The Fundamental Differences between Stress & Anxiety

Everyone will experience stress at various points in their lives, whether it is in response to work, family or other conflicts. Others may experience a more severe form of stress, anxiety, which makes it difficult for individuals to cope with their daily lives. People often use the terms stress and anxiety interchangeably without acknowledging the crucial factors which differentiate them, with one most notably being the fact that stress arises due to a specific pressure while anxiety does not need to have an identifiable root.

Stress is defined as your body’s  natural reaction to an adverse circumstance which requires an emotional, physical or mental adjustment. Stress occurs in response to a specific pressure, while anxiety is defined as nervousness, worry or apprehension regarding an imminent circumstance or an uncertain outcome and thus is future-oriented. Stress can be managed by removing the stressor in contrast to anxiety, which is more complicated in the respect that it lingers despite the removal of the roots of stress. Anxiety is a severe mental illness which is estimated to affect 1 in 4 Australians in their lifetimes and can have negative consequences on a person’s ability to engage in daily activities (beyondblue.org). Symptoms can manifest themselves physically and mentally, and the typical symptoms of anxiety sufferers include:

  • Sharp chest pains and tightness of throat
  • Trouble falling asleep and remaining asleep
  • Inability to interact in social situations or be in crowds
  • Compulsive worrying
  • Phobias of events
  • Panic attacks
  • Difficulty breathing

The symptoms of anxiety can be successfully treated through consulting a health care professional, taking medication and/or making lifestyle changes.

Symptoms of stress can include:

  • Neck tension
  • Loss of hair
  • Fatigue
  • Digestive problems such as bloating
  • Headaches

Anxiety and stress symptoms can be minimised through mindfulness meditation (see article here). In addition, aromatherapy is proven to reduce the symptoms of the conditions, so place an aroma diffuser in your room or living room, put a couple of drops of an essential oil into the diffuser and experience instant relief while you are sleeping, meditating or relaxing. The following essential oil blends from Essentials In-A-Box specifically assist in relieving your symptoms of stress and anxiety:

Relaxation Oil Blend 15ml

Meditation Oil Blend 15ml

Relief Oil Blend 15ml

Although the symptoms of stress and anxiety tend to overlap, the stark distinction between the two conditions is that anxiety is a serious mental illness which requires specialised treatment, and will not subside once the stressor is removed. If you are concerned over the state of your condition, it is recommended that you consult a health care professional in order to obtain an informed diagnosis.

References:

https://capitaleap.org/blog/2012/12/09/the-difference-between-stress-anxiety/

http://www.psyweb.com/articles/anxiety/difference-between-stress-and-anxiety

www.beyondblue.org.au

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/sex+relationships/wellbeing/+is+it+anxiety+or+am+i+stressedr,39941