Stress and anxiety can affect anyone, anytime, anywhere. It comes in all shapes and sizes, and can sneak up on us when we least expect it. Even if you don’t experience them frequently, knowing how to relieve stress and anxiety can certainly come in handy.
In this blog, we’ll talk about the differences between stress and anxiety, and provide some helpful tips on how to relieve stress and anxiety, so you can get back to living your best life!
Stress vs Anxiety: What’s The Difference?
Before we dive in, let me start by saying that experiencing certain levels of stress and/or anxiety throughout your life is perfectly normal. They both can happen at various times, and to varying degrees. Knowing the difference between stress and anxiety can help you better manage both.
Stress is generally a response to an external cause. This could be anything from having a conflict with a coworker, to running late for an important meeting. Stress is a normal human reaction to stressors such as these, and can be a physical, emotional, and/or intellectual response.  Here are a few symptoms of stress that can happen when life’s moments do.
- Chest pains, or racing heart
- Difficulty sleeping
- Aches and pains
- Headaches or dizziness
- High blood pressure
- Muscle tension
- Digestive problems
- Weakened immune system
Oftentimes, when we think about stress, we tend to regard it as negative. But stress can actually have a positive effect on the body, such as keeping us alert if we sense danger is around us, or motivating us to work longer if we have a tight deadline coming up. Stress does become an issue, however, when there are long periods of no relief or relaxation. In cases like this, long-term stress can lead to wear and tear on the body and more serious symptoms can develop. 
The main difference between stress and anxiety is that anxiety is a person’s reaction to stress. While stress tends to subside after the stressor has happened, anxiety may continue even after the occurrence has passed.  Occasional anxiety is a perfectly normal part of life, but those with anxiety disorders often have worries or fears about everyday situations. If you’re still unsure about the difference between stress and anxiety, and which one you may be experiencing, take a look at these common anxiety symptoms:
- Feeling nervous
- Increased heart rate
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Having a sense of impending danger
- Unable to control worry
Life can toss us unexpected events that can trigger anxiety, but anxiety can also be linked to an underlying health issue. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms of anxiety, knowing how to relieve stress and anxiety may start by seeking medical advice or attention. Here is when you might want to contact a medical professional :
- If your worry or anxiety is interfering with your work, relationships, or other areas of your life
- Your anxiety is becoming difficult to control
- You feel depressed, and are turning to alcohol or drug use to help cope
- You think your anxiety may be linked to a physical health problem
There’s never a wrong time to get in touch with your doctor. Don’t wait until it’s too late to speak with a professional regarding your symptoms.
How To Relieve Stress And Anxiety
While we now understand the difference between stress and anxiety, understanding the different ways on how to relieve stress and anxiety can go hand in hand. Here are a few tips you can put in place when you feel symptoms starting to arise.
1. Stay active
Give yourself a little break and hit the gym or go for a run when stress starts to hit. Engage in activities that you enjoy and that make you feel good, and surround yourself with people who do the same.
2. Well-balanced meals
Eat healthy and provide your body with energizing, nourishing foods.
3. Avoid alcohol or drug use
These are depressants, and can actually make your stress or anxiety worse. See a doctor or join a support group if you’re having trouble quitting either of these.
4. Focus on your breathing
Sometimes, a few deep breaths in and out is all it takes to relieve some of your stress. Yoga is a great way to decompress and focus on your breathing techniques.
5. Get enough sleep
Your body requires additional sleep if you’re stressed, so make sure you allow your body to get the rest it needs. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try drinking one cup of ZzzTox tea before bed. It contains eight soothing superfoods that are known to relax your mind and body for deeper sleep. To learn more about the best teas to drink before bed, check out this blog post.
Take a minute to put things into perspective. Are your stressors out of your control? If they are, accept what you cannot control, and focus on the things that you can.
7. Talk to someone
It’s never too late to speak with someone. Whether it’s your friends, family, a doctor, or a therapist, there are tons of resources available.
The Bottom Line
Stress and anxiety are a normal part of life. Knowing how and when to deal with it can make all the difference, and always remember to seek professional help if things get too much to handle.
Mentioned In This Post
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