Anxiety and Fear Make Us Tired: And We Are All Tired

Anxiety and fear is exhausting. We are so tired it is hard to work at ridding ourselves of anxiety and fear. Here are some tips to help you conserve energy.

Adults live with anxiety and fear everyday. Maybe not fear of dying, but fears that weigh us down and cause us to be tired. I'm not the only one who notices how tired we are collectively. Yesterday in a therapy session an eleven year old girl asked me if I was tired. Things have been extra busy around my house, I have been up late and up early. I said, "Yes." She said that whenever she asked a grown up if they are tired, they always say yes. This made me pause. All grown ups are tired? I could relate, I have noticed that, too. What are we doing to ourselves? Why are we all so tired?

What Makes Anxiety and Fear so Overwhelming?

Judging from comments on this blog, people are tired of living in fear. Tired of having fear and anxiety rule their lives, limit their activities, ruin their relationships, and take away their joy. They feel so vulnerable to the fear and anxiety, that they feel more fear and anxiety. Exhausted from the struggle, we are even too tired to take care of ourselves! Not taking care of ourselves feeds the anxiety by making us again feel more vulnerable and out of control.

In an airplane, the flight attendants tell us that, in case of a crash, put our own mask on before who might need help around us. But I think in regular life, we need to listen to this advice. We put the mask on anxiety, we give it what it needs to survive (our attention, our fear, isolation) while we are literally asphyxiating ourselves.

We cannot even breathe.

Three Ways to Take Power from Fear and Anxiety

Decide what you want to nurture you, or the anxiety. Put your time and energy into that. Get a hobby, start a project, spend time with old friends that love you, write, exercise. These things rejuvenate. Fun rejuvenates.

Also, get some rest. Make sure you sleep at the same time every night. A routine awesomely counters anxiety from the inside out.

Lastly, eat well. Eat fresh, whole foods whenever you can. Preservatives, sugars and hydrogenated oils can weigh us down, make us feel sluggish. They cool and inhibit our digestive fire, slowing everything down. Keep in mind: 95% of our serotonin--the feel good hormone--comes from our gut. Healthy digestion is more important than you think!

What do you do to take care of yourself?

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APA Reference
Lobozzo, J. (2012, June 13). Anxiety and Fear Make Us Tired: And We Are All Tired, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R

March, 7 2016 at 5:27 pm

I am so tired of being afraid. I have been to the doctors so many time and have been on so many medications and nothing seems to help my anxiety. I am pretty sure that the anxiety has change into depression. I have a great group of friend that I don't want to be around because I feel inferior to all of them.
I have reached out to family members before and they are very supportive, but I am tired of bothering them with my problems.
A lot of times the only time I feel good is when I have drinks. But, I know that it is not a good solution.
If anyone has advice that has helped in the past please let me know.

September, 15 2015 at 8:10 am

Thanks for the positive energy you send through these messages. Fear has never left me also. I'm tired of being scared

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 15 2015 at 11:07 am

Hello Steve,
Jodi is no longer writing for HealthyPlace, so she is unable to respond to comments. She'd be pleased that this post is meaningful to you (although she wouldn't be pleased, nor am I, that fear has never left you). Jodi gave some great suggestions for dealing with the exhaustion that comes from constant fear. Hopefully you will find them useful. As you care for yourself, you just might find that you are better able to fight, and reduce, that fear.

July, 19 2014 at 5:34 pm

I am so afraid I'm having a bad anxiety day and it feels like I can't breathe and that in going to stop breathing :(

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 21 2014 at 11:48 am

Hi Sian,
This is one of the frustrating traps of anxiety. It's awful to experience anxiety, so much so that we begin to feel anxious about the anxiety itself. Breathing difficulties are very common. When you feel your chest constrict and it feels as though you can't get enough air, try taking a moment to stop what you're doing and breathe deeply. Sometimes it helps to stretch your arms overhead to give yourself more space inside. Count your breaths, and remind yourself that your brain won't let you stop breathing completely. Even if someone passes out, which is very, very rare (if it even happens at all -- I just don't like to speak in absolutes) in anxiety or panic attacks, the brain automatically resumes breathing. Reminding yourself of this fact could be quite helpful. Anxiety can be horrible, and you're not alone in fearing a bad anxiety day. Keep arming yourself with information about anxiety and treating anxiety, and you'll go a long way toward healing.

December, 14 2012 at 11:40 pm

Yes, i am tired of being afraid. The fact that i cede to fear and allow it to weaken me feels pathetic. It's ok to have a little fear to increase the flow of adrenaline rushing through the body, but to have as much of it as to hurt ourselves is absolutely not acceptable. As for having a healthy gut, it does cut down on stress, but i am not sure whether it has a strong connection to our mind where the fear resides. This i will say, though, that the other advice are feasible. I have enjoyed the read.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 19 2012 at 5:05 am

Thanks for adding to the conversation! Try not to judge yourself, it makes it worse, believe me. Allow yourself to feel and you will get through it faster. Read my post from today to see what I mean.
Much of our serotonin resides in the gut (90%). This is a huge regulator of our emotional being! Don't underestimate this!

August, 12 2012 at 7:01 am

Thank you Jodi for this reminder. I'm having real problems in breathing which is one of the things that don't let me sleep, I forget myself without water or food ofr two days, I don't sleep, don't rest, so i am causing my own pain. I usually "pretend" that I'm not afraid and manage to believe it, but now I'm not even able to convince myself

Are You Tired Of Being Afraid? on Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog
July, 22 2012 at 6:52 pm

[...] said that whenever she asked a grown up if they are tired, they always say yes. Read more on Anxiety Schmanxiety. /* */ Center for Narrative Practice240 East Ridge RdRochester, NY 14621(585) 544-5342 [...]

Tina Barbour
June, 13 2012 at 4:50 pm

I am tired all the time, no matter how much sleep I get. I think it's anxiety and depression and lack of motivation. I am trying to do the things that I know would help--relaxation, fun, better food, exercise--but it's difficult. But I'm trying! :-)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 13 2012 at 9:35 pm

You are trying, keep up the good work, Tina!

Jodi Lobozzo Aman: Heal Now and Forever
June, 13 2012 at 9:49 am

[...] Newest post on Anxiety-Schmanxiety: Are You Tired Of Being Afraid? [...]

Maryellen Brady
June, 13 2012 at 9:33 am

Thank you for the reminder! I was always exhausted. I wake up that way some days....
Now I wake up excited about my day. I still have worries about money etc, but I'm doing the best I can and worry and fear are not helping me.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 13 2012 at 10:22 am

Worry and fear are not helpers, they are energy leeches! They will suck you dry! take care of yourself!

June, 13 2012 at 6:49 am

I am tired. In fact, i am exhausted, and reading all the different small advice you are giving, I realize that I don't apply any of them.
I think that what is lacking is motivation, and the belief that things can change.
"We cannot even breathe." I cannot even breathe. I say this more than once everyday. I can't breathe. I need to breathe. It's a vicious circle. struggling to breathe correctly increases fear and anxiety and anxiety worsens the symptoms :(

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 13 2012 at 10:21 am

I was thinking of you about the breathing! Apply them ,sister, take care of yourself! Exhale! I know somewhere you do believe that things can change, you believe it more than ever. Don't say I cannot breath since that makes it truer, obviously you ARE breathing. When you can't breathing. Say calmly, "I can breath, see I am exhaling, see I am breathing. I can do this." <3 Hugs!

June, 13 2012 at 11:55 am

I'm trying. That's what I'm trying very hard to do now. I know I'm surely breathing, but it just feels so heavy. It's a real physical effort

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