Even though many people might disagree, there is a big difference between anxiety and stress. Stress occurs as a result of all the emotional pressures people feel in life, due to school, work. As a result, the body releases adrenaline.
However, if the body releases adrenaline for a longer period, it can raise the blood pressure and cause depression. In the long run, It can cause some serious negative changes to the body. These changes are anxiety.
Anxiety makes you overwhelmed with fear, to that extent that your emotions get massively changed due to the endless apprehension and worry. In addition, a person can become uncontrollable and recluse.
As a result, other symptoms might follow, such as shortness of breath, panic attacks, chest pains, dizziness, etc. In the end, anxiety continues even after the stress passes, while, stress happens only in certain situations.
Difference Between Stress and Anxiety
When the person or a situation that causes the stress is gone, the emotions of anger, frustration, and anxiousness pass. Even though the stressor, or the reason for the stress, change our minds, it is difficult for us to know how to react or to control our reactions in that exact moment.
So, we exaggerate. Still, it all depends on the level of stress. But, what is more important, is the fact that one stressful situation doesn’t affect another person the same way. Everyone is different. Besides, even if stress and anxiety overlap, they are two completely different emotions.
Therefore, when we have anxiety, we become less aware of the cause of the problem and hardly have any idea how to react to the changing situation. But, with stress, we know the source of the problem, and we can easily face it.
In addition, if you feel stressed, you should start planning for a way to resolve the problem and remove the root of your frustration. This is the only way to stabilize your emotions and deal with the stressor.
According to the associate chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, David Spiegel, you can solve any problem, but only if you roll up your sleeves and deal with it. This way, you won’t feel helpless.
So, deal with the problem by planning and constructing a strategy to control your situation. However, it is much harder to deal with anxiety. To treat it, you will have to ask for help from a professional psychologist and go to counseling.
The reason for this is because of the feeling of impending doom. Anxiety makes a person feel helpless, uneasy, paranoid, distressed. So, it is very hard to locate the source of the problem, because it might be engraved in the subconscious too deep.
Some sources of anxiety even start years ago, like from childhood, or a long past event that happened decades ago.
11 Signs to Help You Separate Anxiety from Stress
Here is a list of signs that show you have anxiety and not stress.
1. Hard Time Letting Go
If you are thinking all the time about things that happened a long time ago, like weeks or months ago, then you might have anxiety. Whether they are memories from a confrontation with a sister, brother, or a boyfriend, they go through your mind at all times.
2. Throat Starts to Feel Hard for No Reason
There are days when you feel like your throat becomes incredibly hard and you can’t breathe normally. Having difficulties getting the air into the lungs could be due to anxiety. Anxiety can affect your lungs, so you should be aware of it.
3. Excessive Nail Biting
If you bite your nails all the time without noticing, it might be a sign that you have anxiety. Even though this might not seem that important, it could mean that your mind is running out of energy and is going overboard from thinking too much about recent events.
4. Digestive Problems
Do your metabolism, and the digestive system react negatively to stressful situations? If they do, it might mean that you have anxiety.
5. Apologizing for Every Mistake
When you make even the tiniest mistake at work or school, you always want to apologize, even if none noticed you did. The reason for this is because you can’t let go, forget and you beat yourself up for doing it.
So, when you do something wrong, you become your worst enemy. Even if people tell you it is alright, don’t worry, you simply can’t stop thinking about it.
6. Focusing on the Future Ignoring the Present
Your thoughts seem to be overflown about what will happen in your future. But, you are scared of it, and you hate it when people ask you what you plan to do. You feel as if your life is a race, and you want to catch up with everyone and finish the race in time.
This creates an incredible amount of pressure on yourself and your way of life.
7. Mind is Overflown with Questions
The moment you wake up, your mind starts thinking about all these random questions, and those thoughts keep running in, overflowing your brain. This cycle never ends. Every day you wake up thinking what you will do now, you panic about what you have done so far.
You keep thinking about the future, what you have done, what you will do, and how useless it will be. This is a key factor or a sign of anxiety.
8. Difficulty Sleeping due to a Restless Mind
Finally, your long day is over, and you need to rest. You put your head on the pillow, but then all those overwhelming thoughts come swarming at you. You worry, you talk to yourself about every single thing you have done wrong, how you should have done it differently, what it might have changed.
So, it takes you hours to fall asleep. This is not stress, this is anxiety.
9. Constant Apologizing
You keep apologizing to people about the smallest things you have done, that might have hurt someone. You bother yourself with every single detail that it might go wrong. Even if it isn’t your fault, you make it so.
So, you keep apologizing over and over again.
10. Avoid Confrontation
No matter the situation, you will try to avoid confrontation at all costs. You hate being confronted by someone since it makes you uneasy. Instead, you would rather stay silent and hide until it all goes away.
11. Terrible Sense of Danger
After a while, you start feeling this terrible sense of danger. Anything that passes around you causes you fear. In the end, you start to panic. This overwhelming feeling is not stress, it is anxiety. Therefore, you shouldn’t ignore it and ask for help.
Anxiety is a powerful disorder that can heavily affect your health. So, don’t ignore the signs and seek professional help and counseling. Even if the lines between stress and anxiety are thin, they shouldn’t be ignored.
If you know the source if your problem, try to face it. If you can’t-do it alone, make sure to ask for help from a professional psychologist.
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