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Everyone worries from time to time. It’s part of life. Sometimes we even worry that we’re not worrying! Worry is our body’s way to get us motivated and get stuff done.

When does worry turn into anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of fear or panic that is stronger than worry and lasts for longer. Feeling generally anxious sometimes is normal. Most people worry about something – money or exams – but once the difficult situation is over, you feel better and calm down. If the problem has gone but the feeling of fear or panic stays or gets stronger, that’s when anxiety becomes a problem. With as many as one in six young people experiencing anxiety at some point, it is very common to have anxiety.

What are the signs?

When you feel anxious you might notice your:-
• heart beats faster
• throat goes dry
• stomach starts to churn
and you:
• feel sick or dizzy
• feel hot and sweaty
• can’t think straight
• feel like you need to wee or poo
• feel strange like you’re not really there
• struggle to sleep
Whenever you feel like this, remind yourself that:
– this is just anxiety
– it can’t harm me
– it will pass
– I’m in control.

Why does this happen?

These sensations are all part of a normal, natural response which developed millions of years ago called “Flight or fight.” Early humans often needed to either run for their lives, or be ready to fight, when faced with a dangerous animal or a hostile tribe. When we feel anxious it’s actually the body going through some temporary changes to help us react more quickly and create more energy for running.

The trouble is everyday worries and fears, which are usually not life-threatening, can trigger the same response so that our bodies respond to protect us as if we are in real danger.

Tips to help

When you feel anxious it’s important to try some self-care. Self-care is about the things we can do to look after our own mental health. We’ve listed some here

Relax – Take a break & step away from the stressful situation.

Do Something you enjoy
• Listen to music
• Do something arty – whatever works for you.
• Try a new activity. Positive Activities will tell you what is happening in your area.

Spend Quality time with others
• Meet up with friends & family
• Spend time with pets

Talk about it – Friends, helplines, someone you trust

Sleep well, eat well
• Get a good nights sleep
• Eat your 5 a day

For other ideas go to On my Mind – Selfcare

Where can I find help?

If you are feeling anxious too often or for too long and it’s starting to affect how you feel or affect your daily life, it’s a good idea to talk to someone you trust – whether a parent /carer, teacher, school mental health champion or your best friend. Or, if you prefer, you can talk to Childline on 0800 1111

Try your school nurse. They hold regular drop-ins at schools and colleges. You can contact them on 0800 0199 951 or

You can see a Doctor at any age on your own. If you’re not sure how to start the conversation try using the Doc Ready Postcard & Checklist.

Relevant Links & self help

Young Minds
Anxiety UK
The Mix – website for under 25 year olds Phone 0808 808 4994 (13:00-23:00 daily)
ChildLine – Phone: 0800 1111
No Panic – Youth Helpline for 13 – 20 yr olds: 0330 606 1174 (Mon – Fri 15:00 – 18:00 Charges apply)
In Hand – Free app suggesting activities to help you feel happier and more in control – for moments of anxiety or low mood.
MoodGYM is a free, fun, interactive program to help you when you are feeling low.
Advice if you are upset by the news – If you are upset by the news, it’s important to know that you are not the only one and it’s OK to have those feelings. This website gives you some tips about what to do if you are feeling sad about what you’ve seen, heard or read.

Relevant pages

Revelent links

Young Minds Website