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Anxiety and Stress

1. Emotional Health and Wellbeing 2. Anxiety and Stress                           3. How Can I Help Myself Cope with Anxiety and Stress
4. Information on Treatment and Support for Anxiety and Stress  

2. Anxiety and Stress

It can be hard to tell the difference between anxiety and stress and the symptoms of both can be the same.  You may find it difficult to sleep, eat or concentrate.  You may suffer from headaches, stomach cramps or breathlessness.  Figuring out whether you have Anxiety or stress is one of the first steps to making yourself feel better.

When you are feeling stressed it can be because of big life events, such as planning a wedding, due to heavy workloads at school or work, or parents' and friends' expectations.  Stress is defined as being under too much mental or emotional pressure and can be relieved by removing the event causing the pressure, e.g. finishing a school project or talking to your parents about how you are feeling. 

If you say "I am worried that I am going to fail my exams" this is a stress related thought, when you add "I am worried that I am going to fail my exams, I will never get a job, my parents secretly hate me and will kick me out" is more an anxious thought.  The difference between the two is that one is in the present and is a result of the stressor, e.g. exams, the fear or worry about the future and worry about situations that may never happen is anxiety.

Anxiety is when you have feelings of unease, being worried or fearful.  Everyone at some point in their life will experience levels of anxiety and it is common to feel tense, or nervous at the thought of a stressful event or decision you might have to make.

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