What’s the difference between anxiety, nervousness and stress? – Huffington Post

sunset at the beach

Interestingly enough, there are concrete differences between anxiety, nervousness and stress. Nervousness may be defined as something that one feels for a snap shot in time and not lasting that long. While stress is known to come and go in almost non-sequential episodes of time. Furthermore, anxiety may be defined as something one feels on an ongoing basis and may not necessarily be tied to specific experiences.

Key Takeaways:

  • Nervousness is something you feel temporarily, like before a job interview, or getting up to give a speech or trying something new like skiing for the first time.
  • With anxiety, it’s probably fair to say that you have a malfunctioning HPA axis (it’s switched on much or all of the time) With stress, if the HPA axis is switched on when you hear a loud crash in the middle of the night, that’s good! You want to be on high alert in case there is an intruder in the house.
  • If you have an anxiety disorder you are very likely to think about the things you are afraid of when you aren’t even in any real danger.

“There’s more of a direct cause and effect relationship when we are talking about what causes our stress symptoms. If the HPA axis is switched on when you are first learning to drive, or to ski or to rock-climb that’s good too.”