Anxiety vs. Nervousness: how they are different and how to overcome Nervousness in university?

You might have come across a situation where you feel the anxiety getting on your nerves. But what if it’s just nervousness that’s creating that heaviness down your chest? The subtle gap between nervousness and anxiety is bridged by the symptoms one might experience, the disruptive pattern, and their occurrences. Anxiety in all forms from mild nervousness to severe panic is an experience we all must have experienced during our college life. While the mild forms of these might seem amusing for some like the anxiety before skydiving or the nervousness while watching a scary movie, an excessive amount of both can lead to severe health issues which make it extremely crucial to be able to distinguish between the two.

If you are experiencing nervousness, it is a more complex task to successfully diagnose the symptoms and reach out for help. To find out more about how to prevent your nervousness from gaining ground and get a strong handle on it, read along.

What is Nervousness and Anxiety by definition?

Feeling nervous is just a normal reaction! Whenever you face a new opportunity that the body categorizes as a threat or a challenge, you may experience nervousness. You may feel nervous accompanied by several symptoms like sweaty palms, just right before taking your driving test. In other words, feelings of nervousness that don’t disrupt your normal routine, are perfectly normal.

However, even though the terms of nervousness and anxiety are used interchangeably in conversations, these two are entirely different. Categorized by excessive worry, anxiety can affect a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks and maintain healthy relationships.

For simplification, if the suffocating feeling of dread compels you to avoid a certain challenge altogether, then you may have a diagnosable anxiety disorder. For instance, feeling nervousness before taking a final exam is perfectly normal but if this feeling of dread becomes so overwhelming that you skip the test, then you require professional assistance.

Identifying if its nervousness or anxiety

It’s common to confuse yourself while distinguishing between anxiety and nervousness since they both cause a variety of cognitive symptoms. But how can one make sure that the nervousness they are experiencing is normal or an anxiety disorder that requires help? Look no further! We have summarized a few key distinguishing factors that will enable you to identify what you are experiencing.

Length of time

Nervousness is always abort timed, it ends when the stressful event ends. Once the challenge passes, you would be no longer feel nervous or fret about the event. However, it’s not the same for people suffering from anxiety.

People suffering from anxiety disorders feel that sickening dread feeling almost every day. That feeling never really goes away, it just attaches itself to anything new it founds or it just remains generalized in the individual’s mind.

Presence of severe physical symptoms

When experiencing nervousness, you may feel slight discomfort and heaviness down your chest but the physical symptoms are never too severe to involve the nerves in the play. Although anxiety does have a physical component to it.

The symptoms that appear right before getting a panic attack are severe and extremely overwhelming such that they are often confused with heart diseases. A racing heart rate, severe nausea, excessive sweating, etc are just a few examples of how critical the signs of an anxiety disorder can get.

Range of rationality involved 

While feeling nervous may seem practical as it is attached to real experiences, having anxiety may make no sense at all. This is why it is often termed as an irrational experience for some and nervousness is considered a rational reaction to an opposing threat.

Feeling nervous before getting an interview call makes perfect sense as it feels like a challenge. However, the people feeling anxiety may experience the dreading feeling for no apparent reason at all. No matter how much one preps their brain to not feel that way, they may still feel terrified.


Even if you are a person who is prone to feeling nervousness in most cases, you are still likely to get a hold of it and manage it effectively. Anxiety on the other hand is uncontrollable without effective treatment.

It is important to note here that while feeling nervous is often a result of anxiety, anxiety cannot be a result of nervousness. People with an anxiety disorder often experience severe feelings of nervousness without a prominent stressor.

Medical extent

Anxiety disorders are psychiatric disorders that are often formed due to a variety of reasons. These include complex factors such as genetics, brain chemistry, and traumatic events. While feeling nervous is just the natural response to when your body identifies a factor as a potential threat or a challenge.

Copying with nervousness

Nervousness is just a natural way of your body and mind prepping you for whets coming next, which is usually something that is out of your comfort levels. In such situations, just remember that it’s perfectly natural to feel that way and acknowledge that such experiences usually help you grow.

  • Be certain of your capabilities, know your worth. The minute you start doubting yourself, invest in ways that make you feel positive about your work and enable you to envision your desired outcome. By letting logic overpower your negative assumptions, you will be able to see a rare view of every point of life that was previously left undiscovered and undermined. Try to give every thought a reason and then see if it can be logically proven right. If not, you have your answer right there.
  • During nervousness, the muscles in the body tense up followed by tightness in the chest, stomachache, and discomfort. Exercising regularly can help ease muscle tension by relieving it and leaving the body relaxed. This in return cools down the mental effect that discomfort has been causing to your brain.
  • It is scientifically proven that sunlight can heal many of the nervousness and anxiety symptoms just as effectively as antidepressants, that too without any side effects. Try to get an average of 15 to 20 mines of daily sunlight, especially in the morning, and if that is not possible tan try to get a lightbox that can stimulate the effect of sunlight.
  • Reach out to your friends and family members first and make them trust you in the process. It is important to note that at this time it is crucial to be surrounded only by those people who would boost up your confidence and make you feel perfectly normal, the ones who are genuinely willing to be a helping hand.

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