Anxiety vs. Anxious: What’s the Difference?

If you wake up one morning and you know you have a math test later that day, it’s normal to be nervous or anxious about the test.

Your heart might pound and your stomach might churn, and you might be thinking a lot about the test and your possible result. Once the test is over, you’re likely more relaxed, and physically back to normal.

If you wake up one morning and, for no reason, are convinced that something bad will happen to a loved one, think about it all day, and then continue to have intrusive thoughts about it the next day, that may be a sign of an anxiety disorder.

An anxiety disorder is often characterized by excessive and hard-to-control worry that occurs for most of the day, more days than not.

It might also consist of significant physical signs of anxiety like:

  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • muscle pain
  • trouble sleeping
  • digestive problems