What is the difference between stress and anxiety


describes stress and anxiety as they pertain to their relationships with trauma and fear. Stress is a physiological response involving quickened heart rate, breathing, and blood flow changes, creating an awareness often narrowed in focus. You can have stress without fear, but fear always involves elements of stress. Anxiety generally refers to stress about future events, and you cannot have fear without aspects of anxiety, but you can have anxiety without fear. Fear itself, as described by Dr. Huberman, seems to be built upon the foundational elements of stress and anxiety, with trauma being the embedding or activation of fear in the nervous system showing up at maladaptive times. Trauma typically entails some embedded fear that recurs and impacts someone at random or inappropriate times, such as morning panic attacks when there is no immediate threat 1.

Dr. Huberman points out that stress can create a hypervigilance or high levels of awareness, which can be adaptive in focusing attention onto the anxiety and preparing for potential threats or actions. Stress involves the heightened awareness needed for survival, preparing our muscles for movement; this is why shaking can occur when stressed 2.

Regarding leveraging stress for good, suggests that the subjective interpretation of stress is key. The consequence of stress and our beliefs about it can dictate whether stress has a positive or negative effect on us. Believing in the benefits of stressful states can enhance performance, while the opposite belief can weaken it. This concept ties to how information consumed about stress can affect our perception and response to it 3.

Understanding Fear

Andrew breaks down the different components of fear and how it relates to the stress response, anxiety, and trauma. By understanding the biological and cognitive processes behind fear, we can learn how to deal with it when it's not wanted and even replace fearful experiences with new memories.

Huberman Lab

Erasing Fears & Traumas Based on the Modern Neuroscience of Fear | Huberman Lab Podcast #49