Stress and Anxiety: They're Not The Same
Posted on December 03 2015
The Difference Between Stress and Anxiety
If you’re anything like I was, you probably use the words “stress” and “anxiety” almost as synonyms. We all have experienced both, but it’s very likely that we are not aware of the difference between them!
So let’s get to it :)
Stress is the body’s reaction to a situation that requires a physical, mental or emotional adjustment; it comes from the pressures we feel in our lives and through our daily routine.
As we are pushed by tasks that put us under pressure, adrenaline is released. And when this hormone stays longer than it should in our bodies, it triggers a rise in blood pressure and other negative changes and effects, like anxiety. This is stress.
Anxiety then, is actually a negative effect of stress (and quite the negative effect when we allow it to overwhelm us).
With stress, we know what’s worrying us, so it is relatively easier to handle.
But with anxiety, you become less aware of what you’re anxious about in the moment, and the reaction becomes the problem. You start to feel anxious about being anxious, a vicious circle that’s super hard to break.
I hope that was clear. In summary, stress is what can cause anxiety. Anxiety can be caused by stress, or can be experienced as a general weight throughout your day. Now, suffering from stress (which leads to anxiety), can be overwhelming and completely exhausting, but it can be managed if treated correctly.
This can be achieved through several ways, and certain cases should not be taken lightly, as they might need professional help.
For the less intense cases, some techniques and actions to reduce overall stress and anxiety can be: meditation, therapy or counseling, balanced diet, appropriate balance between daily habits, etc.
A great way to manage stress, for example, is to get moving.
Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress, but you don’t have to be an athlete or spend hours in a gym to experience the benefits.
Just about any form of physical activity can help relieve stress and burn away anger, tension, and frustration!
Exercise releases endorphins that boost your mood and make you feel good, and it can also serve as a valuable distraction to your daily worries. Short, 10-minute bursts of activity that elevate your heart rate and make you break out into a sweat can help to relieve stress and give you more energy and optimism.
Even very small activities can add up over the course of a day. The first step is to get yourself up and moving. Here are a few easy ways:
- Put on some music and dance around
- Take your dog for a walk
- Walk or cycle to the grocery store
- Use the stairs at home or work rather than an elevator
- Park your car in the farthest spot in the lot and walk the rest of the way
- Pair up with an exercise partner and encourage each other as you workout
- Play ping-pong or an activity-based video game with your kids
And of course, my personal favorite: Essential oils! :)
Essential oils are a GREAT way of relaxing both mind and body, quiet down the chatter and just be. I LOVE using them to bring me back to a feeling of being grounded and centered.
If you want to know more about:
Click on either link to learn more about how to use the soothing powers of essential oils for stress and/or anxiety!
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Ambassador of Bliss :)