Coping techniques for young people to combat anxiety attacks
Everyone gets anxiety from time to time. It’s a natural way of our body telling us to be cautious when there is something setting our alarm bells off.
But sometimes anxiety can crop up for no specific reason, and this can make it difficult to deal with as it can be harder to know how to resolve things to make yourself feel better.
One 11-year-old told Childline: “I get all these panicky moments and stuff and I've been told that it's anxiety. The first time I told my parents but they didn't believe me and said that I was just overreacting which made me upset – I thought I could trust them!
“I normally get it when I go to bed or when I'm alone by myself for a long time, and can still be awake at 2am because of it. It's worrying whatever it is.
“I think it is coming from a lot of stress at school, because I’m getting a lot of work and sometimes I have problems with people who are supposed to be my friends.”
Whether anxiety is something that a young person can experience in relation to specific things, or they get anxious without any identifiable cause, it can be tough knowing when it goes from being a natural reaction to a real problem.
If anxiety is making life difficult for children and young people to live their lives normally, there are coping techniques they can employ to help overcome these strong feelings.
Firstly, if they know what is making them anxious they can try to solve the problem. It might help if they were to write out a list of possible solutions to identify the best way to solve things, and to give them other options if the first try doesn’t work.
Distraction and relaxation techniques can help to give their mind a break, so they can think clearly about how they feel and figure out if there is a solution to how they are feeling.
You can try helping to boost their confidence – for a lot of young people stress and anxiety can lead to a crisis in their confidence. Encouraging them to think positively about themselves can help them focus on positive parts of their lives to distract from parts they feel negative about.
Finally, it’s important for young people to talk about how they’re feeling and to have someone they can confide in. This can be a teacher, parent or a Childline counsellor.
For free confidential advice and support about any worries, children and young
people can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or www.childline.org.uk