Dear Steph,

I get panicky for no reason and sometimes it catches my breath and I’m not sure what to do. I don’t know why it happens but it’s been happening for the last couple of weeks now and sometimes it happens more than once a day. It’s really scary and annoying too because I can’t concentrate or focus on what I’m meant to be doing. Can you help? By the way I’m 15.


Hi there,

Thank you so much for getting in touch. It sounds like it could be anxiety, or perhaps a panic attack. You didn’t mention that anything is going on for you right now, but what we’re all collectively going through is enough to cause panic and anxiety.

There is so much mass fear and uncertainty right now, and even though we might not be directly affected in terms of our health or finances (if we’re lucky), the collective fear is powerful and we pick up on that.

Uncertainty doesn’t do our brains or our nervous systems much good, it unsettles us. When we don’t have all the facts, or when we can’t see what’s coming, we feel fear, and fear (when unchecked) can cause panic and anxiety. This might be a reason why you’ve feeling like this lately.

What helps? 2 things. Breathing and journalling.

As cliché as that sounds, long, deep breaths do actually relax us. They slow down the heart rate and calm the nervous system, reducing panic and anxiety. Next time this happens, get yourself into a seated position, both feet on the ground, hands on your lap, eyes closed.

Take 5 long, slow, deep breaths – fully in so that your lungs are full up to the brim, and then fully out until all the air is gone. You should feel calmer.

The other tool you can use is journalling. Get a little notebook and a nice pen or pencil, and just start writing. There’s no wrong or right. Some days you might write 4 words, other days you might write 4 pages. It’s all good. I hope you feel better soon, hang in there superhero 🙂


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