Many people think that stress is the same as anxiety. Although they are certainly closely related, these intense feelings are very different.
Stress is a natural response to a challenge. Changes in brain chemistry make our hearts beat faster and the palms of our hand’s sweat as we prepare to act. We might feel nervous, angry, or frustrated.
Anxiety is a stress reaction. It occurs when people believe they cannot handle the challenge that is causing them stress. That lack of control makes them feel worried and fearful.
Stress is usually temporary. However, when people feel stressed for a long time, it can become what is known as chronic stress. And this can turn into s, which can turn into int.
Stress, anxiety, and differences in the way you think and learn
People who think and learn differently face challenges on a regular basis. Therefore, they may experience more stress than other people. Stressing out constantly can be a cause of anxiety.
There is also a direct relationship between anxiety and differences in how people think and learn. Some differences, such as ADHD, dyslexia, slow processing speed, and sensory processing difficulties, coexist with anxiety.
Learn more about:
Stress in children who think and learn differently.
Anxiety in people who think and learn differently.
What does anxiety look like?
Like stress, all people feel anxiety from time to time. However, what they feel and the signals they exhibit may be different. These are some common aspects of anxiety:
The sensation is disproportionate to the real or imagined “threat”. For example, a child could be terrified of having to enter a birthday party.
People think that something bad will happen and they will not be able to control or avoid it. For example, they might think: “That dog is going to bite me, and I’m going to get sick.”
“What if…?” It is a common phrase that people with anxiety think and say.
Check out this list of anxiety symptoms in young children, adolescents, and adults.
How to help with stress and anxiety
There are simple ways to help with stress and anxiety. Breathing with peace of mind and mindfulness help children and adults stay calm and focus on what is happening at the moment. Thinking about your strengths and accomplishments can help you feel more confident.
It is important that people get specific help for the problems they have with learning or behavior. Improving skills can help reduce the stress they face on a daily basis.
There are also treatments for anxiety problems. Options include conversation therapy (also known as psychotherapy) and medication (if necessary).
2 For educators: Discover adaptations that can help with anxiety and stress in the classroom.