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Ways to Identify Symptoms of Stress versus Anxiety

Anxiety, Coping Skills
2 min read

"Am I anxious or stressed?" Here are the ways to tell the difference between symptoms of Stress and Anxiety, and what you can do about them.

 Stress is typically the result of external factors that place demand or pressure on the brain or body.  Stress can often be tied to a specific situation or circumstance where there is a clear trigger (work, finances, relationships, prepping for a big exam, job interview, moving, etc).

Often once the situation is resolved, your stress will subside (if feelings linger long after, this may look more like anxiety). 

While stress can compound and contribute to anxiety, Anxiety often occurs in the absence of a clear trigger and may feel more constant. You may notice a general fear, worry, nervousness or unease. 

Techniques to reduce Stress & Anxiety: 
- Limit caffeine and alcohol (we think these help to cope but can make symptoms worse). 
- Get good sleep and create a routine.
- Exercise & movement
- Meditating & mindfulness practices. 
- Balance: make time for things you enjoy. 
- Journal thoughts, feelings, and things that trigger stress and anxiety. 
- Breathe: breathing practices can be done anytime, anywhere. 
- Talk to a friend, partner, family member or therapist about your experiences. It helps. 

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About the author: Rodman Walsh is a California based Therapist whose specialities cover relationship issues, personality disorders, general anxiety, and more. Click here to read more content from Rodman and schedule a free introductory call.