Contrary to popular belief, there is a difference between stress and anxiety.
Stress comes from the pressures we feel in life, as we are pushed by work or any other task that puts an undue burden on our minds and body, adrenaline is released, the extended stay of the hormone causes depression, a rise in the blood pressure and other harmful changes and effects.
One of these adverse effects is anxiety.
With anxiety, fear overcomes all emotions accompanied by worry and apprehension, making a person a recluse and full of jitters. Other symptoms are chest pains, dizziness, and shortness of breath and panic attacks.
Stress is caused by something happening in your life now. Anxiety is stress that continues after that stressor is gone.
Stress can come from any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, nervous, or even anxious. What is stressful to one person is not necessarily stressful to another.
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension or fear and is almost always accompanied by feelings of impending doom. The source of this uneasiness is not always known or recognized, which can add to the distress you feel.
Stress is the way our bodies and minds react to something which upsets our average balance in life. An example of stress is the response we feel when we are frightened or threatened.
During stressful events, our adrenal glands release adrenaline, a hormone, which activates our body’s defense mechanisms causing our hearts to pound, blood pressure to rise, muscles to tense, and the pupils of our eyes to dilate.
The first indication of increased stress is an escalation in your pulse rate; however, a standard pulse rate doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t stressed. Constant aches and pains, palpitations, anxiety, chronic fatigue, crying, over or under- eating, frequent infections, and a decrease in your sexual desire are signs that indicate that you might be under stress.
Of course, every time we are under stress, we do not react to such an extreme, and we are not always under such great duress or fear every time we are confronted with a stressful situation.
Some people are more susceptible than others to stress. For some, even ordinary daily decisions seem insurmountable.
Deciding what to have for dinner or what to buy at the store, is a seemingly, great dilemma for them. On the other hand, there are those people, who seem to thrive under stress by becoming highly productive being driven by the force of pressure.
Research shows women who have children have higher levels of stress-related hormones in their blood than women without children.
Does this mean women without children don’t experience stress?
It means that women without children may not experience stress as often or to the same degree which women with children do.
This means for women with children, it’s particularly important to schedule time for yourself; you will be in a better frame of mind to help your children and meet the daily challenge of being a parent, once your stress level is reduced.
Anxiety, on the other hand, is a feeling of unease.
Everybody experiences it when faced with a stressful situation, for example before an exam or an interview, or during a worrying time such as illness.
It is normal to feel anxious when facing something difficult or dangerous and mild anxiety can be a positive and useful experience.
However, for many people, anxiety interferes with normal life. Excessive anxiety is often associated with other psychiatric conditions, such as depression. Anxiety is considered abnormal when it is very prolonged or severe, it happens in the absence of a stressful event, or it is interfering with everyday activities such as going to work.
The physical symptoms of anxiety are caused by the brain sending messages to parts of the body to prepare for the “fight or flight” response. The heart, lungs and other parts of the body work faster. The brain also releases stress hormones, including adrenaline.
Common indicators of excessive anxiety include:
• Dry mouth
• Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
• Irritability or anger
• Inability to concentrate
• Fear of being “crazy”
• Feeling unreal and not in control of your actions which is called depersonalization
Anxiety can be brought on in many ways.
Apparently, the presence of stress in your life can make you have anxious thoughts. Many people who suffer from anxiety disorders occupy their minds with excessive worry. This can be worry about anything from health matters to job problems to world issues.
Certain drugs, both recreational and medicinal, can also lead to symptoms of anxiety due to either side effects or withdrawal from the drug. Such drugs include caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, cold remedies, and decongestants, bronchodilators for asthma, tricyclic antidepressants, cocaine, amphetamines, diet pills, ADHD medications, and thyroid medications.
A poor diet can also contribute to stress or anxiety — for example, low levels of vitamin B12.
Performance anxiety is related to specific situations, like taking a test or making a presentation in public.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a stress disorder that develops after a traumatic event like war, physical or sexual assault or a natural disaster.
In sporadic cases, a tumor of the adrenal gland (pheochromocytoma) may be the cause of anxiety. This happens because of an overproduction of hormones responsible for the feelings and symptoms of anxiety.
While anxiety may seem a bit scary, what’s even scarier is that excessive anxiety and stress can lead to depression. Suffering from depression can be a lifelong struggle, but the good news is that all of this is manageable!
So, let’s take a few little quizzes to see if you are suffering from too much stress, excessive anxiety, or depression.
Before you begin here, you need to know that we are not medical professionals. This information has come from reliable sources and isn’t meant to be a complete diagnostic tool in any way.
These quizzes are merely guidelines to help you recognize any problems you might have and be able to deal with those problems effectively.
Because depression can be the most serious of our topics, let’s start by seeing if you may be depressed. Keep in mind that everyone has his or her “blue” days. The thing that separates clinical depression from simple melancholy is that the symptoms occur over a period of time. They don’t come and go, they stay around for a while and can affect your life adversely.
Ask yourself the following questions. Answer yes if you’ve been feeling this way consistently over a period of two weeks.
1. Do you find yourself constantly sad?
2. Are you un-motivated to do simple things like shower, clean up the house, or make dinner?
3. Do people tell you you’re overly irritable?
4. Do you have trouble concentrating?
5. Are you feeling isolated from family and friends even when they are around you?
6. Have you lost interest in your favorite activities?
7. Do you feel hopeless, worthless, or guilty for no reason at all?
8. Are you always tired and have trouble sleeping?
9. Has your weight fluctuated significantly?
If you can answer, “Yes” to five or more of these questions, you could be suffering from clinical depression. It is essential for you to seek out the help of a medical professional whether that is a doctor or a therapist. There are many medications out there that can help with depression.
I always tried to deny my own depression, but once I began taking an anti-depressant, I couldn’t believe what a difference that one pill a day made! It gave me freedom from the “black hole” I had fallen into and helped me enjoy life again. If you think you are depressed, ACT NOW! You deserve to be happy!
Let’s see if stress and anxiety are taking over in your life.
Ask yourself the following:
1. Do you always worry and talk to yourself negatively?
2. Do you have difficulty concentrating?
3. Do you get mad and react quickly?
4. Do you have recurring neck or headaches?
5. Do you grind your teeth?
6. Do you frequently feel overwhelmed, anxious or depressed?
7. Do you feed your stress with unhealthy habits such as eating or drinking excessively, smoking, arguing, or avoiding yourself and life in other ways?
8. Do small pleasures fail to satisfy you?
9. Do you experience flashes of anger over a minor problem?
If you can answer “Yes” to most of these questions, then you do have excessive stress in your life. The good news is that you’ve bought this book and you’ll learn many valuable techniques to cope with that stress. But we’ll get to that later!
Let’s move on to anxiety.
1. Do you experience shortness of breath, heart palpitation or shaking while at rest?
2. Do you have a fear of losing control or going crazy?
3. Do you avoid social situations because of fear?
4. Do you have fears of specific objects?
5. Do you fear that you will be in a place or situation from which you cannot escape?
6. Do you feel afraid of leaving your home?
7. Do you have recurrent thoughts or images that refuse to go away?
8. Do you feel compelled to perform specific activities repeatedly?
9. Do you persistently relive an upsetting event from the past?
Answering “Yes” to more than four of these questions can indicate an anxiety disorder.
Suffering from depression, too much stress or excessive anxiety can endanger your overall health, and it’s time to take steps to overcome this – RIGHT NOW!
Stress and anxiety affects many factors in our body not only in our mental state. Cancer and other deadly diseases are related to stress and anxiety because of the changes in the chemical composition of our body.
Don’t be a victim of stress and anxiety.
Discipline, a proper schedule and knowing your limitations will help. Learn your limitations and stick to it. Do not overexert yourself. Just try to go over the border an inch at a time.
You can lead a productive successful and fulfilling life and career without endangering your health. Living with anxiety will slowly kill you while driving your family and friends away.
Stress and anxiety can lead to panic attacks, which can be a severe situation. Let’s explore that subject a little more.