All about worrying

Worried all the time and don’t know how to calm down and get back to living your life? There are a few things that make people worry. Find out when it becomes a problem, and get pointers on what you can do if it’s affecting your life.

This can help if:

  • You're afraid of social situations
  • You often doubt yourself
  • You're afraid of failing
  • You're always thinking about how things could go wrong
back of boy looking over valley

What does it mean when you worry a lot?

Most people get worried. When we’re not sure how a situation’s going to turn out, it’s easy to be afraid of what will happen. It can also be really tough to get yourself to calm down and see things clearly.

For you, it might be a particular thing– like a seemingly never-ending pile of exams, coupled with pressure from people to perform at your best. It could be a relationship where you’re just not sure they feel the same way about you. Whatever it is, if you’re not sure about what’s going to happen or you doubt your abilities– bam! Worry.

When is worry a problem

Everyone worries about things and it's a completely normal experience, as long as it doesn't happen too often or last too long. Worry can become more of a concern when:

  • You don't really socialise or make mates because you’re worried about what people think of you
  • You don't always do stuff you want to do (surfing, acting, singing in the shower)
  • You’re holding yourself back from saying and doing things, or becoming the person you want to be
  • Your nerves are leaving you raw and irritable
  • You’re beginning to feel down and depressed because of all your worries

If the things you are worried about are beginning to impact on how you feel in everyday life, it's worth trying to work out what could be causing it. 

What to do when you find it hard to calm down

The first thing to do when you're feeling worried, is to try and work out the cause. Sometimes the cause may be completely obvious, while at other times it may be a combination of different factors. If you can try and pinpoint what those issues are, then it makes it much easier to overcome them and reduce your need to worry. 

In some circumstances, a problem which is causing you worry can actually be overcome, so it's a great idea to learn some problem solving strategies. In other situations, there may not be a straightforward solution. If that's the case, then it's a good idea to read up on self-help strategies for dealing with anxiety, and find out how to build better coping skills.

If your worried feelings never go away, or you worry about a lot of things all the time, there might be something more serious going on. Check out the info on anxiety disorders to figure out if your worry is out of control, and to get pointers on what you can do.

If you want to hear from others, watch this 3-minute video about worrying. 

What can I do now?

Last reviewed: 30 March, 2016
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