Sometimes people wonder what is the difference between stress and anxiety…
Or is there actually any difference between the two?
Does one feel any different to the other in the body?
Usually, people know what is causing their stress, they are aware or conscious of what and where the pressure is coming from eg. someone who has too many things to attend to in any given time frame, or a particular situation at work or within the family, or not enough hours in the day to do everything.Whereas with anxiety they generally do not know what is causing them to be anxious.It’s more of an internal mind situation, something at an unconscious level often within their thinking process, and therefore they struggle to understand it and alleviate it.
Even though the causes may differ, often the symptoms for stress and anxiety will be the same. The symptoms just manifest differently in the body.Symptoms range from poor sleep patterns, racing overactive mind, increase in breathing rate, binge eating, fears, emotional eating, obesity, low energy,excess sweating, bouts of highs and lows, guilt and shame, anger, and so on. When you can isolate the symptoms and how they manifest, then you can start working on the causes.
LET’S TALK ABOUT STRESS FOR A MOMENT…
Most of us know that a little stress can be useful at times, for example it can provide us with the motivation to get something done especially if we have a deadline to meet.
Some people say they get bored or feel a lack in motivation if there isn’t that element of ‘drive’ in their lives. And that’s okay, that kind of stress can generally be harmless. It’s when there’s too much stress, too much pressure to handle and we feel we can’t cope emotionally or mentally,that’s when stress ceases to be useful to us. And of course some can handle more stress than others; what stresses one person out may have no effect on someone else. And it may all depend on the context of the stress…. the where,when, what, how and why!
What we do know is that from surveys done in the UK and USA continually show that between more than 50 and 70% of people – at any one time – are extremely concerned about the amount of stress in their lives. The main types of stressors invading our lives fall into four categories:
· work stress
· money stress
· parenting stress
· relationship stress
The stress spiral can cause even more problems when someone self-medicates to try to relieve the emotional pain they feel, or they try to numb the unwanted feeling. The common methods of self-medicating are:
· binge drinking
· recreational (and prescription) drugs
· increase in nicotine intake
· binge eating or insatiable food cravings
Stress produces a range of signs and symptoms – mental, emotional, physical and behavioural. When you reach a certain build-up of pressure in any one of the four areas you will feel stressed.
And at what point does stress become ANXIETY?
The good news is that you can reduce your stress or anxiety by changing your thinking. Nothing is more important than thinking, except breathing of course.Everything begins with a person’s thoughts. Thoughts create emotion or feelings, which create your behaviours – so to work on reducing stress you need to change your thinking!
The tools, techniques and strategies I use to help clients overcome stress and anxiety are Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Thought Field Therapy (TFT) and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). These three therapies are very successful in this health area.If you would like to know more about how to reduce your stress or anxiety go to;
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