Are There Different Levels of Anxiety?

By Gabrielle Seunagal

Updated August 31, 2019

Reviewer Aaron Horn

Anxiety is an emotion of nervousness, tension, and unease regarding past, present or future events. Mainstream coverage of anxiety and its various causes, symptoms, etc has increased over the past few years. There is still a lot of ways to go, seeing as there are various misconceptions involving anxiety and all that it entails. One of the most misunderstood aspects of anxiety are the various levels associated with it.


A Brief Overview Of Anxiety

One of the most important things to understand about anxiety is that it's not an inherently negative emotion. As a matter of fact, in certain situations, anxiety can be relatively normal. For instance, it's typical to feel anxious before speaking in front of an audience, starting a new job, or going on a blind date. In other scenarios, anxiety can serve as a warning sign that someone is making a bad decision or doing something which isn't in their best interest. The key to understanding anxiety is realizing that levels of anxiety play a tremendous role in manners of perception.


There are a plethora of symptoms associated with anxiety. Of course, these symptoms can vary according to the level of anxiety which a person is experiencing. Overall, some of the most typical anxiety-related symptoms include sweating, struggling to concentration, increased heart rate, irritation, etc. Anxiety which persists and remains ongoing can interfere with a person's ability to successfully function in their day to day life. This is when anxiety becomes most harmful and problematic.


Many factors can cause or contribute to anxiety. Sometimes, a person who is already stressed or going through a rough time in life may be more prone to experiencing anxiety. Frequent exposure to triggers of anxiety can also serve as a cause, as can close biological ties to other individuals who struggle with chronic, clinical anxiety. The various causes of anxiety can also have an effect on the levels of anxiety which an individual finds themselves subjected to. This is another important thing that people ought to be aware of.



There are various treatment options for anxiety. Of course, appropriate treatment depends upon a variety of factors. It goes without saying that more extreme levels of anxiety generally demand more rigorous forms of treatment. Still, treatment for anxiety generally boils down to medication, counseling, and therapy. Of course, depending on the level in question, there are various steps which individuals can take to reduce occurrences of anxiety in their lives. The steps can include but are certainly not limited to reduction of exposure to triggers, consumption of a healthy diet, exposure to a supportive network, and more.

In extreme cases of anxiety, seeing a physician or specialist for the proper treatment and care is paramount. Sometimes, the attempt to self-medicate can cause further issues both in the short term and the long term.

Reviewing The Different Levels Of Anxiety

Truly maintaining a firm understanding of the different anxiety levels is paramount to understanding anxiety as a whole. It can also serve as an effective indicator of what's to come and warning signs that you should be aware of. There are various situations that can cause anxiety to worsen or gradually dial down. When people are able to comprehend the different levels of anxiety, they are setting themselves up for a better understanding of emotional and mental health.

Mild Anxiety

Mild anxiety is the most common levels of anxiety. Virtually everyone experiences mild anxiety at one point or another, although the good news is that this level of anxiety generally doesn't last for very long and is easy to get over. Some examples of situations which may trigger mild anxiety include getting lost on a floor of a big building or waiting to learn whether or not you performed well on an academic test. Sometimes, a degree of mild anxiety can be healthy and can motivate you into taking steps which will maximize the quality of your results.

Moderate Anxiety

Moderate anxiety comes after mild anxiety and generally occurs when stress has reached a particular level. Sufferers of moderate anxiety may have issues with focusing on matters other than the source of their anxiety. Feeling anxious in this manner can be problematic and set someone up for other issues, including even more serious levels of anxiety, if the matters which ail them are not appropriately dealt with.

An individual who is dealing with moderate anxiety may experience symptoms which include but are not exclusively limited to lightheadedness, a short temper, nausea, sweating and even bodily pains. Moderate anxiety is typically engendered by issues which are notably serious, such as losing your wallet, forgetting to attend an important meeting, or encountering a bothersome person in a position of authority.

Severe Anxiety


By the time an individual crosses into the threshold of severe anxiety, they are in trouble. Severe anxiety is a sign that someone has undergone some form of very serious trauma or otherwise reached a breaking point of sorts. This level of anxiety is not good at all and certainly requires specific actions and outside help. Symptoms that are commonly associated with severe anxiety generally involve jittery behaviors, anger, pounding heart rates, and withdrawal from others. Some issues which can prompt severe anxiety are loss of employment, the loss of a loved one, or experiences that are significantly traumatic.

Panic Anxiety

Panic anxiety is the ultimate, worst, and most dangerous level of anxiety. By the time someone reaches this point, they are in a bad place and need outside help. When panic anxiety hits, the afflicted individual has lost the ability to control themselves and maintain focus. Feeling frozen, unable to control one's body, and even lashing out at others for seemingly no reason are all signs of panic anxiety. Like severe anxiety, panic anxiety generally happens for specific reasons and after exposure to some time of very notable trauma. Panic anxiety has also been known to override fundamental levels of self-preservation and making choices which are in one's best interest.

Important Things To Remember About Anxiety

As you've probably gathered from the different levels of anxiety, the levels worsen as they progress. For this reason, it's generally advisable to deal with anxiety while it remains in the mild and moderate levels. Of course, anxiety does not happen in the chronological order of progressive levels, but there are times where it goes go from mild to moderate to severe to panic-level. For this reason, having an awareness of some coping methods can serve as healthy and effective.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices Always Matter

The quality of your lifestyle can significantly contribute to the levels of anxiety which you experience. Exercising, consuming a healthy diet, and ensuring that you are surrounding yourself with the right crowd makes a difference. Being mindful of your energy, emotional health, and how you feel in various settings is also part of living a healthy lifestyle.

You are the Company You Keep

As previously noted, the company which you keep has a very strong impact on your emotional health and the various levels of anxiety which you are subjected to. You should be around people who encourage, uplift and inspire you. The company you keep matters. If you are constantly in the presence of people who are not good for you, then you may experience higher levels of anxiety, as you are exposed to situations, energy, and individuals which are simply not good for you.

Certain relationships or friendships which were once healthy may no longer be good for you. That can be a tough realization, but there's a big, beautiful world out there and lots of people in it. Sometimes we have to close one door in order for a better one to open. This isn't always easy in the beginning, but in the long run, you will thank yourself for making the tough changes now so that you can live well later.

It's Okay to Ask for Help


When dealing with anxiety or other matters altogether, so many people fall into the trap of believing that they have to do it all on their own. This is simply not true. As a matter of fact, attempting to take on everything by yourself can worsen experiences and levels of anxiety. The reality is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help. As a matter of fact, assistance and guidance from others can serve as amazing tools as you grow and evolve.

This is where BetterHelp comes into the equation. We understand that life can be difficult and everyone deserves resources to professional guidance and care. No matter who you are or what your situation is, BetterHelp will always be here for you. You can contact us anytime and for any reason simply by clicking here.

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