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Stress Awareness Month: Stress vs Anxiety

Published Bernice on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 12:00 AM

Stress Awareness Month: Stress vs Anxiety

One way to understand stress is to see it as part of your body’s natural alarm system, telling you when something is wrong and needs your attention. The tension you experience during these times places a demand on your body and mind, and has the same effect whether the source of stress is based on fear or excitement. 

On the other hand, anxiety is quite often a unique consequence of stress, and having continuous stress in your life can result in increased levels of anxiety. Although anxiety is uncomfortable, it is not dangerous, and its symptoms have an evolutionary reason for existing.

When your body’s “fight, flight, or freeze” response is activated, an accumulation of chemical changes and messages are sent to various parts of your body and brain. These produce symptoms such as racing thoughts, feelings of dread or panic, and problems with sleep and appetite—which, collectively, are frequently described as a sense of uneasiness or apprehension. 

The unpleasant sensation of anxiety usually lasts for about ten minutes or so unless activated again. The good news is that there are things you can do to prevent anxiety from spiralling out of control. 

Mind over mood

Your thoughts create your experience of life from one moment to the next. And because you are the only person who can control your thoughts, you can create either more peace or more anxiety for yourself. Therefore, controlling your thoughts is one of the most powerful tools you have available to lessen and manage feelings of stress and anxiety. 

A certain amount of stress and anxiety is normal in the average person, and the way people respond to this makes a big difference to their overall outlook and state of health. 

Unlimited support for students’s keep.meSAFE Student Support Program helps students manage their mental health to participate in academic life fully and complete their studies. Jesse Poulin, program manager of keep.meSAFE, says that she has seen a significant increase in students reaching out for support from the program since the beginning of the pandemic.

She explains that there could be several reasons for this increase, such as students not being allowed on campus, and studying remotely from home through a series of rolling lockdowns. This is why we must continue to adapt to the changing needs and heightened demands for remote mental health support.

keep.meSAFE provides unlimited real-time support for students via phone and chat, as well as appointment-based support with no cap on the number of sessions they can access. Our global network of more than 10,000 counsellors in 170 countries enables keep.meSAFE to support student mental health around the clock in every time zone across the world.

If you or someone you know struggles with unmanageable stress and anxiety and needs someone to talk to about this, our keep.meSAFE counsellors are waiting to provide support today. 

Get a deeper understanding of the impact of stress, and learn some essential grounding techniques by reading our previous blogs earlier this month on the importance of daily self-care and stress management, how to redefine your relationship with stress, and grounding techniques to relieve stress.

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