The Difference Between Stress and Anxiety (And 3 Ways You can Manage Both)
While stress and anxiety can cause similar symptoms that include increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, and nausea, stress tends to last for a much shorter time period. Anxiety, on the other hand, can linger indefinitely unless treated by a health professional.
In most cases, you can immediately identify what's causing you to feel stressed. A job promotion, moving to a new city, becoming a parent, losing a loved one, meeting tight deadlines, and many other life events can cause periods of stress.
Increased stress can lead to anxiety. In addition to feeling physically ill, anxious people feel nervous all the time. They also have lingering feelings of unease or dread.
Because stress and anxiety exhibit similar symptoms, it can be difficult to determine which one you're suffering from. In extreme cases, you could suffer from both. Either way, you need to find healthy ways to cope with stressful events and anxiety.
Long-term Effects of Stress and Anxiety
Most people feel less stressed after the immediate threat has passed. Completing a tough project, ending a toxic relationship, or working through a problem all mark the end of a stressful event. Unfortunately, prolonged stress can lead to anxiety, especially if the same stressful event occurs again and again.
Anxiety can affect a person's job performance, personal relationships, and physical health. In many cases, seeking therapy may be the only way to identify and cope with severe anxiety. For mild anxiety, developing healthy diet and exercise habits, reducing stress, and investing in sensory toys can help people manage anxiety.
3 Ways to Manage Stress and Anxiety
Luckily, you can manage both stress and anxiety in similar ways. Reducing stress helps reduce anxiety. Here are three ways to manage these feelings and help reduce them before they take over your life:
Diet and Exercise
Eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise can help improve your physical and emotional well-being. When stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. This hormone helps prep your body and mind to face an immediate threat with a fight or flight response.
Unfortunately, cortisol can cause moodiness, anger, increased blood pressure, and feeling overwhelmed at work or at home. And while cortisol can temporarily sharpen your senses and thought processes, feelings of anger and moodiness can interfere with your ability to think through problems rationally and logically.
Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise for 30 minutes up to five times a week can help your body regulate cortisol when you're faced with a stressful situation. The ability to remain calm allows you to get through stressful situations faster and easier.
If you suffer from the long-term effects of anxiety, a healthy diet and exercise regimen provides stability and a comforting routine that can help you relax. For example, when you feel anxious, you should go for a walk or a run. During a workout, your body releases good-feeling hormones like endorphins that help you feel better.
Creating a daily routine that includes a healthy diet and exercise regimen helps you maintain a healthy weight, reduces cortisol hormones while increasing endorphins, gives you something positive to look forward to, and helps keep your mind active. By following a routine, you should notice an increase in focus, productivity, and overall enjoyment of your life.
Stress Relief Toys
Stress relief toys have many benefits that include sharpening your ability to focus, especially when engaging in sedentary, repetitive, or mundane tasks. These toys can also help you manage stress and anxiety. Most people fidget during the day, so having a stress relief toy available at their desk or when they travel helps them stay relaxed and calm.
With many fidget toys cheap on the market to choose from, you should be able to find one or more toys suitable for the type of environment you work in. For example, sensory strips allow you to run your fingertips or nails across the textured surface to manage stress and anxiety. Place this discreet strip next to your desktop, or place them on your laptop, tablet, or on the back of your cell phone.
Other sensory toys spin, light up and make noise to increase sensory stimulation. Some of these toys have a rubbery texture, while others have a smooth texture. Regardless of the type of toy you choose, make sure to keep the toy available for use throughout the day.
For children with autism, sensory toys for autistic children help keep children from fidgeting with their hands and feet. Autism toys provide the same level of comfort to autistic children as other fidgeting toys provide to stressed out or anxious adults.
Talking to A Friend/Family Member/Therapist
Talking about possible triggers for stress and anxiety can help you figure out why these feelings occur and how to manage them. When talking with a friend, family member, or a therapist, try to describe not only how you feel, but the moments in your life when you feel this way.
If you can determine the times when you feel most stressed or anxious, then maybe you can find ways to reduce these feelings or find ways to avoid certain situations that cause them. While perfectly normal, moments of stress and short periods of anxiety can leave you feeling insecure, nervous, or hesitant to take on new challenges or pursuits in your life.
Talking with the people who know you best can help you pinpoint stress and anxiety triggers while reminding you that you're not alone – everyone has these feelings at some point in their lives.
If you feel anxious all the time, you should find a therapist to talk with. A licensed professional can help you discover the roots of your anxiety, prescribe medications to help you cope with the lingering effects, and help you find constructive ways to manage anxiety when it happens.
In the End
Stress and anxiety can occur to anyone at any time. Sometimes, it’s a combination of stressful events that happen at once that lead to chronic anxiety. You deserve to feel good about your life and the direction your life is heading toward. Finding healthy ways to deal with stressful events and anxiety can help you lead a more productive fulfilling life.
If stress and anxiety continue to plague your life, you may need to make some drastic changes like finding a new career or ending a toxic relationship. While these changes may not fit into your life plan, it's worth considering if you want to reduce stress and anxiety. Talking with people can help you put these potential life changes into perspective.
About Fidget Strips
Our sensory strips help you stay relaxed and focused throughout the day. With two textures to choose from, rough or satiny, you can select the texture that works best for you. Available in a variety of colors including solid black, our strips provide a discreet textured surface you can easily attach to your laptop, the back of your phone, or tablet.
We also provide quality sensory toys for autistic children. Like many adults, children with autism often need a toy to help keep them stay focused. Autism toys also provide comfort to children suffering from stress and anxiety.
Whether you need an occasional toy to for sensory stimulation, or you want a few fidget toys cheap that you can take with you wherever you go, our stress relief toy provides the convenience and comfort you need. We have a 30-day return policy and a one-year warranty to ensure that you will be satisfied with your purchase.