Did you know: 66% of people with mental health problems believe that study or work stress contributed to their illness?
The terms ‘anxiety and ‘stress’ are used interchangeably because they can cause the same physical symptoms – fast heart rate and breathing, tense muscles, difficulty sleeping and concentrating – but they are distinct experiences. Stress is generally a temporary experience that results from external pressures or challenges.
Once these pressures or challenges have passed, so does the stress.
Stress can lead to anxiety, which is a “feeling of unease, worry, or fear” and can include symptoms such as racing thoughts, headaches, nausea, hot flushes or chest pains.
A small amount of anxiety can be useful in helping you avoid a threatening situation. However, if you are not sure what is making you anxious, or you’re still feeling anxious even after the challenge has passed, it can become an issue, as it may cause you to start avoiding more situations you have become fearful of.
For instance, anxiety can become ‘free floating’ so that when one issue is resolved, another one pops up immediately.