What are anxious feelings and when should I consider taking action for them?
We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health.

Your mental health can change throughout your time at university and is often impacted by situations relating to family, relationships, work and the external environment.

We all experience anxious feelings from time to time. They may get especially intense when we are facing stressful life events such as an upcoming exam, job interview or difficulties in our relationships. Anxious feelings can be really unpleasant; we may become tense and fearful and may get uncomfortable bodily sensations like a dry throat, sweaty palms and a racing heart.

We also may experience daunting thoughts and mental images about worst-case scenario situations and how we will be unable to cope.

Occasional anxious feelings are normal and although unpleasant, aren’t harmful.
In fact, a moderate amount of anxiety can help motivate us. However, if you find yourself experiencing anxious feelings most or all of the time, then you should consider taking some steps to reduce them so you can lead a more fulfilling life.

We’ve developed this guidance using NHS resources on anxiety. It provides some simple tips and a range of external resources that will help you to start taking control of your anxiety today.

For more, please visit NHS Mental Health for lots of information, guidance and support resources.


Mental health continuum



What are the signs of feeling anxious?



What can I do to reduce my anxious feelings?


First steps you can take to help yourself
Check out NHS Every Mind Matters: Feeling Anxious?, which also contains a video you can watch.

There are two things we have direct influence over that affect how anxious we feel:

  1. Our behaviours: Taking positive action
  2. Our thought patterns: Noticing and re-framing our thinking patterns

All the self-help strategies for combatting anxious feelings fall into one of these two categories.



Challenging our behaviours



Challenging our thought patterns


Additional resources which may help you

  • King’s students have access to Togetherall, which is a safe and anonymous online space you can go to if you’re feeling down, struggling to cope or just want to talk to people who understand what you’re going through.
  • There are a wide range of apps you can download to help you manage your thoughts and feelings, find out more in What kind of mental health apps are there that I can access?
  • My Anxiety Plan (MAP) is a free anxiety management programme based on cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).
  • The NHS has a lot information and guidance on how you can manage and support your own wellbeing; visit NHS Every Mind Matters.



What are my next steps?



Create an action plan



What are the signs that I may need further help for my anxious feelings?



How can I get help if my anxious feelings are impacting my studies?



How can I access professional help?



What support is there in King’s Residences?