Five Steps to Fighting Stress
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 better mood.
- 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!