Two different sides of one coin
Stress and anxiety are sometimes mistaken as synonyms. Both present with nearly alike symptoms but have different origin and course of progress. Stress may lead to anxiety and vice-versa. There are various concerns related to stress such as what are the symptoms of anxiety and stress, how to control anxiety, stress symptoms and yoga for management of anxiety. But one must be able to understand the difference between these two conditions.
Stress is the body’s reaction to a disturbing situation. It can build up from a thought or an event (known as stressor) and can make the person feel frustrated, angry, nervous or worried. Headache, tensed muscles, chest pain, stomach upset and problem in sleeping are symptoms of being stressed.
Anxiety is a way in which our body may react to stress, when it is unable to cope with it. Basically, it’s body’s reaction to danger which comes out as a mixed feeling of fear, apprehension, anxiousness and uneasiness. Having “butterflies in the stomach” is an appropriate expression for anxiety. But clinical anxiety is usually gloomy and gives a feeling of impending doom. A fast heart rate, feeling sick from inside, shaking or tremors, sweating, chest pain and headache are typical features of anxiety.
Some organic differences between stress and anxiety can be listed as:
- Stress can be managed and controlled while anxiety cannot
- Stress happens in the brain’s cortex part while anxiety develops from the limbic part of the brain
- Stress is usually physical while anxiety is purely emotional
- Stress is about coping; anxiety is about survival.
Day-to-day examples of stress can be deadlines at work, financial issues, problems in relationships and other such factors. Wherein, joining a new workplace, anticipating a bad test result or public speaking/presentation may lead to anxiety.
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