Well-Being: The Difference Between Anxiety and Stress

Have you ever felt stressed or anxious? Do you know the difference between the two? Many people think they are the same thing, perhaps because they have never been fully explained. So this week I thought I would explain the difference between the two.

First, it is important to understand that stress and anxiety are normal responses to challenging situations, but differ in some notable ways.

Stress is typically a response to a specific, identifiable source of pressure, such as a deadline at work, an upcoming exam, or a difficult conversation with a loved one.

Stress is a normal part of life and in small doses can even be beneficial because it can motivate you to take action. Stress can be managed by identifying and addressing the cause of the stress and finding healthy ways to deal with it, such as exercise, meditation, or talking to a therapist.

Anxiety, on the other hand, is a general feeling of unease or worry that is not always associated with a specific trigger. People with anxiety can suffer from physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, muscle tension and difficulty sleeping, but also psychological symptoms such as worry, fear and difficulty concentrating. Anxiety can also manifest itself in various disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Anxiety is not always a bad thing, it can protect us in certain situations, but when it becomes excessive and chronic and interferes with our daily lives, it can become a disorder.

Another key difference is that stress is often viewed as a normal response to a difficult situation, but anxiety is considered a disorder when it is excessive and persistently interferes with a person’s daily life. People who suffer from anxiety may benefit from therapy, medication, or a combination of both to relieve their symptoms.

So there you have it: stress is a normal response to a specific, identifiable source of pressure, while anxiety is a general feeling of unease or worry that isn’t always linked to a specific trigger.

My column is designed to help you learn more about mental health and well-being and what things influence the way we think, feel and act. Next week I’ll take a look at why some people turn to drug use.

If you run any type of mental health support group in the York area, please get in touch so I can provide details in a future column: wellbeing@martinfurber.com

Martin Furber is a multi-disciplinary qualified therapist and trainer member of Mental Health First Aid England.

Please remember, if you are experiencing a mental health crisis, contact your GP, go to A&E or call Samaritans on 116 123

https://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/23761827.wellbeing-difference-anxiety-stress/?ref=rss Well-Being: The Difference Between Anxiety and Stress


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