A Chinese colleague just told me of a Chinese idiom for anxiousness or restlessness. They will often refer to someone who is overly restless as an ant standing on a heated pot. I'm pretty sure there is at least one English idiom for restlessness/anxiousness, but for the life of me I cannot think of it right now. Is there indeed one or more common idioms for restlessness in English, or am I imagining things? :)
Someone who is anxious may be said to have ants in their pants.
As restless as a cat on a hot tin roof.
There are few choice idioms for restlessness in English, including:
Sitting on pins and needles
At sixes and sevens
As jumpy as a puppet
And a whole bunch of amusing ones here: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/restlessness
Another to consider, to go with the most notable ones already stated:
Champ at the bit
To show impatience at being held back or delayed.
There is also an even lesser known phrase which we can read a little about here. From which we can derive a Dutch idiom:
To have a flea in ones ear.
On the whole this sounds synonymous with 'Ants in your pants', but, if you read, it is noted that an English variation exists which essentially means something else, so I'd be careful about using this indeed.
as frantic as a cockroach in a henhouse
Or I've heard it "Jumpy as a ...".
As a child, I heard the phrase, "She has a bee in her bonnet."
Rarin' to go. It means that you're more than ready to do something, i.e., anxious.
Hot to trot. This is also anxious but only in a sexual sense. I've never heard it said any other way. As in someone craving sex.
A (real) bug up his ass. Usually I take this to mean someone driving some sort of an agenda, and he's anxious about it. As in
Look out for Bob! He's got a real bug up his ass.