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Stress management: 7 Tips to curb nervousness & anxiety

Hello there, young world conquerors! If you often find your nerves behaving like an uncontrolled roller coaster ride, causing sweaty palms, a racing heart, or even the dreaded stomach butterflies, you're not alone. Teens around the globe are also fighting their own nerve wars. So, let's make a pact, shall we? It's time to take command of those pesky nerves and become captains of our own cool!

1) The science behind nervousness

Before we dive into the strategy to control your nerves, let's get a quick idea of why they run amok in the first place. Whenever we face a stressful situation, our brain sends an SOS to our body, activating the 'fight-or-flight' response. This reaction was pretty useful for our cave-dwelling ancestors when they needed to run from a saber-tooth tiger. However, in our world, where the tiger is often a math test or a first date, this reaction seems a tad bit excessive.

2) Understanding is winning

First things first - feeling nervous is not a bad thing. It's a natural reaction to uncertainty or stress. What's important is to not let it rule you. Understanding that everyone faces nervousness can help you feel less alone and make your nervousness seem less daunting. Remember, even the most confident-seeming people have their moments of self-doubt and stress. We all are in this together.

3) Breathe your way to calm

One of the quickest ways to take control of your nerves is by controlling your breath. Try a technique called 'box breathing.' Imagine a box and breathe along its sides: inhale for four seconds, hold for four, exhale for four, and hold for four again. Repeat this cycle until you feel your nerves settling. Not only does this bring your mind back to the present moment, but it also sends a message to your brain that 'it's all cool,' helping to reduce the fight-or-flight response.

4) Exercise: Your nervous system's best friend

As the saying goes, 'A healthy mind resides in a healthy body.' Regular exercise does wonders for your nervous system. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals like endorphins, often referred to as 'feel-good hormones.' Whether it's a round of vigorous dancing, a fast-paced game of football, or a calming session of yoga, find something you enjoy and get moving!

5) Dive into mindfulness

Mindfulness is like a video game cheat code to calm your nerves. It's all about staying in the present moment and not worrying about past embarrassments or future uncertainties. A simple way to practice mindfulness is focusing on your senses. Take a moment to listen to the sounds around you, feel the texture of what you're touching, or savor the taste of your snack. This method can act like an anchor, grounding your wandering nervous thoughts.

6) Power of positivity

Positive self-talk can help you deal with stressful situations with more resilience. If you catch yourself thinking, "I can't do this," counter it with, "I can and I will!" Visualizing positive outcomes can also lower anxiety levels. Picture yourself nailing your presentation or smoothly sailing through your first date. Believe in the best!

7) Sleep: the unsung hero

Finally, never underestimate the power of a good night's sleep. Sleep deprivation can amplify feelings of nervousness and anxiety. Aim for 8-9 hours of quality sleep to allow your brain to recharge and regulate your emotions effectively.

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