Google states "a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances", is the definition of stress.
What I often wonder is, what is the difference between stress and anxiety?
I didn't even know I had anxiety growing up I always thought I was just stressed. We pretty much all at one point or another experience both stress and anxiety. It can be hard to tell which one you are suffering from. They share many of the same symptoms from my experience.
Chest and Stomach Pains
Little to no Energy
Among many others.
So, What Is The Difference?
We've gone over how they are similar but how are they different?
The main difference is stress is a response to something that happens externally, a deadline for a paper at school, or getting into an argument with your significant other. It is usually in the moment and it comes and goes. On the other side of the equation Anxiety is something internal, stress can certainly cause anxiety but anxiety can still be prevalent even after a situation has come and gone.
So, although there is a lot of overlap between the two, stress is usually a situation that we are aware of. We know why we are stressed but don't always know why we are anxious and again once the stressful situation whether that be, office deadline or essay deadline has passed, the stress usually tags along with it.
How Do We Deal With It?
Now that we understand the differences between the two, we can focus on stress as we have already written a blog around anxiety feel free to check it out. Here's how we can tackle stress head-on.
<--- That's one way for sure. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on what way you look at it. Learning to deal with stress is a lot like anxiety.
1. First and foremost, it is important to breathe. We often forget the simplest of tasks when we're stressed and that includes breathing. Take a step back and just take a nice big breath. Inhale, exhale. It sounds so silly and irrelevant but trust me breathing has helped me more than anything else in high tense situations. It just has this calming effect that brings us back to the basics.
This one is circumstantial depending on what you are doing but, Take A Break! Of course, if you have a deadline at work or school a break is anything but ideal. However, if something is bothering you on social media or via the news just leave whatever it is that is stressing you. 2020 has been a terrible year lets be blunt. Between Covid-19 and all the events currently going on it can be stressful simply taking in information. Take a break where applicable. Going for a nice walk always helps me. Some prefer working out and that's great too.
Reach Out!! As with most issues, getting help from a friend or family is always a good option just having someone to talk to feels so good. Holding anything in is never a good idea. Being able to speak out is. Even if you don't think it's a big deal what do you have to lose? Talk about it.
Lastly, this is something I read in an article once. It spoke about the four A's of stress. Avoid, Alter, Adapt & Accept. Basically it's a cycle. First, you try and avoid an unnecessary stressful situation. Of course, that isn't always possible so you alter how you are dealing with it. If that means using one of the previous tips then so be it. If that isn't enough change yourself. I don't mean literal change but adapt expectations of yourself and the situation and finally most importantly, Accept. Sometimes, most of the time actually there will be nothing you can do but accept it for what it is. You can't change the past or what's happening so being able to come to terms with stress is the best way to fight it head-on.
"I stress about stress before there's even stress to stress about. Then I stress about stressing over stress that doesn't need to be stressed about. It's stressful. - Unknown
With all of that being said I usually end a blog with some quick paragraph as an outro. With this one I want to do something a little different. I know this isn't a huge blog and I don't have some massive reach but with everything going on in the world especially America I think this needs to be said.
The death of George Floyd has impacted me more than usual. We've almost become so numb to killing after killing because it almost feels like the norm. It's an unfortunate, terrible world we live in where people are pre-judged based on the color of their skin. I've spoken to a lot of people these past few days about how me being white was a privilege even before being born. Just because I'm white. I didn't do anything, I didn't earn anything I simply started with an advantage. The world is terrible and dark enough as is we should be united not against one another. I really hope this is finally what's needed to inflict change. I'm sorry the world is the way it is. Surviving multiple suicide attempts and the world still never feels to get any brighter. It's 2020 #blacklivesmatter shouldn't be a thing. It shouldn't need to be said. They matter. It's a shame that it is even a question. George Floyd, Ahmad Arbery, and thousands of others deserve to be here today. They are not and that needs changing. The world has much bigger issues than the color of our skin. #blacklivesmatter #justiceforgeorgefloyd WE NEED TO DO BETTER.