Everyone experiences moments of stress and anxiety in their lives. These times can vary from mild discomfort to extreme mental or physical overload. People can experience stress and anxiety in different ways and levels of intensity, and similarly how they cope or deal with them will be different. The impact of stress can affect the quality of their life experience.
What is Stress?
Stress is caused when emotional or mental pressure becomes too much. When the feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with a situation causes a chemical reaction in the body. This tension is the body’s natural warning of a fearful or threatening situation that we feel that we do not have the resources to deal with. The threat could be physical or psychological, harming our ego or wellbeing.
This situation will send messages from the brain to release stress chemicals into the body. Adrenalin and Cortisol are the primary chemicals produced to prepare the body for a Fight or Flight response. If someone is under constant stress then their body will be always feel that they are in this mode. This could have long term effects on their health.
What is Anxiety?
Whilst Stress is the response to a threatening situation, Anxiety is the feeling of uneasiness, fear or worry about something that is about to happen or might happen.
When faced with a challenging situation feelings of anxiety can be triggered. These feelings can make you more alert and focused in preparation for a ‘threatening’ situation. It produces the same chemical reaction in the body as stress does. A little anxiety can in fact help our performance, keeping us on our toes. However, when feelings of anxiety become too much, this can leave us unable to function properly, effecting not only our personal well-being but our every day life.