Coping with anxiety

We all feel anxious sometimes. But if your anxiety feels overwhelming, we've got advice to help you cope.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is the feeling you get when you're worried or scared about something. We all feel anxious at times, and some anxiety can be helpful. It can keep you safe from danger. It can be a sign you really care about something, like if you'reanxious about an exam and decide you need to study hard for it.  

But anxiety can be unhelpful, too. It might make you feel like things are worse than they actually are.It can feel overwhelming and make it hard for you keep perspective about your situation.  
There are different feelings you might have when you're anxious. For example, you might:

  • feel your heart beating really fast
  • feel scared, worried or tense
  • feel fidgety or shaky
  • feel sick or get a funny feeling in your stomach
  • struggle to think about other things
  • have a panic attack.

Anxiety feels different for everyone, so you might feel something completely different. Plus, different things make different people feel anxious. It's also normal to have times when you feel more and less anxious. 

If your anxiety is stopping you from being able to live your life or do things you normally enjoy,it's important to get support. 

8 things that might make you feel anxious

  • Schoolwork and exams
  • Meeting new people
  • Having a messy room
  • Having too much caffiene
  • Speaking in front of others
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Seeing upsetting things in the news
  • Big changes happening in your life

Ways to cope with anxiety

We all do different things when we want to feel better. When we find what works for us, life’s ups and downs can start to feel less bumpy. Whatever’s causing your anxiety, there are ways to cope: 

Yoga for anxiety

Social anxiety

Someone with social anxiety or a social phobia will get really anxious in social situations. This could include going out with friends, to a party or having to meet new people.

Lots of people worry about social anxiety, but there are things you can do if you think you might have it:

  • Talk about it
    Tell someone you about how you’re feeling. Talking about your feelings can help you to feel more in control, and means that people can know that you might need support sometimes.
  • Relax
    When you feel yourself getting anxious, take time to breathe and focus on the moment. Take slow, deep breaths and remind yourself that your anxiety can’t hurt you.
  • Challenge your negative thoughts
    It’s normal to worry about things when you’re feeling anxious, you might worry that everyone is looking at you, or that you’ve said something wrong. When you start to have negative thoughts, take time to be kind to yourself and think about what a good friend would say about you in that moment.
  • Visit the doctor 
    If your feelings are stopping you from being able to live your life, it’s important to get help. You can always talk to your doctor about what’s happening for support.

Overcoming social anxiety

Other types of anxiety disorders