Fear, Stress, or Anxiety?
Understand the differences between fear, stress, and anxiety can be significant. This is because the handling and treatment of one are not as same as the others. It is essential to understand what you feel so you can find the best way to manage it.
Fear is often in response to a threat that is both known and understood. It is honestly usually rational and understandable. When it comes to anxiety, that is caused by the unknown or a threat that might not make a lot of sense.
Fear And Anxiety Both Produce A Stress Response
Fear and anxiety can feel the same, especially with specific dangers presenting themselves. Some differences need to be understood. That can be how the stressors in life are approached or reacted to.
Increased heart rate, muscle tension, and feeling short of breath are hallmarks that are associated with both fear and anxiety. This is the body’s natural response to danger, which is a fight or flight response.
The stress response is how we react to danger to help us save our lives. Our bodies wouldn’t be able to fight or flee the way they need to when facing danger. It is a very helpful response in those types of situations.
Anxiety manifests itself as a general or vague sense of apprehension. That is what can be so debilitating about it. It can be continuous and long lasting and the person who has it may not even understand why.
If you are walking down the street alone and feel uneasy, that’s anxiety. Even though you are alone and there isn’t an imminent threat you are still wary and on edge. That is the body looking out for you in case of danger because there could be the danger you just have not perceived yet.
There is the chance a stranger could approach. So there is the possibility of danger. That is enough to make your fight or flight response. If you are constantly in that mode of anxious worry about threats, then it can really take its toll on your mind and body.
Instead of actual danger, anxiety is the response to possible hazards. Because of this, many physical symptoms go along with it.
– Accelerated heart rate
– Chest pain
– Muscle tension
– Sleep disturbances
– Shaking and trembling
– Shortness of breath
– Ringing in ears
– Numbness or tingling
– Upset stomach
– Feeling like you’re going insane
– Dizziness or faint feeling
– Ringing and pulsing in ears
– Tightness throughout the body
– Cold chills or hot flushes
Explaining fear is a far more straightforward a task than explaining anxiety. It is an emotional response to an obvious threat. If you’re walking down a street and someone is following you, you may be afraid. If someone points a gun at you, it’s normal to feel fear.
There is a concrete and definite reason to feel fear. The object of your fear is clear and present and defined. You could explain it later and it would make sense.
Fear and anxiety are based on different things. One is real, and one is imagined. That doesn’t change the body’s response though, and it can be just as bad for either. The problem with anxiety is that it is usually not something you can get away from. Fear can cause anxiety and anxiety can cause fear, this is known. But there is a difference, and this is important to note when deciding if you need to get treatment.