Anxiety and Worries in Chinese

You’re late for a meeting, yet the traffic happens to be congested. You feel anxious, or 着急 (zháojí) and impatient, 不耐烦 (bùnàifán), but there’s not much you can do about it. Next time, start out earlier.

(jí), featuring a heart radical at the bottom, means fast, rapid or urgent. When describing a person, it means impatient, hot-headed, anxious, eager, or worried.

别着急, 我们一会儿就到了.
Bié zháojí. Wǒmén yīhuìr jiù dào le.
Don’t worry. We will get there in a moment.

(jiāo), with a fire radical at the bottom, means burnt or scorched. Therefore, when one is extremely anxious, the descriptive word to use is 焦急 (jiāojí). 焦躁 (jiāozào) describes someone who is restless and impatient with anxiety.

An urgent matter is called 急事 (jí shì). 急件 (jíjiàn) is an urgent dispatch or a document that requires immediate attention.

急救 (jíjiù) means first aid. 急诊 (jízhěn) means immediate care or emergency treatment. 挂号 (guàhào) is to register at an office (such as a hospital or a motor vehicle division). It also means to send something by registered mail.

我要挂急诊.
Wǒ yào guà jízhěn.
I need to register for immediate care.

她收到一封挂号信.
Tā shōudào yī fēng guàhào xìn.
She received a registered letter.

(lǜ), as a verb, means to consider, to ponder or to think over. As an adjective, it means feeling anxious or worried, as in 忧虑 (yōulǜ concerned). 焦虑 (jiāolǜ) is to feel utterly anxious and worried.

烦恼 (fánnǎo) means worries or troubles. It can also be used as an adjective that means being vexed or worried. 苦恼 (kǔnǎo) has pretty much the same meaning.

这件事令我非常烦恼.
Zhè jiàn shì ling wǒ fēicháng fánnǎo.
This matter troubles me very much.

(dān) is to carry on a pole over the shoulder. (dàn), in the fourth tone, refers to the load carried. 担担面 (dàndànmiàn) is a spicy noodle snack dish that originated in the Sichuan Province of China. It used to be sold by peddlers who walked the streets carrying baskets suspended from a pole they balanced on their shoulders.

(dān) also means to take on a burden. Therefore, 担心 (dānxīn) is to worry about something that weighs on your heart. 担忧 (dānyōu) also means to feel worried.

昨夜我担心得睡不着.
Zuóyè wǒ dānxīn de shuì bù zháo.
Last night I was so worried that I could not sleep.

睡着 (shuì zháo) means to fall asleep.

怎样能够无忧无虑?
Zěnyàng nénggòu wúyōuwúlǜ?
How to achieve equanimity and be carefree?

Sing “Worried Man Blues” featured in Chapter 25 of “Learn Chinese through Songs and Rhymes”.

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