Deep breaths. Stress is not a bad thing, sometimes it is even helpful! But the amount of stress and your control over your stress matters. Good stress heightens your senses and motivates you to stay focused while doing your homework and stay in control during chaotic situations. Bad stress can be overwhelming, changing the way you interact and live with others. In order to combat stress it is important to acknowledge the stressors in your life and attempt to reduce them. For example, if you are taking 5 AP courses your Junior year and by the 3rd week of school you have heard the “this class takes priority over all of your other classes and you should spend every waking hour thinking about it” talk with each class and begin to feel overwhelmed, you should think about dropping some AP classes to reduce your stress (no you don’t have to take all of them and you will be much happier for it). If there are stressors in your life that you can’t change or get rid of, ie traumatic events or prolonging health issues, there are many options available to try to relieve stress. For example, talking to a loved one or a friend can help relieve stress and validate feelings over a touchy subject. But if you’re uncomfortable talking with others you can always turn to writing as a source of release. I personally use this method the most and find it very helpful when I’m stressed. If you wanna avoid the subject entirely, exercising, going outside, or doing something you enjoy is a good distraction and a way to cope. If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know what to do, don’t be afraid to lean on the people you trust or even reach out to a counsel for help. Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but that doesn’t mean it has to control you. Stress is unavoidable but a major key to adulting is being able to manage your stress.