What is it?
Anxiety is when you are worried, nervous, scared or anxious—but nothing bad is actually happening. Although there is no real danger, your “fear alarm” or “fear brain” is turned on accidentally. That makes you worry and have nervous body feelings that make you believe something bad is going to happen.
Your fear brain
Your brain has many parts. The very outside of the brain is your “thinking brain” where you know what is real and true. The fear alarm or fear brain is deep inside. When it is turned on, it can sometimes trick your thinking brain into believing the worry, fear or feeling is true.
How anxiety feels in your mind
Everybody worries and feels nervous or scared at times for a few minutes. Anxiety is when a scary thought, feeling, picture or urge gets stuck in your mind. Sometimes it’s a terrible thought, and sometimes it seems odd or silly. It seems true or important, and sometimes you can’t think of anything else for a long while. At these times you feel like something bad is about to happen or might be happening now. You might have a strong feeling that you have to do or fix something. You might have angry thoughts.
At times these thoughts may grow so big you feel frightened, scared or panicked.
How anxiety feels in your body
When your fear brain is on your body will feel nervous, tense or tight. You may have stomach aches, headaches, or your throat may feel tight. When you are very anxious, your heart and breathing may be faster than usual. If you are crying or screaming, you are very, very anxious and it is hard to think. When your fear brain is on, you may get angry easily, or feel like fighting. When that happens, you may yell at others, or blame others.