Your question: Why do I have anxiety all day?

My reply:

Hi, I hope this message finds you well. My name is Cesar Guedez, a psychologist trained in cognitive behavioral therapy.

Anxiety is a universal phenomenon, a necessary experience that occurs when your brain detects a threatening stimulus and makes your body act accordingly. Anxiety can be quite useful when, for example, a college exam or a job performance evaluation is approaching, since anxiety makes you act and prepare yourself to do well.

However, anxiety becomes a problem when it becomes too frequent and intense. If you experience anxiety “all day” it is because you are experiencing multiple anxious thoughts throughout the day that evoke the physical and emotional feeling of anxiety.

Some people experience anxiety during a particular time of the day, but if your feeling of anxiety is consistent throughout the day, it means that you are experiencing a chronic anxiety problem that requires attention on your part.

Although it may feel scary, addressing anxiety is possible. It is important that you primarily identify the causes of your anxiety so that you can then deal with bothersome symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, muscle tension and intense feelings of worry.

What does it feel like to have anxiety?

Psychology(1) has studied anxiety as a complex phenomenon, which has specific characteristics that affect people in different areas. Some characteristics of anxiety are:

Cognitive symptoms: fear of losing control; fear of death; fear of “going crazy”; fear of negative evaluation by others; frightening thoughts.

Physiological symptoms: increased heart rate, palpitations; shortness of breath, rapid breathing; chest pain or pressure; choking sensation; dizziness.

Affective symptoms: nervous, tense, wound up; frightened; sadness; irritability.

Why do you feel anxious all day long?

Anxiety can appear for several reasons. Adult life is full of stressors that span work, school, family and personal life. Your anxiety may be related to more than one problem.

The feeling of anxiety can last all day long because your anxious thoughts evoke anxiety symptoms. These thoughts are related to your everyday worries. Thus, even though you may be off work, you may have anxious thoughts during the night that make you feel restless and worried.

Some typical causes of anxiety are:


Work is stressful because it involves meeting demands, and our income depends on it to meet our needs. Work can cause you anxiety when there are sudden changes, when you are assigned new tasks or when you have too many responsibilities to manage.


Education can generate anxiety at any stage or level of education. The pressure for students to pass their exams and balance their time properly to meet all the pending assessments and at the same time, leave space for their personal life, is quite stressful.

Interpersonal relationships

Whether they are family relationships, friendships or couples, socialization causes anxiety because it often involves conflict and natural arguments between human beings. Interpersonal relationships are the cause of your anxiety when you have experienced many stressful encounters, which make you feel frustrated, annoyed, frightened or sad, with important people in your life.

Identity and self-esteem

Anxiety is also related to your perception of yourself and your identity. You may experience anxiety because there are things you don’t like about your body or personality or because you feel that you are generally dissatisfied with your life in more ways than one.

How to stop feeling anxious all day?

Thoughts are the natural triggers of the feeling of anxiety. Therefore, if you feel anxious all day long, even if you are not in the presence of a threatening stimulus, your torturous and invasive thoughts make you feel worried, nervous, afraid or sad.

Anxiety is controlled when you control the thoughts that cause it, as well as the physical symptoms. Once you have recognized the cause(s) of your anxiety, you have taken a first step on the road to improvement.

Question your thoughts

Thoughts are not facts even though they feel like facts. One of the most overwhelming things about anxiety is the lack of control you have over the dysfunctional thoughts that trigger anxious symptoms. Therefore, you need to stop to observe and question the thoughts you have when you are going through a period of anxiety.

For example, if your cause of anxiety is academic and the thought you have is “I don’t have time to do everything and I will fail”, you should try to give a logical answer to that thought: “I can organize my agenda to have time to solve everything”, or “this allows me to learn to have a better organization in the future”.

Breathing and relaxation

Inhale through your nose for three seconds, exhale through your mouth for another three seconds. This while you close your eyes and feel how slowly the tension in your body decreases. You can apply this exercise for at least 10 minutes a day at different times, and just after experiencing an episode of anxiety.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This technique consists of using your senses to dissuade emotional discomfort at a given moment. It is useful when you experience a lot of physical agitation or when you feel you have a lot of unpleasant thoughts, and you find it difficult to control your emotions. Wherever you are, you will focus on identifying 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. This will allow you to focus your attention on specific things during the period of anxiety, and slowly, the feeling of intense worry will diminish.

In my experience…

Feeling anxious all day long is a sign that your anxious thoughts are taking over your life. While it is not your fault that you feel anxious, you do have the ability to take charge of your life and apply specific techniques to get better. Anxiety is necessary in small doses in life, but it does not have to determine your existence and diminish your quality of life.

You can seek professional help, with a psychologist or psychiatrist, if you consider that your anxiety problem becomes more intense and difficult to control. There are techniques that a professional can teach you to decrease the feeling of anxiety and feel more comfortable with yourself in general.

I believe you have the ability to improve and heal these feelings of discomfort you are experiencing now. The fact that you are seeking professional help through this message proves it to me, and I applaud you for making that decision and being on track to improve your mental health and overall, your physical health.

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