By Nina Chatzistergiou,
Nowadays, the words “anxiety” or “stress” dominate when we want to describe our emotional state. The terms “anxiety” and “stress” are often used interchangeably, when in fact they are different. One must know the difference between stress and anxiety, in order to be able to describe what one experiences.
Stress is the body’s normal response to a new and demanding stimulus. It triggers the release of adrenaline, which allows us to make quick decisions, respond to challenges, and stay alert. Some people experience chronic stress, which strains the cardiovascular system and can even lead to depression. A sense of control and positive attitude help to deal with the symptoms of stress and therefore, relax. Anxiety sometimes is the result of stress, but it is a different state of health. Anxiety is more like a feeling of fear than stress.
When we have anxiety, it is due to a stimulus that causes fear and a feeling of weakness. Some people are unable to identify the causes of the stress they experience or suffer from life-threatening anxiety disorders. In most cases, phobias and anxiety hinder the smooth development of a person’s life.
In particular, as the expert points out, psychological anxiety is a condition that is usually treated without medication: you do your daily activities, and this subsides when the cause that changed your daily routine ceases to exist. Pathological stress, on the other hand, prevents you from following your usual activities. It is treated with antidepressants, which belong to the physical methods of treating the depressive disorder, as well as with therapy sessions.
The symptoms of intense stress can manifest on four levels: in emotions, in thoughts, in behavior, and in our body, an expert explains. As for our body, stress can be manifested by sweating, palpitations, difficulty breathing, tight muscles, frequent urination, headache, difficulty sleeping, constant feeling of fatigue, and exhaustion. These symptoms vary depending on their severity. As for the other three levels, negative emotions, persistently negative thoughts, and nervous and/or distant behavior toward others are key features of a stressful situation.
Some of the symptoms of anxiety and stress are common. In both cases, there is a feeling of anxiety, agitation, or discomfort. Stress, many times, is a precursor to chronic anxiety. Both stress and anxiety, in small doses, have productive effects, but if we lose control, they can cause serious health problems.
Physical relaxation, distraction, and mind control are the three aspects of successful stress management that experts suggest. These techniques “calm” the sympathetic nervous system, increase the function of the parasympathetic nervous system, and ultimately cause relaxation.
Removing stress from our lives is not easy at all. However, there are several ways that can help us: Adopt a healthy lifestyle, with a steady schedule of regular sleep and eating, exercise, and plenty of time dedicated to rest and fun. Also, reduce the sources of stress in our daily lives. To externalize our stress as, as the expert notes, it has been observed that those who talk about their problems are in a better situation than those who are “closed” to themselves, without sharing their concerns with others.