being nervous. But just because you are nervous doesn't mean you have anxiety it could just mean you are worried about a certain situation try looking at the self help guide on anxiety and it make answer your question in more detail.
August 20th, 2015 7:25am
Anxiety is being extremely worried about something that interferes with your life. Nervous does not get in the way of your life.
September 10th, 2015 4:21am
Anxiety is more than just being nervous. Nervousness can fade with time, but anxiety has to be physically calmed.
September 13th, 2015 12:38am
Anxiety and being just nervous in my opinion, seem to get confused a lot. Being nervous is the feeling of fear of what an outcome will be. While being anxious is the uncontrollable sense of worry, fear, and the unknown. I have struggled with anxiety for almost 3 years and it comes on at no certain point of day. It is an uncontrollable, overwhelming sense of fear. I get nauseous, as well as terrified and cannot cope with it every time. Breathing does not always help as some people believe it does. The only thing that I tell myself is anxiety is not going to take over my life, I will not let it. I refuse to let anxiety win this battle I call my life.
September 17th, 2015 5:43pm
The difference between anxiety and just being nervous is when you are nervous you feel way different. You feel shakey but not like dizzy and like super stressed.
September 19th, 2015 5:43pm
Bases on my experience, being nervous is temporary while anxiety is ongoing or long term . Everyone becomes nervous at some point in their life but anxiety is the severe form of nervousness
September 24th, 2015 8:00pm
When you are nervous, it is much easier to calm yourself down. Don't get me wrong, nerves suck! But with anxiety there is an element you cannot control, you brain is tricking you, and it is a different sensation.
September 27th, 2015 5:47am
When you are nervous, it is based on a situation that is stressing you out. For example, when I am about to run in a meet for cross country I feel nervous that I may not run well. This is normal and healthy. Anxiety happens more often and it happens at anything, from walking into class everyday to what you wear as your outfit choice. Anxiety affects your everyday choices and sometimes, it holds people back from doing things because they have too much anxiety to do whatever they were thinking about doing.
September 30th, 2015 12:33am
Being nervous is just nervous. Anxiety is being nervous with different symptoms such as being sweaty and having trouble breathing.
October 22nd, 2015 11:55am
confidence. when your nervous you just loose confidence because of situation, anxiety is losing your confidence to mental pressure you build up
October 23rd, 2015 9:04am
Anxiety is more extreme than being nervous. It's harder to handle and definitely calls for a consultation with a specialist.
October 24th, 2015 5:46am
Being generally nervous about a test, a tournament, speech or the like, is more a temporary feeling. Once the event is over, nervousness usually fades. Anxiety is a prolonged nervousness. For example, worrying excessively that you messed up on a little thing.
November 8th, 2015 4:26am
Nervousness is a reaction anxiety is a condition.
November 8th, 2015 4:09pm
Being nervous is a feeling you get when you are doing something or waiting for something and then it passes when that certain thing is over but anxiety is always there and you worry about everything. You dont know how to stop it or why you are worrying but you do.
November 12th, 2015 3:26pm
Anxiety is a condition when a person feels stressed, worried or has a fear regarding something. It is a hesitation to try something new or different, in case the situation turns bad. Nervousness is a state of mind where a person loses self-confidence and becomes worried regarding certain situations.
November 13th, 2015 5:52am
Believe me anxiety is a lot worse that only being nervous,an you can always think about something else what would make you feel better and it will be over but with anxiety it isn't really that easy
November 15th, 2015 12:30am
Being nervous is just a symptom of having anxiety. Anxiety brings a lot to the plate and there are many different kinds of the disorder, while nervousness is just an emotion that comes with being a human.
November 15th, 2015 9:59am
when you are about to do something out of your comfort zone, you feel nervousness. And even if you are doing something within comfort zone but you are feeling not natural and nervous. That is Anxiety.
November 18th, 2015 3:06am
Anxiety is another level of being nervous. It affects you a lot more, it needs to be treated or it can affect your lifestyle.
November 18th, 2015 6:43am
anxiety is far more intense and constant. for example, if you've finished a test, and you're not sure about how you did and you feel a little antsy and scared of your result, but it blows over quickly, that would just be you being nervous. anxiety keeps coming back if you let it or if something triggers it. it's far more intense. you can't get 'nervous attacks' but you can get 'panic attacks' , where someone might feel sick to their stomach or find it hard to breathe or actually cannot breathe. it varies from person to person. anxiety is a burden that sits with you unless you learn to overcome it. nervous is just a quick flash of anxiousness, and it goes away fast, whereas anxiety never really does go away forever. it's always ready to creep up on you.
November 19th, 2015 3:49am
Anxiety is reoccurring and interferes with daily life, whereas being nervous can be a one time event. However the feeling of anxiety is the same as feeling nervous, but in some cases much more intense.