Most people experience stress and anxiety at some point in their lives. Depending on the level of severity, they can detrimentally impact one’s quality of life. Although stress and anxiety may seem same and possess similar emotional and physical symptoms like tension, headaches, high blood pressure and sleep deprivation; they are actually different.
Generally, stress is a perfectly normal response of the body to some type of change, demand, or threat. The response can have a physical, emotional, or mental component. Everyone experiences some degree of stress in their lives. Each person may respond differently to stressors, some reacting more intensely or frequently than others. If you’re experiencing prolonged, chronic stress, there are many ways to manage and reduce your symptoms, including physical activity, breathing exercises, adequate sleep and taking time connect with others.
Anxiety is also normal. It is a feeling of fear, worry, or nervousness. You might get anxious before a big test, for instance, worried that you won’t do well. Stress and anxiety often go together, with stressful events or experiences triggering feelings of anxiety. Unlike stress, anxiety persists even after a concern has passed. In more severe cases, anxiety can escalate into an anxiety disorder, the most common mental health issue.
It’s important to know how to identify and differentiate signs of stress and anxiety. Stress is a common trigger for anxiety and it’s important to catch anxiety symptoms early to prevent development of an anxiety disorder. Consulting a medical specialist can help in these times.