There is a big difference between Anxiety and Fear that most people are not aware of.
It is really important to know the difference between Anxiety and Fear in order to understand them and find ways to overcome them, especially Anxiety.
The more you know your “enemy” the better you are able to conquer it.
Anxiety vs Fear
Anxiety differs from Fear in four major aspects:
- Long Lasting Anxiety is worry, nervousness, concern, tension, and angst about something that will linger for weeks, months or even longer, years. Anxiety never leaves you, it is always present with you. Anxiety is an animal of prey that stalks you patiently, waiting for the right moment to strike… you notice its presence around you, in you.
- Vague Anxiety creates a smoke screen in your life that doesn’t let you define it, it is not something specific, it is about everything. When you are asked about what is wrong you might answer “Everything”. The Anxiety maybe about money, relations, health, spiritual issues, children, your job or lack of it. Because Anxiety is not specific you don’t know where to start to eliminate it. It is general, everywhere.
- Paralyzing Anxiety blocks you from doing something to get relief from it. As soon as a solution or possibility is presented to you, you automatically anticipate the possible negative results that might happen or you might doubt about yourself that you can do something about it. As a consequence of this train of thought fueled by Anxiety you get too scared to even try anything. A common reaction to deal with this is to deflect and do something that is irrelevant, like playing computer games, eating or watching tv. Anxiety gives you this feeling of being trapped with no possible escape, whatever you do nothing will work.
- No Acceptance Anxiety creates avoidance of the situation you are in. Diverts you from accepting and experience the physical feelings and mental justifications. It is common to lead to impatience and procrastination.
The Positive Side Of Fear
Fear on the contrary happens in the present and it is temporary (i.e.. the car is heading in your direction and might hit you), it is specific (the car), you accept the feeling of fear, and ultimately fear gives you the energy to react and deal with the situation you are in (either fight or runaway). We can see that Fear has a positive side. It can save your life from a danger situation. Anxiety, on the contrary, takes your mental clarity and the physical motivation to take action which in the end would eliminate your fears.
Now it is clear that we are talking about two very different realities. The good news is that Anxiety can be treated by psychological techniques.