Your question: Why do I have anxiety all the time?

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 necessary emotion, as primitive as human beings themselves. Anxiety allows you to be alert to external threats, whether real or imaginary, demanding a physical and emotional reaction in your body. Therefore, although anxiety is natural, it can become a problem when it is very recurrent and intense, even if it appears in random situations.

Having anxiety “all the time” is called generalized anxiety(1), and is characterized by an intense feeling of fear or worry that appears during a large part of the day, regardless of the time or circumstances in which you find yourself.

People with generalized anxiety have intense worries about everyday issues such as health, family, work, education and financial problems. We all worry about these issues, but in generalized anxiety the worry is so intense and recurrent that it interferes with daily functioning.

Anxiety creates thoughts that trigger deep discomfort. These thoughts are not always logical, but they always cause a sense of personal worry or sadness. For example, if anxious thoughts are work-related, they can make you feel that you are incompetent and replaceable.

Therefore, during the process of coping with anxiety it is important that you learn to question what you think, since your thoughts and emotions are not facts.

How does it feel to have anxiety all the time?

Each person is different, so your experience of anxiety will be different. People express a variety of symptoms, both physical and psychological, when going through a period of anxiety. Here is a list of general symptoms that are associated with anxiety(2):

You feel:

  • Very worried or afraid most of the time
  • Tense and on edge
  • Nervous or scared
  • Panicky
  • Irritable, agitated
  • Worried you’re going crazy
  • Detached from your body
  • Feeling like you may vomit.

You think:

  • I might die
  • I can’t handle the way I feel
  • I can’t focus on anything but my worries’
  • I don’t want to go out today’
  • I can’t calm myself down’.

You also experience:

  • Sleep problems (can’t get to sleep, wake often)
  • Pounding heart
  • Sweating
  • Pins and needles
  • Tummy aches, churning stomach
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness
  • Twitches, trembling
  • Problems concentrating
  • Excessive thirst.

How to learn to deal with your constant anxiety?

A valuable strategy to work on anxiety is to keep a self-record of emotions. It is known as a “panic diary”(3) but has many other names. Basically, it consists of writing down in a notebook the situations that make you anxious, detailing what physical and emotional sensations the specific situation caused you. Everything that goes through your body and mind is important to record in this journal, to understand what are the daily events that cause you anxiety and then work on those events to decrease the symptoms.

This journal allows you to focus your attention on the specific situations that are triggering your anxiety. You now know where you need to start making changes, whether in your work or in your interpersonal relationships.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This technique(4) consists of using your senses to dissuade emotional discomfort at a specific moment. It is useful when you are experiencing a lot of physical agitation or you feel that you have a lot of unpleasant thoughts, and 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. Whether you are in your room, in a car or a public place, you can sit and practice this exercise in silence, breathing slowly as you do it as many times as you feel necessary to decrease the anxious symptoms.

In my experience…

Learning that feeling constant anxiety is not your fault, nor does it make you a troublemaker, is the first step to improving your emotional condition. Generalized anxiety can be managed (and it is worth noting that it can only be diagnosed by a health professional). Feeling anxious all the time is exhausting, but you will have the capacity to improve once you find the sources of your anxiety and proceed to question the thoughts that disturb you and generate discomfort.

Remember that you have the ability to improve your psychological state, even if during moments of anxiety or depression you feel hopeless. We can always make small changes that will pay off in the long run. The fact that you are contacting me to seek professional attention in psychological counseling is already a step, and I recognize and applaud you for that. You are already doing something and wanting to change always leads you in the right direction.


  1. Mishra AK, Varma AR. A Comprehensive Review of the Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Cureus. 2023;15(9):e46115. Published 2023 Sep 28. doi:10.7759/cureus.46115
  2. Signs & symptoms of anxiety. Black Dog Institute. Available from:
  3. Whalley M. Psychology Tools For Overcoming Panic. Psychology Tools. 2017.
  4. Smith S. 5-4-3-2-1 Coping Technique for Anxiety. Behavioral Health Partners. University of Rochester Medical Center. 2018. Available from:

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