So midterms are here and whether you like it or not, there's bound to be some kind of stress surrounding you. Your stress might not even come from school, it can be from home, or at a job. Here’s a step by step guide to not freaking out about it.

Stress is simply your body’s reaction to certain conditions. When you become stressed, your brain, specifically the hypothalamus (just a fancy way of calling the part of the brain in charge of your normal body), talks to the rest of your body, and releases hormones called epinephrine, and cortisol. These hormones are the reason you are stressed.

When your brain creates those “stress hormones,” it elevates your heart rate, your muscles tense up, you might feel really alert. It is normal to feel doses of stress throughout the day. Often times it keeps people motivated, and is healthy for you. Heck, anyone who plays a sport that involves a lot of movement creates a little stress, but they still love the game so it can’t be that bad.
But it might be hard to manage it. You need balance. Balance is hard when the student life entails you to working regular hours as your parents might, going to classes etc., but also, go volunteer, get a job, play a sport, join a club, and get your homework done. Here’s how to trick yourself into not being overly stressed:

  1. Question the real reason for your stress.

Is it because you're terrified of failure? -not having a future? -being rejected? Once you find out what it really is, it might be easier to break it down, and look at the bigger picture, or decide whether it's important at all or not.

A guide to what to do in extreme stress. Created by Ana Pirosca.
  1.  Reason with yourself all of the accomplishments you’ve had so far.

Did you win that competition? Did you at least try? What have you done that no one else has that makes you special? Recalling the good things you have done in the past might help you realize that you are capable of many things. If one thing doesn’t work out, there will be a guaranteed 2nd option to look at. If you don’t think you’ll do well, you might realize that, hey, it can’t be all that bad at it, if you really are studying with a friend is great.

  1. If all else fails, talk to someone. Actually, no matter what, always talk to someone.

Schools have counselors for a reason. You can talk to them about the stresses you have about the future, and in your daily toils. If that's not an option, talk to a friend, teacher, parent, etc.. Anyone is willing to help, just speak up.

  1. Do activities to calm down.

Yoga, running, coloring, reading, singing, dancing. Clean your room, your poor mother would be furiously happy. Do something nice for a friend. Do it! Not only does it help relieve stress, but it is super healthy!

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