can stress cause anxiety?
Yes - according to Vandenabeele, everyday stressors, such as being late or finding yourself in a stressful work situation, can cause anyone anxiety. "A build-up of stress can also trigger anxiety, particularly if you've gone through a particularly stressful or traumatic situation when you were younger," he adds. However, it's worth noting that, while everyday stress can leave you feeling anxious, it's unlikely to cause long-term anxiety or an anxiety disorder.
How to tell whether you're feeling stressed or anxious If you're experiencing symptoms consistent with stress and anxiety, asking yourself these two questions should help you to work out which of the two you're dealing with.
Is something causing it? "First, work out if it's a particular event or situation that's causing you to feel these emotions," Vandenabeele says. "If you're about to do a big presentation in work or you're running late, the chances are you're feeling stressed, rather than anxious."
How long have these symptoms lasted? "Think about how long you've experienced these symptoms for," Vandenabeele recommends. "If your symptoms pass quickly, again it will likely be stress that you're experiencing. Anxiety - on the other hand - will often be persistent and still be present, even if you're no longer in a stressful situation." Although stress and anxiety are both normal responses to everyday stressors and events, if symptoms persist and begin to impact your daily life, it's important to speak to a professional, who will be able to help.