What can we say about anxiety?

Published Categorized as A look at one emotion, anxiety, emotional literacy, Understanding emotions, Worry

My video: What can we say about anxiety?  covers what anxiety is, why we evolved it, how it can affect us and what can help us to manage it. It’s my longest video yet as there appears to be quite a lot to say about it! It’s suitable for upper Key Stage 2 aged children upwards.

The key messages included in the video are:

  • Anxiety is in the fear family of emotions and it is an unenjoyable emotion.
  • We evolved fear so we ran away from danger and we evolved anxiety to make us alert at times when a danger might be a possibility – any minute soon.
  • Fear lasts a short time, anxiety can last longer.
  • We feel fear and anxiety despite rarely being actually in danger because our minds and bodies cannot tell the difference between real dangers that could harm us and things that we can just find scary. (Although we can find social situations scary because we have evolved a fear of rejection as being kicked out of the tribe was once actually dangerous. However,  again this is somewhat redundant in terms of survival).
  • Anxiety causes physical and mental reactions/symptoms. e.g. a constant feeling of agitation, broken sleep, an inability to focus on anything other than what is making us anxious, develop a need to control
  • Anxiety makes us ruminate (analytical part of the brain) and catastrophise (creative and expansive part of the brain).
  • We should never be anxious about anxiety itself or the symptoms it gives us.
  • Anxiety has probably increased for a number of reasons: social media, uncertain futures, helicopter parents etc.
  • Increasing our self esteem can reduce our anxiety.
  • Helping ourselves manage anxiety often involved changing out thoughts and behaviour.
  • We can find things that soothe us to give our minds and bodies a clear message that there is no danger and this will reduce out anxiety.
  • Anxiety can affect our ability to sleep well but there are things we can do to help with this.