Everybody gets stressed from time to time. Different people feel stress in different
ways. Some ways of dealing with stress
— like screaming, hitting someone, or punching a wall — don't solve much.
But other ways, like talking to someone you trust, can start you on the road to solving
your problem or at least feeling better.
Try taking these five steps the next time you are stressed:
Get support. When you need help, reach out to the people who
care about you. Talk to a
trusted adult, such as a parent, other relative, a school counselor, or a coach. And
don't forget about your friends. They might be worried about the same test or have
had similar problems, such as dealing with a divorce
or the death of a beloved pet.
Don't freak out! It's easy to let your feelings go wild when
you're upset. Notice your feelings, and name them — for example, "I am so angry!" And say or think about why you
feel that way. Then, find a way to calm down and get past the upset feelings and find
a way to express them. Do breathing exercises, listen to music, write in a journal,
play with a pet, go for a walk or a bike ride, or do whatever helps you shift to a
Don't take it out on yourself. Sometimes when kids are stressed
and upset they take it out on themselves. Oh, dear, that's not a good idea. Remember
that there are always people to help you. Don't take it out on yourself. Be kind to
yourself and ask for the helping hand or pat on the back that you need — and
deserve — to get you through the tough situation you're facing.
Try to solve the problem. After you're calm and you have support
from adults and friends, it's time to get down to business. You need to figure out
what the problem is. Even if you can't solve all of it, maybe you can begin by solving
a piece of it.
Be positive — most stress is temporary. It may not seem
like it when you're in the middle a stressful situation, but stress does go away,
often when you figure out the problem and start working on solving it.
These five steps aren't magic — and you might have to do some steps more
than once, but they do work. And if you can stay positive as you
make your way through a tough time, you'll help yourself feel better even faster.
Ah . . . it feels so good when the stress is gone!