How to differentiate between stress and anxiety?

Difference between Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are related concepts, but they refer to different experiences and can have distinct characteristics. Here are the key differences between stress and anxiety described by best psychiatrist in Delhi.

Stress: It is a response to a specific external stimulus or situation, often referred to as a stressor. Stress can be a reaction to a real or perceived threat, challenge, or change. It is a natural and necessary part of life, and it can be both positive (eustress) and negative (distress).

Anxiety: It is a more generalized and persistent feeling of apprehension, uneasiness, or fear. Anxiety may not always be linked to a specific stressor and can be more difficult to pinpoint. It often involves excessive worry about future events, and the source of anxiety may be unclear.


Stress: Typically, stress is a short-term response to a specific situation. Once the stressor is addressed or removed, the stress tends to subside.

Anxiety: It can be a long-term condition, persisting for an extended period even in the absence of an immediate stressor. Anxiety disorders involve excessive and chronic worrying that can interfere with daily life.


Stress: It can vary in intensity and may not always be overwhelming. Stress may be a normal and manageable part of everyday life.

Anxiety: It is often characterized by a more intense and persistent level of distress. Anxiety symptoms can be more disruptive and may affect a person’s overall functioning.


Stress: It is typically tied to a specific event or situation, and the associated feelings are often proportional to the perceived threat.

Anxiety: It may not have a clear or specific cause. The focus of anxiety can be more diffuse and may involve a broader range of concerns.

Physical Symptoms:

Stress: Physical symptoms of stress can include tension, headaches, and changes in appetite. These symptoms are often directly related to the stressor.

Anxiety: Physical symptoms of anxiety can be more varied and may include muscle tension, restlessness, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. These symptoms may persist even when there is no immediate stressor.

It’s important to note that stress and anxiety can coexist, and chronic stress can contribute to the development of anxiety disorders. Additionally, everyone experiences and copes with stress and anxiety differently, so individual experiences may vary. If you are experiencing persistent or severe stress or anxiety, it is advisable to seek professional help from a healthcare provider or mental health professional like a psychiatrist. Dr Gorav Gupta is a PSYCHIATRIST in Delhi NCR for the treatment of anxiety disorder. Call 8800000255 for an appointment.

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