Home Psychology Stress or Anxiety? Differences, Symptoms and Coping Strategies

Stress or Anxiety? Differences, Symptoms and Coping Strategies

Stress and anxiety are situations that many people face in today’s conditions. A person needs to know these concepts well to successfully manage their mental health and emotional states and reach the proper treatment. However, these concepts are often confused, and people find it difficult to distinguish between them.

What is the difference between stress and anxiety?

Put, stress, and anxiety are not the same things. Stress is a natural physical response of the body to events as a result of the “fight or flight” mechanism. The primary purpose of this response is to be alert, focused, and ready to deal with situations. If the problem faced by the person is more than the person can handle, the person experiences stress.

Anxiety can be defined as a situation caused by stress. Unlike stress, anxiety occurs in both the mind and body. In anxiety, the person is left alone with uneasiness with the unwanted thoughts that occur in the person’s mind that the person remains in an uncertain situation and that the case will result in a bad result. For this to be described as an “anxiety disorder”, the person must be unable to cope with events in everyday situations and reach a level that affects the person’s daily life.

Stress and Anxiety Symptoms

Symptoms of stress and anxiety are often intertwined. These:

  • faster heartbeat
  • faster breathing
  • worried thoughts
  • moodiness, irritability, or anger
  • general unhappiness
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • feeling of loneliness
  • Nausea
  • dizziness
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • Sweating

Principles That Facilitate Coping with Stress and Anxiety

To cope with these situations, trying to adopt the following regulations; plays a vital role in making people’s lives easier.

  • Accepting that they can’t control everything
  • Doing their best instead of aiming for perfection
  • Learning what triggers their stress and anxiety
  • limiting caffeine and alcohol
  • Eating a balanced and regular diet
  • getting enough sleep
  • Finding a favorite activity

People can also try various methods to manage these situations:

  • Relaxation strategies (Breathing exercises, yoga, counting, visualization, practicing word focus)
  • Exercising: Physical activity can help people cope with stressful situations. A person needs to find an exercise they like and stick with it.
  • Talking about it: Talking about their concerns face-to-face, on the phone, or in the text can help the person feel relieved.

When should we seek professional support?

The person can seek support from a psychologist or psychiatrist at any time. However, it is recommended to seek help from a specialist if they feel and experience the following conditions:

  • excessive anxiety that interferes with daily life
  • resorting to addictions to cope with stress or anxiety
  • irrational fears
  • A significant change in sleeping habits
  • A significant change in eating habits
  • prolonged low mood
  • Thinking about harming yourself or harming others
  • suicidal thoughts
  • feeling out of control