Anxiety – what is it?

It is the time of year when children start to worry about moving up a year or leaving to go to a new school.  This is normal and we all have “what if” moments.  It’s about knowing what is normal to you and what you can do to help yourself.

Here are some top tips, which I have found from the Hampshire Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) website (details below):

  1. Worries and anxiety are common; everyone worries so it’s important to remember you are not alone. Some worries may seem very real and very scary. Tell someone how you are feeling no matter what your worries are, even if you are worried about doing so. There will be someone who will listen and try to support you.
  2. Although anxiety feels horrible, remember these feelings will pass and the physical sensations cannot harm you. Remind yourself that you have been anxious before, that those feelings passed, that you coped and were OK. If you need to, use activities, such as watching TV, spending time with friends, reading, making things and listening to music, to help manage until you feel a bit better.
  3.  You cannot avoid all the things that make you feel anxious so face your FEARs with confidence following these four steps;
    • Focus – rather than worry about the past, future or the unknown, focus on the present moment, the here and now
    • Expose – the more you face your fears the easier it will become to manage
    • Approach – the fear of experiencing anxiety is often worse than the situation you are avoiding. Face your fear and see for yourself that the situation probably isn’t as bad as you are predicting
    • Rehearse – practice anxiety management techniques.

I have included some helpful websites which have tips on relaxation and mindfulness, plus a wonderful service called Relax Kids.  Kath runs sessions with children to empower them with techniques for relaxation.

I hope you find this information both helpful and useful.

The Ark – Pastoral Care team