Published: 1 November 2022 | Updated: 20 February 2023

Stress and anxiety

Everyone, from the youngest child to the oldest adult, experiences some stress and anxieties and fears at one time or another.

Much like fear stress and anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling that we have when we are faced with difficult situations. Sometimes those situations are real, like a sports match or an exam.  Sometimes we create those situations in our mind, like worrying about things that could happen in future.

Dealing with stress and anxieties can prepare young people to handle the unsettling experiences and challenging situations of life.

Physical symptoms

While everyone experiences stress and anxiety differently, there are some common signs and symptoms of anxiety which include:

  • a racing heart
  • faster breathing
  • feeling tense or having aches, especially neck, shoulders and back
  • sweating or feeling dizzy
  • shaking
  • butterflies or feeling sick in the stomach.

Talking to someone

Talk to someone you trust if you feel your anxieties or worries are making you feel:

  • worried about things a lot of the time
  • unable to control the worries
  • unable to relax
  • start to avoid places or people, like school or parties
  • spend less time with friends and family
  • have trouble concentrating and paying attention
  • feel annoyed, irritated or restless
  • have difficulty getting to sleep at night and waking lots during the night

Ways to beat stress and anxiety

  • Physical activities can have a positive effect on your mental well being.
  • Have a worry book or write your worries down on pieces of paper and put them in an envelope or jar.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Relax, try mindfulness.
  • Do something fun.
  • Being anxious at bedtime can stop you from sleeping.
  • Breathing exercises can help you feel more in control.


Get in touch with your anger

Anger is not right or wrong; it is just a feeling, like happiness or sadness. Everyone has times when they feel angry, and often with good reasons.

Anger is an emotion that can have a physical effect on your body. Your hormones go haywire, your heart beats faster, you can feel sick, lightheaded, and feel tension in your muscles.

Anger is one of a range of emotions that we all experience. Sometimes, though, you can feel angry and not know why. It is important to be able to deal with anger so you don not lose your temper and make things worse.

Anger is an issue if you are:

  • hitting or physically hurting other people
  • shouting at people
  • breaking things
  • losing control
  • winding people up
  • spending time with people who get you into trouble

Body image

There can be a lot of pressure to look a certain way and fit in with everyone else. Sometimes you can be hurt or affected by what others think and say.

You might be feeling unhappy about your hair, skin colour or your weight, or embarrassed about wearing glasses or braces. It can be hard to accept how you look if you feel pressure to have perfect skin or a certain type of body shape.

Your confidence can improve by not comparing yourself to people you see in films, music videos and magazines. Remember that these images are not real, and no one is perfect.

Feeling happy about how you look can help you to feel confident. It is normal to worry about the way you look sometimes. Especially as you grow and go through puberty.

Five things to help you feel better

  1. Everyone is different so don not compare yourself to other people.
  2. Ignore any negative or mean comments from other people.
  3. Write down three things you like about yourself and read it every morning.
  4. Share your thoughts with other young people on our message boards and read their comments.
  5. Focus on hobbies you enjoy or things you are good at, this can help build your confidence.


Bullying can happen anywhere, online, at home or at school. It can happen to anyone, and nobody has the right to hurt you or make you feel bad.

Bullying can also be part of other forms of abuse, including neglect, emotional, physical and sexual abuse.

Bullying can mean different things like:

  • being called names
  • being teased, put down or humiliated
  • being pushed or pulled about
  • having money and other stuff taken
  • having rumours spread about you
  • being ignored and left out
  • being hit, kicked or physically hurt
  • being threatened or intimidated
  • being bullied through your phone or online

Nobody has the right to bully you, bullying could be done by friends, family, people at school and strangers but it’s never OK.

Bullying can happen in different places such as at school, home or online, there are ways to get it stopped and ways to feel better about yourself.