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  • Writer's pictureDr. Ni Li, ND MSc

Anxious versus Nervous

Updated: Feb 26, 2023

anxious versus nervous

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Anxious versus Nervous

Am I feeling anxious or nervous? What is the difference between anxiety and nervousness? Although we sometimes use the two terms anxious and nervous together or interchangeably, they have the following differences to set them apart.

Anxiety vs Nervousness



Generalized vs Specific

Generalized; Worry about different things, such as health, money, family, work, or school

Specific; Triggered by a specific situation, such as a public speech, a first date, or a job interview


Difficult to pinpoint the cause

Easy to pinpoint a cause


Lasts even after the stressful situation has passed

Resolves once the stressful situation has passed


Some days to nearly everyday

Depends on how often the stressor happens


Mild to severe; Can impair daily functioning

Mild usually


​Uncontrollable; Can’t stop worrying


When to see a doctor for anxiety or nervousness?

Talk to a doctor or a mental health professional, or book a discovery call with us,

  • if you are unsure whether you are feeling anxious or nervous;

  • if your anxiety or nervousness becomes out of your control; or

  • if your anxiety or nervousness starts to affect your daily living.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for educational/informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Learn more.


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