Stress and anxiety can be considered as a natural reaction of the body against a dangerous situation. Although these two terms are often used together and express a kind of fear and apprehension, psychologically the difference between stress and anxiety is huge.
All of us have experienced unpleasant feelings and thoughts at least once. Moments when we don’t know if we feel bad because of stress or severe anxiety, and what to do about each of these feelings. Just when you are busy with work or fear of not doing part of your responsibilities properly, stress and anxiety affect all the different situations in your life.
Both of these emotions are negative and despite being commonly recognized among people, they are very different. In some cases, balanced stress can increase a person’s alertness, concentration, and readiness to deal with threats. If you are more or less involved in stress and anxiety, follow us in the rest of this article to examine the difference between stress and anxiety, symptoms, causes and solutions to treat or manage it.
What is stress?
When new changes occur in life and put our circumstances under the radius, it is very natural for the brain to react differently. One of the main goals of the human brain is to avoid danger and save life. Therefore, when you are in a dangerous situation, you will experience symptoms such as increased heart rate so that the body thinks of a way to escape from that situation.
In fact, it should be said that stress is the body’s natural reaction to new conditions. Therefore, we can understand that stress in itself is not a bad thing. If people are always calm and don’t react in sensitive situations, human survival will be in danger.
Signs and symptoms of stress
Stress includes a wide range of physical and mental symptoms, the main symptoms of which are:
- Muscle tension
- Sleep problems
- Dizziness and nausea
- Digestive problems
- Anger and irritability
- Heavy sweating
- Feeling restless
- Constant feeling of sadness
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Increased heart rate
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a feeling of intense fear, worry, or discomfort that is not necessarily caused by experiencing or touching a specific stimulus. For example, when you see a scary situation, you get stressed and your heart rate increases. This reaction is normal and resolves after a short period of time. But in your feeling of anxiety, after days and even months have passed, you will still have uncontrollable fear and worry by remembering that memory.
Signs and symptoms of anxiety
The symptoms of anxiety and stress are very similar. But the most important symptoms that indicate anxiety are:
- Tingling sensation
- Numbness and extreme dullness
- A sense of impending doom
- Confusion and brain fog
What is the difference between stress and anxiety?
Stress and anxiety are our body’s natural response to a situation of danger or escape, and there is a fine line between them. If you feel in danger, your body immediately releases stress hormones. This hormone increases the heart rate and brings more blood to different organs of the body.
This is where your body releases a lot of nutrients into the blood to deliver the required energy to different parts. Therefore, the five senses of most people are more alert in such a situation. Anxiety is a response to stress.
In fact, the main difference between stress and anxiety should be considered in the presence of a specific stimulus. Stress is usually caused by a new change or a special situation, and after that situation is resolved, the stress will disappear.
Of course, it cannot be said that stress is always short-term, but chronic and long-term stress is called stress that occurs due to high pressures such as being in a difficult work situation or family disputes.
In the difference between stress and anxiety, we must say that anxiety is the opposite of stress and does not need a special stimulus to occur. The feeling of anxiety is always accompanied by worries that do not go away even if the stressor is removed.
Is it possible to turn stress into anxiety and vice versa?
Despite the difference between stress and anxiety, it is possible to find a close connection between these two feelings. There is a possibility that stress can turn into anxiety at some point.
For example, you have set a relatively big goal for your future. You’re naturally stressed about getting that big move coming up, but sometimes you might find yourself getting nervous and anxious for nothing in particular. Therefore, it can be said that stress is the body’s reaction to a threat and anxiety is the body’s reaction to feeling stressed.
Management and treatment
To recognize the difference between stress and anxiety, it was necessary to know each of them to some extent and to know their specific symptoms. Now, after knowing these two feelings, we must manage or treat them with the help of the right strategies.
Techniques for management
Below you will find the most useful solutions for managing stress and anxiety:
- Relaxation strategies
If you are dealing with stress and anxiety, you can deal with these two feelings with the help of relaxation strategies. The strategies are:
- Focus on positive words such as “calm” or “peace”.
- Do breathing exercises.
- Visualize a relaxing scene such as the sea, the beach or a green field.
- Do yoga exercises.
- Count slowly from 1 to 10 to regain your composure.
- Count blessings
Physical activity is one of the most useful ways to reduce stress and anxiety. You can choose different activities such as walking, cycling, running or doing fluid movements like yoga. These exercises and movements help a lot in creating a sense of relaxation.
- To speak
Talk about your worries, fears, and anxieties face-to-face, on the phone, or online. Talking about your hobbies helps a lot in reducing stress and anxiety. You can talk to a friend, colleague, family member and someone you trust, but remember that the best option is always to consult a counselor and psychologist.
You should take care of your mind and body and if necessary take further steps to improve. In fact, you should:
- Accept that you cannot control everything.
- Know that in order to achieve perfection, you must first be satisfied with yourself in the best way.
- Learn what factors cause your stress and anxiety.
- Reduce caffeine and smoking.
- Plan your meals in a balanced and regular way.
- Get enough sleep.
Below you will learn about stress and anxiety treatment methods:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
In this way, you can recognize your anxious thoughts and turn them into a positive thought.
- Exposure therapy
In this method, you are gradually placed in an anxiety-provoking situation so that your intense fear disappears.
- Drug therapy
In acute cases, the psychiatrist may prescribe drugs such as diazepam, lorazepam or sertraline to control your anxiety. This method will usually be very short-term due to the dependence.
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When should we see a doctor?
Stress and anxiety are not always a bad thing. But if after doing all the available solutions and strategies to manage or deal with stress and anxiety, you feel that you do not get the right answer, or if you realize that despite the difference between stress and anxiety, these two emotions still have a great impact on your mood or performance in your daily life. has left, be sure to see a mental health specialist.
Psychologists and psychiatrists can help you better understand what you are experiencing and provide you with coping tools. The latest data and researches show that most of the people who have experienced stress and anxiety during their life will suffer from its subgroup disorders such as anxiety disorders and generalized anxiety disorder in the long term.
Psychiatrists and specialists in this profession will be sure of the presence of generalized anxiety disorders by observing symptoms such as excessive and uncontrollable worry that a person may be involved in for about 6 months of the year and suffer from various physical symptoms.
In general, the warning signs that you should watch out for are:
- Severe anxiety that disrupts fasting life.
- Drug abuse or continuous smoking to cope with stress and anxiety
- Intense and irrational fears
- Significant change in sleep quality and eating habits
- Self-harm or thinking about it
- Lack of attention to personal hygiene
- Suicidal thoughts
- Nervous weakness for a long time
Stress and anxiety are the body’s natural response to a worrying and threatening situation. The difference between stress and anxiety is like a narrow border that causes each of them to have their own specific symptoms in addition to similar symptoms. If stress and anxiety overcome people, there is a possibility of becoming chronic stress and generalized anxiety disorder. Therefore, in this article, after examining the difference between stress and anxiety, we shared with you strategies and methods to treat or manage it. You can also share your comments and suggestions with us.
If you need a face-to-face appointment with the doctor you want, you can book an online medical appointment or solve your problem through online consultation with the best psychologists or online consultation with the best psychiatrists.
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