Mild anxiety is a normal human emotion, and most children will experience anxiety before a sporting event or an exam.
Having some anxiety can help people perform at their best. But if anxiety becomes more intense, starts to cause distress, lasts for a long time or interferes with daily living, then it’s a problem.
For most of us, the physical feelings of anxiety include a faster heart rate, faster breathing, muscle tension, sweating, shaking, and ‘butterflies in the stomach’. For some children, they may be unaware of their body sensations. Many children complain of feeling “sick” or having a “sore tummy” when they are experiencing anxiety. For children who experience ‘panic attacks’, anxiety symptoms are very severe.