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Anxiety vs Stress

Updated: Apr 22, 2021

Stress and anxiety are part of the same body reaction and have similar symptoms. Stress tends to be short term. Anxiety can linger and can sometimes seem as if nothing is causing it.

Stress is typically caused by an external factor, such as a work deadline, conflict with a peer or friend, getting fired from work, discrimination, or a sudden loss. It is usually accompanied by irritability, anger, fatigue, digestive problems, and sleep issues. Once the external trigger is gone, these mental and physical symptoms go away as well.

Anxiety, on the other hand, is a persistent, excessive worry that doesn't go away even in the absence of a stressor. Prolonged, chronic stress may lead to anxiety and cause physical or mental illness.

Both mild stress and anxiety can be managed well with a regular exercise, balanced diet and good sleep hygiene. Psychotherapy is advised when anxiety doesn't improve over time with these strategies.

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