Confusing stress with anxiety and how to avoid it.
Welcome to Motivate Me this week.
Occasionally, and more often than you think, I hear a client say that they are stressed out with anxiety. I understand where they come from, but what they did is mix up two related but separate problems.
Stress is your body’s response to a trigger and is generally a short-term experience. Stress can be positive or negative. If stress sets in and helps you meet this deadline, that’s positive. If stress leads to insomnia, poor concentration, and impaired ability to do the things you normally do, that’s negative. Stress is a response to a threat in a particular situation. Stress is not a mental health diagnosis, but it can make you very anxious and emotional.
Anxiety, on the other hand, is a persistent mental disorder that can be triggered by stress. The fear doesn’t go away when the threat is gone or the deadline has passed. Fear hangs around in the long run and can lead to significant impairment in social, professional, and other important functional areas.
Ok now that I’ve shown you the difference, what’s next?
I’ve written about it before; Part of your motivated journey is getting to know your body in its physiological and psychological states. By arming yourself with the knowledge you will be both better and better able to deal with the curve balls of life that inevitably come out of the blue.
This is perhaps one of my most satisfying moments as a consultant; when a customer looks me straight in the eye and can tell how she disarmed a tricky situation because she took the time to arm herself or “arm herself”, as one customer said to me.
Three years ago we published an excellent guide entitled “Understanding Fear and Managing It Successfully”. I have included a link to the instructions here. Confuse stress for anxiety and how to avoid it – it is worth 10 minutes of your time.
Last Week’s Motivate Me – How one customer changed her life with a simple play on words.