Stress and anxiety are feelings we frequently discuss online, but we may not understand the difference or recognize when professional support is needed. We have an opportunity to help people who may be struggling or managing an anxiety disorder feel less alone and point them toward practices and resources that can help.

Need to Know

Stress is usually a response to specific, external pressures or demands, whereas anxiety involves feelings of apprehension, worry, or fear about uncertain future events.

Stress is a reaction to immediate challenges, but anxiety can persist over time and may not always have a clear cause.

An anxiety disorder is diagnosed when worrying significantly impacts your life — including work and relationships — for at least six months.

Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder and phobias, and they can worsen if not treated.

Factors that contribute to anxiety disorders include genetics, brain chemistry, personality, life events, and environmental stressors.

Symptoms vary based on age and the subtype of anxiety a person has, but they range from excessive worrying and restlessness to physical manifestations like rapid heartbeat, sweating, and fatigue.

Anxiety disorders can occur along with other mental health issues, and they can increase the risk for substance misuse and suicide.

Treatments often include therapy, medication, and self-care practices such as mindfulness, exercise, and proper nutrition.

Treatments often include therapy, medication, and self-care practices such as mindfulness, exercise, and proper nutrition.

Things to Avoid

Refrain from using “anxious” to describe normal nervousness or stress. Instead, try “worried” or “concerned.”

Avoid self-diagnosing or diagnosing others in your content. Phrases like “I’ve been feeling really anxious, and I’m considering seeking advice from a mental health professional,” are more appropriate.

Avoid labeling yourself or someone else as an “anxious person.” Instead use phrases such as “managing my anxiety” or “living with an anxiety disorder.”

Don’t oversimplify anxiety disorders as something that can easily be fixed or say they stem from a single cause.

To prevent followers from self-prescribing, don’t mention specific medications when discussing treatments that have helped. Use general terms such as “anxiety medication” or “therapeutic techniques.”

Your Opportunity

Anxiety is very treatable, and therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy have been well researched to treat it.

Encourage your audience to embrace the strength in seeking help and to understand that managing anxiety is a journey of self-care and professional support.

Share stories of empathy and compassion to normalize discussions around anxiety and reduce stigma.

Explore practices that are proven to help manage anxiety — such as meditation, exercise, breathwork, journaling, and limiting social media exposure — and share them with your community.

When sharing your personal experiences with anxiety management, emphasize that each individual’s path is unique and encourage your followers to consult with a health-care provider.

Offer resources to followers who may be dealing with anxiety or other mental health challenges.


The Jed Foundation →

Visit JED’s Resource Center for more info on anxiety and ways to feel better

Mental Health is Health →

Get info, tips, and resources from Mental Health is Health

Dial 988 Hotline →

Dial 988 for a free conversation with a trained counselor 24/7.

Explore by Topic:

Explore topics uniquely relevant to your journey and audience. Engage with content that enhances your understanding and equips you to manage your specific mental health needs effectively.