Stress vs. Anxiety

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I have often seen people use stress and anxiety as if they are the same, when they are definitely not. It’s actually really annoying, being a person with anxiety, to have them used as synonyms, when the feelings are totally different. So in an effort to hopefully clarify, here are the differences

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Stress is a Choice, Anxiety is Not

Now, I’m not saying that we go “Hmm, I think I’m going to be stressed out today”. But, stress comes from putting yourself in stressful situations or over-reaching your abilities. It’s usually caused by something outside of ourselves, that we have a choice of whether or not we’ll interact with it. Anxiety, on the other hand, can have no rhyme or reason to why it is happening. It can literally just happen without reason or choice involved.

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Stress Can Be Good, Anxiety Never Is

Stress is a motivator, and certain amounts of stress are good for you. I’ve never, ever had anyone say that anxiety is a good thing. It can be rather crippling for many people, actually. In comparison, stress is never as bad as anxiety is.

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Stress is Temporary, Anxiety is Permanent

No one is always stressed out, even if that is what they say. There are moments between stressful times where you are not stressed at all. And you could be 100% stress free if you chose to be. But, anxiety is not the same way. We didn’t choose to have it and we can’t choose to get rid of it either. We may not be having a panic attack 24/7, but will always be there.

What are your thoughts on stress? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Andrea says:

    Love how you distinguished stress and anxiety!

    Like

  2. Shann Eva says:

    Yes! I have suffered from Anxiety most of my life, and it is definitely not the same as being stressed out. My anxiety sometimes leads to stress or stress leads to anxiety, but you are completely right. Not the same.

    Like

  3. This is a well thought out- excellently written explanation of the difference between the two. People who don’t experience anxiety- I would advise to read this. It’s wonderful. Thank you! I’m a panic attack sufferer and have had anxiety for as long as I can remember- I get so frustrated when people tell me to calm down, it’ll be okay or just get over it. 😦 UGH literally fuming.

    Like

  4. Bethany says:

    Very good post. I have suffered from stress and anxiety for most my life and will admit I have used them both to describe the same feeling before. But you bring up some really great and accurate points that I really appreciate! I’ll be more mindful of how I use words as people mis-using words is actually one of my biggest pet peeves.

    Like

  5. Jessica says:

    Great post! I love the point about “stress is temporary, anxiety is permanent”…very true words!

    Like

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