With the rapidity in which our society advances and with the amount of things that we must do in our daily lives, it is normal for stress or anxiety responses to appear.
Generally, these two terms tend to be understood as the same concept, and it is not surprising, since they are closely associated with each other. Certain anxiety or stress responses are healthy and adaptive, however, the presence of these two responses in abundance can cause serious health problems or psychological disorders.
If you are interested in understanding these two phenomena so frequent in our lives and understanding those elements that differentiate them, keep reading this Transkerja.com article: 10 differences between stress and anxiety .
You may also be interested: 10 types of anxiety: symptoms and differences
What is anxiety?The anxiety is a response means that our body is activated and play defense mechanisms in a given circumstance. Faced with this set of situations that generate anxiety, an emotional response is awakened, which will be variable depending on the stimulus produced by anxiety. This emotional response can be associated with feelings of restlessness, fear, nervousness and can cause excessive worries.
Anxiety: symptomsThe symptoms of anxiety may vary depending anxiety disorder that arises. However, they all share a set of symptomatic manifestations that can be classified into different groups. In general, anxiety symptoms can be classified into the following groups: physical, psychological, behavioral, cognitive and social, although the specific symptoms of each category are different in different disorders. Therefore, the symptoms of anxiety can be the following:
- Psychological : fear of losing control, fear of dying, feeling of threat, desire to flee from the situation associated with danger, uncertainty or insecurity.
- Behavior : people suffering from anxiety disorders are constantly alert or hypervigilant. On the other hand, impulsiveness, motor agitation or hyperactivity may occur. In addition, in anxiety disorders there may be a change in body expressivity or body language, rigid postures, voice changes, inaccurate movements, etc.
- Cognitive : in anxiety disorders tend to occur problems of attention, concentration or memory. On the other hand, excessive worries and negative and irrational cognitions appear.
- Social : anxiety can limit social circumstances, and may present irritability, speech blockages, tendency to isolation or difficulty expressing one's opinion.
What is stress?Stress appears when the person does not have the adaptive capacity to adapt to the demands of the circumstances, that is, the person in these situations feels overcome and in the face of this stress responses appear. The stress response can lead to psychological and biological alterations, which can generate certain diseases over time, since stress has effects on the body .
Stress: symptomsThe presence of stress can lead to symptoms at an emotional, cognitive or behavioral level. The most frequent signs of stress and symptoms are as follows:
Emotional symptoms of stress
- Loss of energy on a physical or psychological level
- Low mood
- Fear of being able to suffer from an illness
- Lowers self-esteem
- Emotional lability
- Instability or restlessness
Cognitive symptoms of stress
- Difficulty making decisions
- Mental block
- Difficulty of acceptance in the face of criticism
- Ease of distraction
- Frequency of forgetting
Behavioral symptoms of stress
- Behaviors such as drinking or smoking in abundance
- Nervous laugh
- Nail bites or tearing your hair
- Use of drugs, as tranquilizers
- Increased physical activity
- Bad eating habits
10 differences between stress and anxietyAlthough stress and anxiety responses are conceived as synonyms, they are two different response processes. They may be related but they have several aspects that differentiate them. The 10 main differences between stress and anxiety are the following:
1. OriginStress maintains a clearly identifiable origin , as we have previously indicated, given certain situations that the person must face and feels that he does not have the necessary resources to be able to address it, he feels overcome, causing the origin of stressful responses.
In contrast, the origin of anxiety is more diffuse . The person can feel feelings of threat or fear, but without the need to know where it comes from, without being identifiable its origin. It is not necessary for an objective circumstance to arise for anxiety responses to be aroused.
2. TriggersThe stress triggers are related to the external factors that surround the person, to the circumstances that overwhelm him and provoke this stress response.
The triggers of anxiety are more internal , tied to our cognitions, to catastrophic thoughts or feelings of anguish and fear. It is based primarily on subjective fear, regardless of what happens abroad and tends to be worry and anticipation of improbable events.
3. Emotions presentedIn stress, the predominant emotion is not fear, but concern about the stimulus that has contributed to the overflow of the person. This concern triggers irritability behaviors and feelings of sadness, as well as nervousness and feelings of frustration at the possibility of overcoming what is presented.
In anxiety, the predominant emotion is fear , the fear that something bad may happen , which leads to the person being constantly anticipating possible catastrophic or negative situations that can be triggered next.
4. Moment of appearanceStress is clogged in the present, causing the time in which the person is stressed to be endless, feeling that he will not be able to overcome this situation and without finding an alternative to cope with it. As we have commented previously, the temporal space in anxiety is placed in the future , in the characteristic anticipation of catastrophic thinking .
5. DurationStress, being related to external factors, ends when the stressor disappears or is overcome. At the moment when the stressful stimulus has disappeared, the physiological and psychological state of the person tend to return to normal.
The duration in anxiety is more complex to understand. In the first place, because it is associated with an internal construction of its own, with irrational thoughts that the person has elaborated around an idea. Faced with this, the anxiety can be prolonged without a fixed end , totally depending on the reconstruction of the reality that the person executes so that said fear diminishes.