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Anxiety

You might feel anxious if you are scared or worried about something - that's completely normal. Sometimes, those feelings of anxiety get so big that they take control and stop you from leading your normal life.

If something is making you anxious, you might feel your heart beating faster than normal, or feel slightly sick; you might also struggle to think about anything else apart from the thing making you anxious.

There are plenty of things you can do to get these feelings under control and to stop anxiety from ruling your life.

Our Experiences

By young people, for young people

"From a young age I suffered from anxiety. Every time a teacher picks on me for an answer my heart races and I stumble over my words. Many people can probably understand because they also suffer from anxiety. Sometimes I find myself fidgeting and my breathing goes fast.

Every time I do something I’m paranoid of people secretly judging me. If I perform in large crowds and see people staring at me my heart goes in my chest and sometimes, I have panic attacks which resulted in me not going to school for a while."

 

Alex, Age 13

 (Some names changed to protect people's identities)

All You Need to Know

Anxiety Activities

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a way of focusing on what is happening right now and taking a ‘break’ from stresses and worries.

It's simple to do, but it's worth practising when you feel calm, so that you know how to use mindfulness if you feel anxious or upset.

Try the mini-meditation video below to get started and there are also links below to a couple of good mindfulness apps.

More information on the Headspace app

More information on the Calm app

Deep breathing

Deep breathing will help you to cope when you're feeling anxious. Try the breathing exercise below to get started.

Grounding techniques

Try a grounding technique when you're feeling really anxious or having a panic attack. They can help you to feel calmer.

The video below talks about using your senses as a grounding technique. You could also try the alphabet game, where you have to name something for every letter of the alphabet within a category. For example food or animals.

Self-soothe box

A self-soothe box contains things that make you feel more relaxed, so you can turn to it when you're feeling anxious.

It will have items inside that make you feel safe and happy, like a cosy blanket, stress balls to squeeze, scented candles, colouring books or your favourite snacks. You can also include a journal to write your thoughts and feelings or soothing music to listen to.

Who Can Help?

You can talk to your parents or carers, or a trusted adult within your school or setting, or any trusted friend.

If you are over 16 you can contact the NHS Talking Therapies Service Norfolk and Waveney (known as Wellbeing Service) on 0300 123 1503 (9am – 5pm).

Kooth offers online counselling, advice and emotional well-being support 7 days a week until 10pm. 

MAP Norfolk can give free and confidential support, information and advice on issues such as housing, money and mental health. You can call 01603 766994 or email info@map.uk.net.

If you live in Norfolk:

If you're 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480 635060 for anonymous and confidential advice and guidance from a health professional. Chat Health is available Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm.

You can also contact the Norfolk Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you live in Waveney:

You can call the Suffolk School Nursing service on 0345 607 8866 or email childrenshealth@suffolk.gov.uk.

Urgent Mental Health Support

For 24/7 immediate advice, support and signposting for anyone with mental health difficulties please contact 111 and select the mental health option. 

If you feel someone's life is at risk or they cannot be kept safe, call 999 or go to A&E.


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