It’s normal to experience negative or unwanted thoughts from time to time.

We all worry about things, whether it’s about an exam, your relationship with your friends or something that might seem random or out of place.

But sometimes our thoughts suggest things to us that are not true.

These thoughts can be intrusive – they can pop into your mind without warning and push out all of your other thoughts, which can be scary and upsetting.

It’s really normal to focus on the negatives and ignore the positives when we’re worried or stressed. But turning everything into a catastrophe is not helpful and will only stress you out more.

If you were worried about preparing for an exam, you might think ‘No one has time to study with me’ without checking with anyone.

But if you just asked your friends directly, they might be in the same boat and be really glad you asked so that you can study together.

That’s one less thing for you to worry about!

Sometimes it’s good to stop, check and challenge the thoughts you’re having. This can help you work out if they’re helpful or making you feel worse.

My thoughts are worrying or scary

If you are worried about the thoughts you are having or they are making you feel unsafe, speak to someone you trust such as a doctor, family member or teacher.