Stress vs Anxiety, you might be wondering what the differences are?

Both stress and anxiety are emotional responses, stress is most commonly triggered by an external cause, whilst anxiety is an internal reaction caused by stress.

The triggers can vary in the length of effect on your emotional or physical wellbeing. Short-term signs can be defined as a deadline in work, paying a bill, or a bust-up with a person close to you. Long term can be the detriment of your short-term signs, this will lead to illness, unable to work and social anxiety.

Stress vs anxiety: There is a fine line between the two, so knowing the difference can make sure you get the help you need.

What is Stress?

Everyone can feel stressed, but what is it? And how can it affect your life?

Stress is generally a temporary feeling caused by an external factor, your brain and body just respond to it. If you don’t manage or understand your feelings then it could have a real impact on your life.

74% of adults living in the UK felt so stressed, at a stage over the past year, they felt unable to cope or overwhelmed with their situation.

Stress can have positive and negative effect. Positively, it can motivate you to complete a task, to the best of your ability, and to concentrate. On the other hand, it can cause mental and physical implications. Potential Stressors include:

  • Pressure from home or work
  • Financial problems
  • Divorce, loss of job, death
  • A traumatic experience, abuse or an injury

Being aware of the symptoms of stress is the first stage of the process, here are a few examples:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Sweaty palms or feet
  • Poor concentration
  • Low energy
  • Insomnia
  • Rapid heart rate

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a sustained mental health issue caused on the back of stress.

There are a number of different anxiety disorders and they are considered to be some of the most common psychiatric disorders in the world. Approximately, 8 million people in the UK suffer from some form of mental illness.

It has a distinct difference from stress, stress commonly comes and goes because the external factor dictates the feeling. Anxiety is an internal feeling that persists after the external problem is resolved.

Unfortunately, it can take over your life in multiple ways, when the feeling is out of control the negative implications are overwhelming.

Anxiety is hard to pinpoint to a cause but is typically known for a “persistent feeling of worry or fear”, that occurs most days over 6 months, in circumstances that aren’t threatening. The following factors are some causes of anxiety from various patients:

  • Genetical history
  • Psychological
  • Personality traits
  • Trauma
  • Drugs
  • Existing Mental Health Issues

Severe anxiety can result in similar outcomes to stress: emotional discomfort and physical symptoms, however, this is where they differ as the feeling of anxiety can prevent you from meeting up with friends or family, going to work, or trying something new or out of your comfort zone.

As the cause of anxiety can’t be pinpointed to a certain thing, understanding the signs and why you have it is the first step to getting the treatment specifically for you.

Coping With Stress or Anxiety & Seeking Help

How and where can I seek help if I have signs of either stress or anxiety?

Firstly, It’s important to know how to identify and differentiate signs of stress and anxiety. Stress is a common trigger for anxiety and it’s important to catch anxiety symptoms early to prevent the development of an anxiety disorder.


Mental health consultation. Two people sat across from each other, one is taking notes, and the other is talking.

Stress vs anxiety and the difficulties of managing them, or you don’t know how to deal with it, as it hinders your ability to do daily activities, talking to a mind consultant is available and very effective.

Therapy can show you a useful plan to manage and cope with it daily, it changes the way you think, to help minimise the behaviours that trigger your mental health.

Get In Touch

At Wellspace, our mission is to revolutionise your well-being in the workplace. Having worked in the health and safety sector, we saw first-hand that the workspace was behind the times.

Our Wellness application allows employees to track their physical and mental wellbeing in a safe place, whereas our Wellspace Portal tailors activities from this data to sustainably improve your overall health and wellbeing whether that be at work or in everyday life.

If you’re looking for more information about the solutions we offer here at Wellspace, contact us. Alternatively, for additional advice and tips, head over to our news page.

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