What is the difference between Stress and Anxiety?

I am often asked this question by clients coming to see me because they are given this 'label' and no further explanation is offered.

A basic explanation is that Stress is a response to daily pressures such as Exams, Divorce, Moving House, Bereavement, and Anxiety is an adverse side effect of this. Anxiety is classed as a legitimate mental disorder.

What does this mean for you?, are you stressed or anxious or depressed? If so what can you do to rid it from you life?

In my personal opinion, giving yourself a label is not always useful. It may mean that your GP can prescribe mood enhancers or stress inhibitors to help you through a difficult time which is ok if it is a temporary situation, but this does not help you to take action to deal with the root cause of the stress or anxiety. It may also leave you in a mindset of failure of thinking perhaps 'well that's it I am on medication there is nothing I can do, I have a mental illness'. This does not provoke you to take action to move on to change that way of thinking and get your life back.

Don't get me wrong I am not against GP prescribed medication in the short term as it can be extremely beneficial, but your GP does not have time to sit with you and find out the causes of this to help you to deal with them at source.

My concerns are not based on how bad I think things are for you, that would be my judgement and may be very wrong. What I am concerned with is how it affects you and what you can do to alleviate it and live a happier life. I will then find the tools and resources necessary to move you forward to a happier today and a more resourceful future.

Does this sound like you? If so, how can you take action to change that negative mindset?. This is where Therapy comes in. There really should not be any 'shame' or 'embarrassment' in seeking help from someone who can view the situation from the outside, and offer you new skills and ways of thinking to free yourself from this anxiety. Taking the opportunity to learn new 'life skills' in fact is a way in which you can take back control of your life now and in the future, because once you have learnt how to change negative thinking you can use it during future stressful situations.

If this does sound like you then NOW is the time to take positive action. Either ask your GP for a referral, or seek your own experienced Therapist who can help you to move forward resourcefully with your life and live it to the full again.

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