Secondary School – Worry and Anxiety – Short description
What is worry, what is anxiety?
Worry and anxiety often get confused because they are both what happens to the brains and bodies when we experience stress. Worry tends to be about thoughts and concerns we might have over specific things. Anxiety is more physical, something we feel in our bodies, and is often becomes non-specific and embedded in the way we respond to stress.
How to identify worry, anxiety and more serious presentations?
As both are related to stress, identifying if a young person is suffering with worry or anxiety can be difficult. We can start to differentiate between worry from anxiety by looking at how a young person experiences their stress response, particularly by looking at the duration, content, physical presentation and impact on the young person.
What can teachers do to improve and support young people that maybe suffering with worry or anxiety?
There are lots of ways teachers can help young people who are experiencing worries and anxiety. Research suggests that increasing a young person’s sense of control over the anxiety and increasing their confidence in their ability to deal with their worries is effective.
We have developed two videos to help teachers facilitate conversations around worry and anxiety. You can use the first video with your class or groups of pupils. The second video will talk you through how to use the first and give you some ideas on how to facilitate discussions around emotions. We also have some emotion based exercises in our resource section.