32. Worry and reassurance

Worry and other similar emotions, such as nervousness and depression, can be expressed as follows:

I am worried. - the most wildly used

I’m rather/ very/ really/ terribly worried (about)…

I’m rather anxious about…

I’m rather concerned about…

Concerned also means practically the same as worried but is less emotional and more formal.

I’m/ I feel (very) nervous – slightly afraid, as for example before an exam

I’m/ I feel (very) depressed - in low spirits; it is more formal and rarely used of oneself – more often of others, especially in the past tense

I’m/ I feel (very) miserable – very unhappy

I’m/ I feel (very) fed up – unhappy tired and discontented

All these words can be followed by about…, and fed up also be followed by with.

I’m not (very/ at all) happy about…

I don’t feel (very/ at all) happy about… - both slightly worried, uneasy

I’ve got a lot of worries/ problems

I’ve got a lot on my mind - a lot of things to think about, but not necessarily problems.

An extreme state of worry can be expressed by:

I’m desperate.

I’m at my wits’ end

If one is in a difficult or dangerous situation, one can say:

I’m in (real/ serious/ terrible) trouble.

If someone looks worried, depressed, etc, someone else may comment on this, and/ or ask a question, for example:

You look worried/ depressed/ miserable/ fed up. What’s the matter?

What’s wrong?

What’s up? – informal

Is anything the matter?

Is anything wrong?

The following phrases can be used to reassure someone who is worried, nervous, etc:

Cheer up.

Don’t worry

Try not to worry (about it)

There’s no need to worry (about that)

I wouldn’t/ shouldn’t let that worry you

Why worry about that? It may never happen.

Don’t let it get you down

Things will come right in the end

Try to look on the bright side (of things)

Take it easy.

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