Although they are both recognised as mental health issues, they are quite different. It is very easy to confuse the two and it's important to know the difference.
To put it simply, they are both traumatic states of emotional and psychological strain which can be caused by a variety of factors. They are both the negative emotional experiences that can make you feel exhausted, edgy, steal your focus, and leave you spending your nights frantic and sleepless.
A lot of the symptoms of stress mimic those of anxiety, such as muscle tension, rapid heartbeat, trouble sleeping, stomach issues, irritability and inability to focus - you can see how they can look awfully similar. However, there is one telltale symptom that signals anxiety and only anxiety: a persistent feeling of apprehension or dread.
Anxiety is a sustained mental health issue and it is one of the most common mental health issues in society today, it's not generally something you want to treat with prescription medication, although in some cases it is absolutely essential. It's not that prescription medications are bad necessarily - although there are several side effects, it's the risk of addiction that makes them less than ideal. Natural treatments are much more preferable, the advantage is that they not only treat anxiety - they also give you an opportunity to relieve anxiety without medications someday in the future. They are without risk of dependency and using them doesn't impact your ability to learn valuable coping strategies.
There are a variety of herbs and nutrients that are beneficial for anxiety, and one that has received some promising result is Magnesium.
Magnesium used to be an abundant mineral found in numerous foods, but over time, food processing practices essentially stripped magnesium out of most diets, causing numerous people to be magnesium deficient. Add to the mix modern lifestyle that also strips magnesium from the body - caffeine, alcohol, some medications and stress.
Stress is your body's reaction to a change or a challenge, which can vary in length and severity - it is generally a temporary experience. Several studies have looked at how stress levels affect magnesium. They found that during periods of extreme stress, magnesium is often used up by the body, early studies do indicate that magnesium may be effective in treating anxiety.
Also, there is a significant connection between how the body feels and how the mind feels. When you take magnesium while you're not getting enough, your body is likely to feel better because every component of the 300+ processes is running correctly. That, in turn, will make your entire body feel healthier and more relaxed, which will improve your battle with anxiety
Magnesium is a great tool for mild to moderate anxiety, but the more severe your anxiety the more you need additional support - no single nutrient is going to cure anxiety. magnesium is simply a start, to ensure that any deficiency you may have had affects your anxiety less.
No matter which issue you're struggling with, you don't have to deal with it alone. Talk to someone you trust about what you're going through, and know that no matter what you have, you can start feeling better. In the meantime, take heed from the famous novelist and poet Sylvia Plath; “There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them.”