Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of fear or stress. It’s quite a common feeling we all experience at some stage.
Many young people accessing Jigsaw face-to-face services report feelings of anxiety as one of things going on for them.
What causes anxiety in young people?
Young people can internalise messages they get from their peers, family, and society of having to look, be or behave a certain way. When these messages do not fit with how they feel or what their life is like, it can cause feelings of anxiety.
Young people will go through many transitions in their lives that are bound to make them anxious, such as starting new schools, college, and jobs. Exams, changing peer groups or increasing independence are also experiences that can cause worry. It can be a combination of different factors and the exact cause of the anxiety is not clear.
Sometimes it can be more useful to think about how to manage anxiety, or to support a young person, than trying to figure out where it came from. It can be difficult as a parent to see your child upset or distressed but try to gauge what they can tolerate. You want them to gradually build up their ability to experience anxiety but manage it well enough. Recognising anxiety as being a part of a new or challenging situation and learning to overcome those feelings is important.