How Anxious Are You?
Rate yourself on the 10 statements below using a 0 to 5 scale. Where 0 = Not true at all and 5 = True on all occasions.
- I feel very scared or feelings of panic for no apparent reason.
- I feel anxious if I leave home on my own.
- I get sensations of butterflies in my stomach or chest or find my heart beating faster.
- I feel scared or frightened.
- I feel tense or ‘wound up’.
- I get attacks of dizziness or feel unsteady on my feet.
- I am restless and find it hard to keep still.
- I am more irritable than usual.
- I have little or no appetite.
- I find it harder to do things which once came easily to me.
Now total your score and consult the rating scale below.
Your Anxiety Rating
1 – 10: You appear to have good coping strategies in place to deal with any occasional anxiety arousing situations and activities.
11 – 25: Keep a close eye on the direction your life is taking and identify the likely causes of additional anxiety which may arise in the near future. Use the procedures taught on this part of my site to stay in control whenever anxiety levels start to rise.
26 – 39: Your general levels of anxiety would seem to be on the high side. It would be helpful to use some of the programmes on this site to bring them back under control.
40 + You are overly anxious and this is likely to be holding you back in life and taking advantage of any opportunities which come your way.
If your score on the above test was 26 or over, or if you would simply like to ensure you can maintain your currently low levels of anxiety, complete the more ‘in-depth’ test below. This will help identify the specific situations and activities most likely to be causing problems.
Read through the statements below and tick whichever response most closely describes your thoughts and feelings under the circumstances described.
1. Receiving a party invitation from people I know only slightly would make me feel
A: Delighted at the prospect of getting to know them better.
B: Unhappy at the thought of having to talk with people I hardly know.
2. If asked to tackle an unfamiliar activity, I am most likely to:
A: Agree readily and feel reasonably confident about being able to measure up to the challenge.
B: Try and avoid the task but, if compelled to make an attempt, have little confidence of success.
3. If someone I was very fond of said or did something of which I strongly disapproved, I would:
A: Make my feelings known as tactfully but as firmly as I could.
B: Keep my views to myself for fear of jeopardising our relationship.
4. When I wake up each morning my first thoughts are usually:
A: About all the things I have to get done during the day.
B: Apprehension about all the bad things that may happen.
5. If somebody pushed ahead of me in a queue, I would be most likely to:
A: Firmly but politely point out I was ahead of them an insist on keeping my place.
B: Keep quiet for fear of the confrontation causing a row.
6. If it was suggested that I should join a local group or society, my immediate reaction would be to:
A: Consider the suggestion carefully and weigh up the benefits of doing so.
B: Immediately find reasons for not taking up their offer.
7. If suddenly told that a certain job had to be completed more quickly than anticipated, my immediate reaction to the deadline would be to:
A: Find a new sense of urgency and energy to finish on time.
B: Start to panic and feel that the deadline will be impossible to achieve.
8. Most of the time I feel:
A: Confident of my ability to cope with life.
B: Incapable of coping with all the difficulties and problems that confront me.
9. When it comes to making new friends:
A: I seldom have any difficulty in making the first move.
B: I usually wait for the other person to break the ice.
10. After completing a task I am:
A: Interesting in finding out what others think of it.
B: Concerned others will find fault.
11. If invited to dinner by a business associate:
A: I usually look forward to the meal.
B: I find myself worrying about what the other person will think of me.
12. If I noticed one or two people staring at me while walking down the street, I would immediately assume:
A: They were admiring some aspect of my appearance.
B: There must be something wrong with my appearance.
13. If given instructions which I do not fully understand, I usually:
A: Ask for clarification.
B: Start off and hope for the best rather than admit my confusion.
14. If expecting to spend an evening on my own I would:
A: Be delighted to get an invitation to visit a friend.
B: Feel irritated by having my plans for a quiet evening spoiled.
15. If offered advice while trying to accomplish a difficult task, I would:
A: Consider what was said but not necessarily following the advice.
B: Immediately change my approach since the other person probably knows best.
16. If I make a mistake when carrying out some unfamiliar task I usually:
A: Sort out the error and start again, this time avoiding the problem.
B: Feel that my confidence has been so undermined that I am unlikely to succeed.
17. If watched while carrying out a task by someone who, I knew, had greater knowledge and experience in doing that job I would:
A: Carry on in my own way without allowing their presence to make me tense.
B: Feel awkward and uncertain of myself.
18. The thought of what may happen in the future fills me with:
A: Optimism and excitement.
B: Dread and worry.
19. People who plan for the future are:
A: Behaving sensibly since we must all look ahead.
B: Deluding themselves because we can never know what tomorrow will bring.
20. When planning my holidays, I usually:
A: Look forward to all the pleasure and enjoyment it will provide.
B: Worry about all the things that could go wrong.
21. When meeting people who are wealthier or more powerful than myself:
A: I remain self-confident and able to influence their opinions.
B: I quickly feel intimidated by their superior status.
22. I find myself worrying over the impression I am making on others.
A: Seldom or never.
23. I feel that other people are judging me and finding fault:
A: Seldom or never.
24. I prefer a job that offered:
A: Plenty of variety so that no two days were exactly alike.
B: A set routine with few unexpected challenges.
How to Score
This questionnaire explored three common sources of anxiety.
Anxiety over Social Situations: Questions 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 11, 12, 14
Anxiety about Meeting the Expectations of Others: Questions 7, 8, 10, 13, 17,21,22, 23
Anxiety about the Unfamiliar: Questions 2, 4, 15,16,18,19, 20, 24
Total the scores on each of these three types of anxiety separately. Award yourself 5 points for each (a) response and no points for each (b) response. With eight questions relating to each type of anxiety there is a maximum possible score of 40 and a minimum of zero. Here’s what your scores reveal:
0 – 10: You have a very low level of anxiety in this type of situation.
11 – 20: Average anxiety.
21 – 30: High level of anxiety.
31 – 40: Very high anxiety
If your score was 21 or more in any of the three categories, then there are some fairly simple, practical steps you can take to help you overcome your anxieties.