No matter what their age, everybody feels worried or scared sometimes.

Why do we feel scared?

Sometimes it is right to feel worried or scared. Sometimes you may feel afraid because of things that might have happened when you were younger or even because of your imagination!

Your imagination might have convinced you to worry about things like the dark, thunderstorms or even monsters!

Although people may say not to worry, it can be hard to stop worrying. 

Things that make people worry:

  • going to a new school and having to make new friends
  • moving house
  • someone hurting you
  • bullying
  • the way people you care about behave
  • the health of people you care about
  • your own health

How we feel when we are scared or worried

There are all sorts of thoughts and sensations that come with being scared or worried - such as wanting to run away or hide, feeling like you're frozen, having butterflies in your stomach or feeling you can't catch your breath.

When we feel worried or scared during the day sometimes it's hard to get to sleep at night, or we have bad dreams.      


What can we do when we feel scared?

There are lots of things you can try to help you to begin to feel better:

  • talk to someone in your family or someone you know and trust about your worries or what you are feeling afraid of

  • talk to someone whose job it is to help children find ways of feeling better (perhaps a member of staff at your school)

  • try one of the children's helplines

  • keep a diary or write a list of problems to solve

Remember it is important to get help with feelings of being scared or worried if they carry on during the day and night.

Some young people and their families have found the organisations in the list below helpful.

Lots of things you can do to help you feel better


The page was last updated on 17 June 2014 by andrea.bateman.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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