17 Step – Know How to Handle Stress A little stress helps you stay alert and focused. Too much stress can keep you from doing and feeling your best. When you’re feeling stressed, try one of these relaxation techniques. u Take a deep breath, and then slowly release it. Do this until you feel your body relax. u Starting at the top of your head, flex, and then relax each part of your body. u Think of a place where you feel very relaxed and calm. Close your eyes and visualize being in that place. Whenever you’re under a lot of stress, spend time with your family and friends and talk to them about what’s going on. Talking is good because it helps you sort things out. Also, try to figure out what you can do to make your life less stressful. When you’re feeling stressed, take good care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, eat right, and get some exercise. (Physical activity can actually reduce stress.) Try to keep a sense of humor, and do things that have helped you feel calm and relaxed in the past (go someplace quiet, take a hot bath, read a book, play with a pet, etc.). We asked our group of high school students what they do to relieve stress. Here are a few of their responses. “I go outside and take a walk.” Min “I get rid of my stress on the soccer field.” Terrell “I go to a quiet place and listen to music.” Kate If you’re ever under so much stress that you can’t sleep or eat, or you feel depressed, talk to a parent or to your counselor. They can help you. 8