Anxiety and fear – what’s the difference? They are often confused, but they have fundamental differences. The feeling of fear is directed towards a specific object or situation with which a person will have to contact. This can be a fear of human interaction, fear of public speaking, heights, darkness, and other similar conditions.
Anxiety is usually not consolidated with anything. For it to arise, vague premonitions, expectations of something unpleasant, unknown and dangerous are enough.
Fear has a pronounced emotional connotation, and it goes away naturally as soon as the threat has passed. The body is mobilized to counter the threat. The intensity of emotion is such that it cannot be maintained at this level for a long time, otherwise an apathetic state will replace fear.
Anxiety can be stretched over time, it gradually gives rise to devastation in a person, the resources of his body are depleted, the psychological background decreases. If the anxiety is situational in nature, it soon disappears as soon as it helps to adapt to the disturbing situation. Neurotic anxiety can last for months or years.
Fear is usually tied to physical threat. With him there are real danger, pain, instinctive impulses move him. Anxiety is directly linked to the “internal” problems of a person. She feeds on unrealized opportunities, low self-esteem, high expectations.
Generally speaking, fear protects the physical self, and anxiety is aimed at ensuring the safety of a person as a part of society.
Let me give you an example.
You went to the forest. Go out to the edge and see a bear running at you. At this moment, you will experience FEAR, which will launch a cascade of physiological-behavioral reactions aimed at saving your life.
You went into the forest and remembered that bears are found here. You walk through the forest and behind every bush you see a wild beast. At this moment, you will feel an ALARM. You start looking around, listening and trying to get out of this forest as soon as possible.