Stress and Anxiety: What's the Difference?

Stress and Anxiety are very similar and at times, it can be hard to tell the difference. Sometimes, stress can develop into anxiety.

Stress tends to be short term and in response to something. For example, an exam, a championship game, issue at home. Anxiety can come out of nowhere and can sometimes seem as if nothing caused it.

When a person is faced with a stressor, their body goes into the fight or flight response. Once the fight or flight is activated, stress hormones are released to cause the heart to beat faster, increased breathing, and sharper alertness. Once the stressor has gone, the body goes back to normal, however, sometimes, the body has a really hard time calming down.

For the most part, the fight or flight response keeps us safe from harm, however, for some people, it can interfere with everyday life.


Resource Medical News Today 


People can treat or manage stress and anxiety in several ways, including:

            Talking to someone you trust (parent, counselor, teacher, friend)

            Getting enough sleep

            Limit caffeine and soda

            Eating well-balanced meals

            Practice breathing exercises


            Exercising/ going for a walk


When to see a doctor

If you feel that your stress won’t go away or you have a constant worry.

Withdrawing from or avoiding activities you usually enjoy.

            Feeling out of control

            Low or depressed mood

            Heighted fear over small things.

            Major mood changes

            Can’t eat or sleep the way you normally would.

            Thinking about self-harm or self-harming

If you get to the point that you are seriously considering suicide or are afraid of your impulses, then you need to seek help immediately. You can call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. In northern New Jersey, you can also call the crisis hotline from Morristown Medical Center at 973-540-0100. Outside this area call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, available toll-free 24/7.

You can also use the Crisis Text Line by texting “connect” to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. This service is free and available nationwide 24/7.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist, you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400.