Alex's Answer

I'm feeling anxious about school

Your Question

I feel anxious in school a lot. Sometimes it gets really bad that I feel like getting sick. I don’t want to get sick in school from nerves so can I have some tips please? 

Answer

Hi there, you are very welcome to Ask Alex.  

Thank you for contacting us. We understand that it’s not always easy to share our thoughts and worries, but we also know how important it is to talk about how we are feeling. You have been very brave in reaching out, and you have the right to get help and support.  

You have said that you are feeling anxious in school, to the point where it is making you feel like getting sick, and you are looking for some tips around managing this type of anxiety. Before we explore how we can manage these feelings, let’s take a look at what anxiety actually is.   

Anxiety is an unpleasant feeling associated with apprehension, uneasiness and worry. It is a very common condition. Any one of us, irrespective of age, gender or background can be affected. It has emotional and behavioural effects, and it can also affect our bodies physically by making our stomachs sore, causing light-headed or dizzy spells, making us feel like we need to go to the bathroom or causing our faces to go red.  

Anxiety is a sign something needs our attention. It can be protective, letting us know there may be danger, or something is risky. It can also be a positive thing. Feeling anxious about something like an exam can be a motivator to study. But sometimes, feelings of anxiety can become overwhelming and interfere with our daily lives. 

Anxiety can make us feel scared or sad or angry with the people around us. It can also make us believe bad things are going to happen or that things are worse than they actually are; as well as making us feel physically sick, like you mentioned. Here are some things that you could try to help you cope with these anxious feelings: 

  • Try to identify the factors in your life which lead to your anxiety.  
  • Consider the stress factors in your life, as anxiety is likely to worsen at times of high stress. 
  • Consider accessing support services such as talk therapies. This can help to tackle stress factors in your life which may be aggravating the anxiety. 
  • Think about which relaxation techniques might be useful for you – breathing exercises, mindfulness, yoga. 
  • Light physical exercise and spending time outdoors can be very beneficial in alleviating some of the symptoms. 
  • Even on a bad day, there are good moments in it. Consider keeping a gratitude diary and noting three good things that happen each day, this can contribute to building self-esteem. 

Speaking to a trusted adult can help you to tackle the issue head on and if needs be, they can assist you in accessing services available to young people who experience anxiety. A visit to your local GP may also be beneficial. Sharing our problems and worries can be very helpful and can have a positive effect on the outcome; it’s a starting point towards you building up the confidence and ability to take back control. Anxiety is something that may not stop completely but with the right measures in place, you will be better equipped to manage it.    

There is an article on the Childline website on how to reframe anxious thoughts which you may find useful: www.childline.ie/anxiety-creeping-upon-you-5-tips-on-how-to-reframe-anxious-thoughts/  

Childline also offer free guided digital self-care programmes for children, young people, parents, and carers called ‘Space from Anxiety’. The Space from Anxiety Programmes support children and young people who are experiencing anxiety.  To participate in this programme, your parent/carer/schoolteacher or trusted adult will need to refer you by completing a simple form. More information on this can be found here: https://www.ispcc.ie/guided-digital-programmes/  

Remember that your feelings are valid, and you are not alone. If you feel that you are not ready yet to talk to someone you know, you are very welcome to chat with the Childline Team by phone on 1800 66 66 66 or through our web chat on www.childline.ie. Click the Orange tab on the right side of your screen to start a chat. Childline services are free and confidential, and are available 24 hours, 7 days a week.   

Thank you for reaching out to us. Take care of yourself,    

Alex   

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