Stress Vs. Anxiety: What You Need to Know

April is usually marked as the most stressful time of the year for college students due to a couple of reasons. We have our professors cramming in assignments all within the same few weeks. We’re piled with final quizzes, projects and exams. We have to pick our classes for the fall semester. Some of us are trying to get ready to graduate or study abroad.

No matter what the situation, every student at Temple has a huge priority to commit to. We go through this situation in December but one of the biggest differences is the extra piled work and the weather. Since April’s so close to summer, the majority of us tend to get distracted by the upcoming warm weather and events.

Students tend to get stressed, which is common, but some of us also develop serious anxiety. Sometimes we tend to get the two confused and since the month of April is pretty hectic, it’s important to understand and differentiate the two. 

According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, stress is something that we all go through due to an emotional or mental strain but anxiety is a reaction to stress. Stress can lead to serious health problems but it’s treatable and tends to be easier to handle than anxiety.

Like stress, anxiety alerts you, but it comes with more negative outcomes. First, not everyone experiences anxiety and when they do, it can be much harder to control.

There’s different types of anxiety people experience and the site Health Guide breaks down the six major types of anxiety disorders which include: generalized anxiety disorder, anxiety attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobia, social anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The site also provides a description of what these types of anxiety are and how people commonly react to them.

The average symptoms people experience when dealing with some type of anxiety includes constant worrying, struggling to make decisions regarding basic needs, sudden emotional changes, having irrational fears, and believing that something bad is always going to happen.

Another struggle people deal with is opening up about their anxiety and figuring out how to treat it. Anxiety is like a constant battle going on in someone’s head and compared to stress, it’s a lot easier to admit someone has stress versus someone who has anxiety. However, there are still some things people do to get rid of their stress that can also help with anxiety. Below are helpful suggestions that health sites and people in general say what to do when trying to lower or stop their anxiety.

  • Breathe
  • Take a break if you’re working on something
  • Go for a walk/run
  • Reach out to supportive friends
  • See a therapist if needed
  • Figure out what triggers your anxiety
  • Surround yourself by positivity

Some of these tips are easier said than done but through a combination of these, it really makes a difference for those suffering with their anxiety.