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
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.
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.
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.