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Being Scared

What might help? (cont.)

Some other ideas about what can help with feeling scared are:

  • try to distract yourself - think about happy things and things you love to do, sing a song or do something that is fun or makes you feel relaxed
  • learn some relaxation techniques - to help soothe the physical reactions that being scared brings
  • desensitisation - like with the dog! Take small steps that will help you overcome your fear. This is something that you might need some help with - to work out the small steps you could take to stop being scared. Do you have a trusted adult that you could talk to about this?
  • understanding - lots of times kids are scared of things that they don't really understand - for example, some kids are scared of thunder, because of the noise it makes, but if you find out exactly what thunder is and why it makes that noise, perhaps it will even be interesting rather than scary!
  • figure it out - sometimes you might feel scared but aren't sure what you are scared of. For example, you might be feeling scared to go to school but don't know why. Spending some time trying to figure it out can really help. Maybe you will realise that the friend you usually play with isn't going to be at school today and you are worried about what you will do at lunch time and so that's making you scared to go. Once you have figured that bit out, it's easier to come up with a solution - perhaps you will read in the library or ask your brother if you could play with him and his friends at lunch time. Sometimes it's easier to figure things out with a bit of help. Who might you go to, to ask for help with something like that?
  • challenge your thinking - are your fears reasonable? Let's go back to the dog! Does it make sense to be scared of ALL dogs because of one dog that nipped you? Does one dog nipping, mean that all dogs are dangerous? If you challenge your thinking and find that what you are scared of doesn't make sense, you may be able to calm your fears
  • talk - about how you are feeling and what you are needing with someone you trust

For most people being scared is a sometime thing, that doesn't have a major impact on their life. But if you are struggling with being scared or would just like to talk, you can call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or use our web or email counselling services. We will listen to you and help you work out what might help.

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Published: 3 May 2012