What should I do when I worry too much?

What is worry?
Worry is a thought that makes you feel upset or bad or scared inside. Sometimes a worry is clear such as “What should I do if my mum does not pick me up after my club today”. Sometimes something might be making you feel bad or scared but you might not be sure what it is. You might get a funny feeling in your tummy or feel sick because you do not want to go to school that day but you might not be sure why you do not want to go. Have you got worries today?
How else might people see I have worries?
How else might people see I have worries?
Often people with worries feel safer staying with their mum or dad or grandparent. Sometimes they do not want to go to school or to friends’ houses to play. Sometimes people who worry do not like to sleep alone. Sometimes people who worry cry a lot. Did you realise someone who does these things might be worrying?
Do my friends worry too?
Do my friends worry too?
Everyone feels worried sometimes and this is normal and ok. Lots of people may worry a little bit before having an injection or before having a school trip away. Sometimes your friends might not worry about the same things as you or understand your worries or you might not understand theirs, but it is still nice to help each other with the worry. Has your friend told you a worry they have?
Is it normal for my worry to make my body feel bad?
Is it normal for my worry to make my body feel bad?
Worries can make you feel any or all of the things below: - Headaches
- Tearful
- Dizzy
- Sweaty
- Tummy aches
- Sick
- Faint
- Fast heart beats
- Out of breath Where does your body hurt when you are worried? You could draw it on a body picture.
What should I do if my worry grows or gets stuck in my head?
The first thing to do to help get rid of your worry is to tell someone. They should take your worry seriously and help talk to you about it. The person you tell should help you look at how likely your worry is to happen, (it is probably not likely to happen). The second thing the person you tell should do is to help you think about how you would manage if your worry did happen, (like where you would go to get help if your mum did not pick you up after your club).
What if your worry still stays after this?
What if your worry still stays after this?
If you keep thinking about your worry, you help it grow. Decide you will only think about it for 15 minutes a day, such as after tea. You should sit with an adult to talk to them about your worry in these 15 minutes. If your worry pops up at other times in the day, refuse to think about it, imagine building brick walls around it in your brain, so it cannot come out until you let it. If this does not work, you could write your worry down and put it in a box to read in your 15 minutes worry time. Grown ups should remind you if you go to them with a worry that it needs to be ignored until your 15 minutes of worry time that day. Doing these things help worries shrink. Will you try these things?
Stand up to the worry
Worries can be like bullies and they like to frighten you. If you get cross with bullies and tell them to go away, you get stronger and they get weaker. Do this with your worries. Tell them “Go away”, “You are talking rubbish”, “I am not listening to you, you’re stupid”. If the worry keeps coming back to pick on you, do something to take your mind off it, like playing with a friend or reading a book, count to 100 while jumping on the spot. You could draw your worry as a monster and you as a superhero chasing it away. What other things could you say to the worry to chase it away?

Beating worries is hard at first but gets easier with practice. When you have learned how to do it, keep busy with things you enjoy, talk to adults when worries are little so they do not grow, and argue back with them if they try to pop up. Soon you will notice worries have gone and be able to tell your friends how to fight them.