3 Analogies to Help Kids Understand Anxiety

As children grow and develop, they can experience a range of emotions. To help kids better manage their feelings of anxiety, it is important for them to have an understanding of what it is. Here are three analogies that school counselors and educators can use to explain anxiety to kids in a in easy-to-understand ways.

Want to know how to Explain Anxiety to Kids? Find 3 helpful analogies that explain what it is and how we can imagine it.

Explain Anxiety to Kids: 3 Analogies to Help

1 – Anxiety is Like a Smoke Alarm

This is the analogy I use most often with my students. To explain what anxiety is, I use the smoke alarm analogy. Smoke alarms are really helpful for alerting us to danger when there’s a fire and we need to get out of the building. But sometimes smoke alarms go off even when there isn’t a big danger, like when we burn popcorn or toast. It makes the same sound for big emergency fires or little non-emergency fires.

Anxiety does the same thing. Anxiety tells us there’s a big danger, even if the situation is actually not that big. It feels like a big danger because anxiety sends the same signals. The good news is we can learn skills to tame that anxiety emergency alarm (no more burnt toast alarms!).

Want to teach kids about anxiety? Don't miss these essential teaching points for psychoeducation about anxiety with your students.

2 – Anxious Thoughts are Like Clouds

Just like clouds, anxious thoughts come and go. However, sometimes the clouds seem so large that they block out the sunshine or make us feel like we cannot see our way forward. This analogy helps children understand that anxious thoughts are normal and can pass with time if we take care of ourselves. Sometimes, we have to take proactive steps to move away from the cloud so that we can get back into the sunshine.

Get ready-to-use anxiety activities & games for kids.

3 – Anxiety is Like a Roller Coaster

Another analogy is anxious feelings as a roller coaster ride—sometimes thrilling and exciting, but other times overwhelming and scary. The rollercoaster analogy helps children understand that anxiety is often accompanied by strong physical reactions in the body such as racing heartbeats or stomachaches, which can be confusing for them when they don’t know where these feelings come from or how to deal with them effectively.

Want to know how to Explain Anxiety to Kids? Find 3 helpful analogies that explain what it is and how we can imagine it. These anxiety analogies are perfect for anxiety lessons, worry groups, anxiety sessions for kids and all school counseling worry activities.

Anxiety affects all people differently at different times in their lives; however, by providing analogies such as those above, school counselors and educators can help kids better understand what anxiety feels like so they may learn how to better manage their own experiences with it moving forward. With the right support system in place, kids will have the tools necessary to navigate through anxious moments more confidently than ever before!

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Want to know how to Explain Anxiety to Kids? Find 3 helpful analogies that explain what it is and how we can imagine it. These anxiety analogies are perfect for anxiety lessons, worry groups, anxiety sessions for kids and all school counseling worry activities.

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