Feeling Tensed: Is it Stress or Anxiety?

Woman feeling tensed

There is an overlap between anxiety and stress, and you may have even noticed they are often, mistakenly, used interchangeably. Anxiety focuses on fears or worries about things that could threaten us, and you may even have anxiety about the anxiety itself. In the US, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness.

Stress, on the other hand, is related to fight, flight, or freeze response. Stress focuses on the external pressures on us that we’re facing difficulty to cope with. Whenever we’re stressed, we know the reason behind it, and the symptoms of stress gradually fade out after the stressful situation is over. Anxiety and stress are both parts of being human, but both can be problems as they may impact our well-being or daily life.

woman crying on the sofa

Stress is External.

Stress is caused by external pressure. Important work or responsibilities might become the reason for stress. In contrast, anxiety is internal. The American Institute of Stress states that not all types of stress are bad. It can be divided into eustress and distress.

Anxiety is a Reaction

At times situations get too stressful for us to handle healthily. If the distress you’re feeling in a situation is excessive and unusual, it may be anxiety.

Anxiety Makes You Vulnerable

Mostly we can handle regular stressful situations, but if you’re experiencing anxiety, it’ll leave you unable to react. Anxiety can make things might seem like they’re unmanageable, even simple things like everyday tasks. The same response is unlikely if you’re just stressed.

Anxiety Can Cause Feelings of Worry About Something that Doesn’t Exist

Primarily stress is something how you deal with the pressure which exists in reality. Anxiety is entirely internal and not necessarily a reaction to something that exists in reality. For instance, in anxiety, you feel a general sense of worry, even when there is nothing to be concerned about.

Symptoms of Anxiety

Some common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Panic attacks
  • An imminent sense of danger
  • Physical symptoms like increased heart rates, sweating, trembling, etc

There’s no need to worry if you’re having any of the above mention symptoms. At Ziks Health Services, our professionals offer mental and behavioral health services, including telepsychiatry, depression, and residential services in New Mexico and Texas. Contact us now to learn more about our services.

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