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Decreasing Stress



Outside events (like problems at school or with your teachers or parents) can be upsetting. But remember that it's not the outside force, but how you react to the inside that's important.  You can't control all the outside events in your life, but you can change how you handle them emotionally and psychologically.  Here are some good ways to cope:

  • Take 15 to 20 minutes a day to sit quietly, breath deeply, and think of a peaceful picture.
  • Try to learn to accept the things you can't change.  You don't have to solve all of life's problems.  Talk out your troubles and look for the good instead of the bad in situations.
  • Engage in physical activity regularly.  Do what you enjoy -- walk, swim, ride a bike or jog to get your big muscles going.  Letting  go of the tension in your body will help you feel a lot better.
  • Limit caffeine (soft drinks, tea, and coffee).  Also don't drink alcohol or smoke.
  • Think ahead about what may upset you. Some things you can avoid.  For example, spend less time with people who bother you.
  • Think about problems and try to come up with good solutions.  You could talk to your teacher, parent or counselor the next time something bothers you or get help when you have too much to do.
  • Change how you respond to difficult situations.  Be positive, not negative.
  • Learn to say no. Don't promise too much. Give yourself enough time to get things done.

1994, 1996, American Heart Association