Anxiety in children

Anxiety in children is a growing concern that requires attention and understanding. As parents, caregivers, or educators, it is essential to recognise the signs of anxiety in children, offer support, and create a nurturing environment that fosters their mental well-being.


In this article, we will explore the various aspects of anxiety in children, including its causes, signs, and effective strategies to help them cope. Let us delve into this topic and gain valuable insights to create a positive impact on the lives of children experiencing anxiety.

Understanding anxiety in children

Anxiety is a normal human emotion that helps us recognise and respond to potential threats or challenges. However, when anxiety becomes excessive, irrational, and interferes with daily life, it may be classified as an anxiety disorder. Children can also experience anxiety disorders, which can manifest in different ways.

Types of anxiety disorders commonly seen in children

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)

Children with GAD often exhibit excessive worry about various aspects of their lives, such as school, friends, or future events. They may seek constant reassurance and have difficulty controlling their anxious thoughts.

Separation anxiety disorder

This disorder is characterised by an extreme fear or distress when separating from parents or caregivers, leading to avoidance or reluctance to attend school or other activities.

Social anxiety disorder (SAD)

Children with SAD have an intense fear of being embarrassed, judged, or humiliated in social situations. They may avoid social interactions and struggle with low self-esteem.

Specific phobias

Children may develop specific phobias, such as fear of animals, insects, heights, or medical procedures. These fears can significantly impact their daily lives and cause distress.

Causes of anxiety in children

Anxiety in children can arise from various factors, including:


Children with a family history of anxiety disorders may be more predisposed to develop anxiety themselves.

Environmental factors

Stressful events, such as family conflict, academic pressure, or trauma, can contribute to the development of anxiety in children.

Sensitive temperament

Children who are naturally more sensitive or cautious may be more prone to anxiety.

Biological factors

Imbalances in brain chemistry or the functioning of neural circuits associated with anxiety regulation can contribute to anxiety in children.

Recognising signs of anxiety in children

Detecting signs of anxiety in children is crucial to provide timely support. While each child is unique, some common signs and symptoms of anxiety may include:

Excessive worry

Children with anxiety may frequently express worry about everyday situations or upcoming events.

Restlessness and irritability

Anxiety can cause restlessness, difficulty concentrating, and irritability in children.

Sleep disturbances

Children with anxiety may experience trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or having nightmares.

Physical symptoms

Anxiety can manifest through physical complaints like headaches, stomachaches, or fatigue.


Children may avoid certain activities, places, or social situations that trigger their anxiety.

Supporting children with anxiety

Understanding and supporting children with anxiety requires a thoughtful and compassionate approach. Here are some effective strategies to help children cope.

1. Creating a safe and nurturing environment

Maintain open lines of communication, allowing children to express their feelings and concerns without judgment.

Foster a supportive and empathetic atmosphere that encourages children to seek help and share their anxieties.

2. Teaching coping skills

Teach children relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, or visualisation to manage their anxiety.

Encourage them to engage in activities they enjoy, helping them distract from anxious thoughts and promote a sense of well-being.

3. Establishing a routine

Establishing a consistent and structured routine can provide children with a sense of stability and predictability, reducing anxiety levels.

Ensure a healthy lifestyle by promoting regular sleep patterns, balanced nutrition, and physical exercise.

4. Seeking professional help

If anxiety significantly impacts a child's daily life and well-being, it is crucial to seek professional help from a mental health provider experienced in working with children. Hypnotherapy is a fantastic tool to use in the right hands. Always ensure that your chosen hypnotherapist has taken additional training in working with young people.

Anxiety in children is a complex topic that demands our attention and understanding. By recognising the signs, understanding their causes, and implementing effective strategies, we can support children in managing their anxiety and promoting their overall mental well-being. Let us strive to create a nurturing environment where children feel safe, supported, and empowered to overcome their anxieties and thrive. Together, we can make a positive difference in the lives of anxious children and help them embrace a brighter future.  A good hypnotherapist will work with you as well as your child to ensure a positive outcome, and the good news is in just around five sessions most concerns are resolved.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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South Woodford, London, E18 1BD
Written by Louise Levy, Snr Clinical & Cognitive Hypnotherapist, Clinical Supervisor
South Woodford, London, E18 1BD

Louise Levy is a senior(Acc) Clinical Hypnotherapist, Cognitive Behavioural Hypno-Psychotherapist, Mind - Body Syndrome Therapist & Master of NLP, who specialises in Narcissistic Abuse and Codependency. Louise treats adults, couples adolescents and children age 6+. appointment face to face in London and Nationwide Via Zoom

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