Anxiety is one of the most common mental health concerns for children and adults, affecting upwards of 20% of children and adolescents over their lifespan.


Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can be beneficial in some situations. It can alert us to dangers and help us prepare and pay attention. Sadly, untreated anxiety can lead to depression, missed opportunities in career and relationships, increased substance use, and a decreased quality of life.

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, fear, or doubt. Everyone experiences anxiety in some form or another. It’s typical for people to feel anxious if they are in a dangerous situation, or before certain events such as public speaking or a tournament. Anxiety can also improve motivation and preparation. Anxiety is also our “spidey sense” and can help keep us safe.

Anxiety affects our thoughts, our feelings, and our actions. It becomes problematic when daily living activities (ie. going to school, self-care, socializing etc.) are negatively impacted.

Although anxiety protects us in the face of real danger, it can become a problem when it…

• Goes off when there is no real or immediate danger (e.g., like a smoke alarm that goes off when you’re just making toast)
• Happens a lot
• Feels intense
• Is upsetting and causes you distress
• Stops you from doing fun and important things (e.g., like going to school dances or parties, making friends or dating, getting your homework done, or getting a job or your driver’s license)


• Feeling scared, worried or on edge
• Feeling irritated or angry
• Feeling uneasy

• “What if…”
• “Something terrible will happen”
• “I’m just going to embarrass myself and everyone will laugh at me”
• “Nothing ever works out…I’m a failure”
• “Why can’t you just do it my way?”
• “I don’t know why I can’t control this”
• “Is it normal to feel like this?”

• Avoiding things, people, or places that make you feel anxious
• Often using distractions to avoid anxiety
• Checking things often to make sure everything is okay
• Often seeking reassurance from others
• Struggling to pay attention or concentrate
• Getting very angry at other people over little things
• Feeling very restless, like you can’t sit still

Changes in your body
• Racing heart
• Sweating more than usual
• Difficulties sleeping well
• Feeling tired often
• Muscle aches and pains
• More stomach aches than usual

The good news is there is hope and help available. Try some of these suggestions:
• Talk to a family member or a friend you can trust
• Talk to a counsellor
• Talk to a doctor
• Attend a local peer support group
• Go for a walk
• Find ways to relax (deep breathing, visualization etc.)
• Be mindful
• Meditate
• Journal
• Do something you enjoy
• Visit the `Get Inspired` section of this app

Yes! At one time or another, everyone feels anxiety. Most people experience it during stressful situations-like big life changes or transitions. If you experience anxiety when dealing with daily events- like going to school or even leaving the house-talk to a school counselor or a trusted adult and let them know about your concerns.