If a child is feeling anxious, let them know that everyone gets anxious now and it’s ok. Let them know that they can talk to you and create time to listen. It can be helpful to help children learn about anxiety, what it is and how it works. How to start a conversation with children about mental health
Learning about anxiety and how it works can help
Anxiety is a strong feeling of worry and can affect your thoughts, your body and your behaviour. Everyone gets anxious now and then and anxiety is actually your body giving you a message that you are not safe. This can be helpful when you need to get out of danger or when you need to perform really well at something. In fact, a little bit of anxiety can help you to succeed in a test, sports match or a singing performance. The problem is when our body thinks we are in danger when we are actually ok. This is when anxiety starts to become a problem.
If you are feeling anxious all the time and it is starting to affect your daily life, speak to someone you trust and ask for help.
This video explains what anxiety can feel like and how it can affect you.
What's the difference between anxiety and stress?
Anxiety is when you feel fearful or nervous about certain situations or worried about things that might happen. All kinds of things, big and small, can make people feel anxious – everyone is different. You might be worried about taking an exam, having to speak in public, problems at home or even going out on a date.
Stress is when you feel overwhelmed by too many problems or too much pressure and start to find it hard to cope. Stress can trigger the ‘Flight or fight’ response causing feelings of anxiety.
Anxiety will usually go away, but it can sometimes develop into a panic attack. A panic attack is a very strong, sudden feeling of anxiety that can overwhelm you. Panic attacks can have physical symptoms for example feeling shaky, sick and dizzy. Panic attacks can be scary but can’t cause you any physical harm.