Although many people use these words interchangeably there are subtle differences between these terms.  Anxiety can cause stress and Stress can cause anxiety but there are significant differences.

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Anxiety is a state of fear, worry or doubt.  It encompasses the thoughts, worries and feelings we create in relation to a perceived threat or problem.

It is possible to break Anxiety down into two component parts:

Anticipatory Anxiety is the feeling we experience when thinking, worrying or brooding about a stressful, dangerous, frightening or challenging experience. How often we worry about a future appointment (Dentist?), only for it to prove far less awful than expected!

Anticipatory Anxiety is used in the film and TV industries in order to build tension and keep us watching.  From the ‘Boom, Booms’ at the end of Eastenders to the music of Jaws, the aim is to encourage anticipatory anxiety and a ‘must see’ mindset.  This is unlikely to cause anyone a problem but too much brooding and worrying about a future event can prove crippling.

We experienced Real Time Anxiety when directly faced by a threat, for example a vicious dog. This occurs in the moment, there is no build up and may well be totally unexpected.

Stress is how we describe the physical response to an event or stimulus.  Stress can be a good thing, it keeps us on our mettle, but too much is debilitating and dangerous.  Research shows that continuous and/or excessive stress can affect our thinking, emotions, behaviour, and health.




Neither Anxiety or Stress happen to us – we create them ourselves and we can learn to stop.  Our key beliefs and our thinking styles cause either or both conditions so by examining, and altering these Thrive With Ian, will teach you to win.  Imagine an anxiety and stress free life – what’s that worth!

To paraphrase Alfred Bandura (1988) People who believe they can exercise control over potential threats do not imagine disaster and are, therefore, not over anxious.  On the other hand those who do not feel able to manage will become highly anxious.  We have a tendency to dwell on our coping problems and see danger around every corner.Thrive_With_Ian_Depression_Anxiety


There is so much to learn from Thrive With Ian.

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I’m Ian and I’m a qualified Thrive Programme Consultant. Using the professionally developed Thrive Programme – a proven, evidence based, positive psychology training programme – I work with people from all walks of life, providing the insights and skills they need to change their lives for the better.

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