There is a fine line between stress and anxiety as they are used interchangeably. Stress can be a fight, flight or freeze response as anxiety. They are also similar in physical sensation. However, the causes of stress and anxiety are different.
What Is Stress?
Stress is defined as a response to a situation, clamor or warning. This response can be a mental, physical or emotional response. At a certain point in life, people get to experience stress from their daily duties and every individual responds to stress in different ways. Things that can act as stressor from time to time include;
- Overwhelmed by responsibilities such as work, school or home
- Monetary struggles
- As busy as a bee
- An unprecedented change associated with job, death or divorce
- A horrifying experience, like a sigma or an accident
Stress is also good as it can motivate you to complete tasks. Meanwhile, persistent stress affects the mental and physical health of an individual. Persistent stress may lead to depression, difficulty sleeping, isolation, loss of body mass, and even cardiac disease.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is the expression of panic or worry which happens in everyday life. For instance, you might experience anxiety when sitting for a test or an interview. Anxiety can become a problem when it goes unmanaged and causes serious negative impacts on your health. Chronic anxiety can lead to emotional distress and physical problems. Chronic anxiety can isolate you from completing daily tasks, going to the office, or attempting new tasks.
Am I Experiencing Stress or Anxiety?
It might be that you are experiencing both with one being dominant. Below are some common signs and differences between anxiety and stress:
Stress is mostly outward. As earlier stated that stress is a response that can be formed by pessimistic self-talk, a gloomy attitude, or a feeling of imperfection which is regularly caused by external means. These stressors include responsibilities from home or work that can trigger a stress response. Anxiety is mostly internal. Anxiety is caused by how you respond to stress. These stressors, if not properly reacted to, may further swamp you with a distressed feeling which can result in anxiety.
Related: 5 Ways to Reduce Stress
Anxiety comes into play when you overreact to a feeling. Certain feelings can be stressful to anyone like moaning about the death of a family member. During such cases, people tend to overreact which can result in anxiety. When you overreact or give an unusual feeling to a situation or take the burden more than other persons, there can be more anxiety than stress coming into play.
Anxiety can reduce body functionality. Most stressful conditions can be managed but anxiety can reduce your ability to perform the usual light tasks. An anxiety disorder can prevent you from going to work, have a panic attack or isolate yourself.
Are Anxiety and Stress the Same Thing? Anxiety is the fear of illusions while stress is a reaction to reality. If you’re experiencing stress or anxiety or both and need some help managing episodes, reducing the number of attacks or overwhelming feelings and need some tools to cope, give us a call at any time for help with anxiety and stress.
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