How To Handle Stress


Parker Smith, Writer

Stress is a huge factor in everybody’s lives. Maybe it’s school work, or maybe it’s the social stress of fitting in, or perhaps it’s just a mix of things in your life. The fact is you can’t be a high school student without being stressed about something at least once. Everybody handles stress differently, so here are some ways I deal with stressors in my life. 

Breathing is everything! Learning some breathing techniques has seriously helped me deal with stressful situations. As a person who struggles with anxiety, breathing has helped me deal with my feelings in so many ways. So learning a few simple and discrete breathing techniques is a real-life saver!

The 7-7-7 Breathing Method

  1. Breath in for seven seconds
  2. Hold your breath for seven more seconds
  3. Breathe out for seven seconds
  4. Repeat this seven times or as many times as needed

This method slows your heart rate and forces you to focus on your breathing, effectively distracting you from the thing causing you to be stressed. This can help you regain control of your thoughts and calm you down. This method is also super easy and quiet, meaning you can do it in class and public spaces, without having to worry about disturbing other people. Breathing techniques really are the best for in-class stress, because they are easy, require no outside materials, and are discrete. 

Music is an absolute lifesaver! Make up a playlist that has all the songs that make you feel good. Now when you are feeling stressed or get put in an uncomfortable situation, put your headphones on, crank the volume up nice and high, and divert your focus to your music. This, unfortunately, isn’t the best solution for in-class stress but it works extremely well at home or in crowded places. I personally also used music as stress prevention, by putting it on whilst I’m working, so I have some form of a distraction and have a harder time getting super overwhelmed.

Undisturbed meditation or yoga can help recenter your mind and breathing. Meditation can help prevent stress and handle it in the moment. If something is causing you distress, just step away for a moment, take some time to meditate and calm your mind, then return back to the thing you were doing before. Having a clear mind can seriously change the way we approach things, effectively relieving stress. 

Having a few of these techniques under your belt can absolutely help divert intense, stressful, or anxiety-ridden situations. Being able to take control of your feelings is an important life skill, and mastering it as a teenager will benefit you later in life, with college work and even job interviews. Taking the time out of your day to breathe or meditate or even just give your brain a little break can make all the difference for your mental health.