Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

The Hired Girl

Laura Amy Schlitz

Stressed? Blow off stress. By taking control of your life.

Stressed? Blow off stress. By taking control of your life.

The words Quiz and several multiple choice answers and a person choosing the best selection as his answer iQoncept/Shutterstock

Pop quiz! Circle all that apply

a. You wake up bright and early with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.
b. Homework? Pfffffft. You’ve got time for that.
c. You are the personification of chill.
d. None of the above, and by the way, you think we're nuts.

If you answered "d," you may be in high school. One study found that teenagers are nearly 50% more likely to feel stressed about their lives than their parents.
Stress is nasty. You don’t need us to tell you that.

But here’s the good news. You don’t have to “manage the stress” in your life. You can reduce stress in your life, even remove stress altogether, while making yourself more awesome than ever. We’ll tell you how.

Is your geometry teacher a Velociraptor?

Stress is Mother Nature’s way of alerting you to a threat. Say, from a lunging Velociraptor. Got it? Outstanding! Here’s another pop quiz:

Imagine the stress you would feel if your geometry teacher really was a velociraptor. Dinosaur Velociraptor. 3D rendering Ralf Juergen Kraft/ShutterstockYou see a Velociraptor. You're stressed. What do you do?

a. You manage your stress by closing your eyes and engaging a “stress management” technique like this.

b. You eliminate the cause of your stress by tossing a couple of juicy steaks at the Velociraptor and getting the heck out of there.

Yeah, we know. Velociraptors are extinct. Your geometry teacher, on the other hand, lies in wait for you tomorrow morning. What do you do about her? Find a way to master the material she covers in class? Ask for help?

Don’t manage stress. Kill stress. With confidence.

While you deep-breathe your way through the answers to those questions, we’ll get to the point: Don't manage stress. Reduce stress. Maybe stomp it out altogether.

Step one: Figure out what's making you stressed. Step two: Do whatever you have to do to change things. Yes, sometimes that's easier said than done. But other times...

Maybe your geometry teacher really is a Velociraptor, ready to tear out your thorax. Or maybe you'll discover that she's a whole lot less scary once you find a way to stop falling asleep in geometry class. Stress = stomped.

We’ve assembled ten ideas to help you gain confidence in your ability to tackle Velociraptors anywhere—in school and in life. Any one of these will help you become just a little bit more awesome than you already are. So don’t stress and try to tackle all ten. Just pick one, make it your own.

And let us know what happens.

Get oriented.
Think you’re stressed? Imagine being in a plane, directly in the line of fire. “OODA” got one fighter pilot out alive every time, and it’ll help you navigate everything from high school to your future. Read on.
Get organized
After ten hours at school, no one’s in the mood for a homework marathon. That’s why we’ve compiled three strategies to help you slash your homework time and learn more effectively. Better grades with less stress? YES!
Look 'em in the eye
Can you win at life just by putting down your smartphone? Eye contact experts say: absolutely. We’ve got all you need to know about the art of eye contact, including the “why” of the power of the eye.
Sleep already
Get sleep? With your schedule? LOL! Except, we’re not laughing, because your sleep deprivation could be upping your stress and lowering your grades. Turn things around with our “get more sleep” technique—it’ll only take 10 minutes.
Volunteer!
Volunteering is good for your health. Science says so! That’s why we’ve compiled the resources you’ll need to get going on this stress-busting habit—whatever your interests, and wherever you live.
Exercise. Now.
You don’t need us to tell you that one of the most universal stress-reducing techniques involves getting off your duff and shakin’ it. But just in case, here’s the skinny on exercise that makes you awesome.
Get blogging
World domination through Wordpress? Well, there are other blogging platforms, too. Bottom line, if you’re not already writing online, you should be. We’ve got the stress-busting, life-changing “why.”
Get coding
Computer code is the global language of our age. That’s why those who can code have a big advantage over those who can’t. Think you’re not cut out to be a coder? We beg to differ…
Get smart(er)
Your computer isn’t the only thing in need of an upgrade. So is that CPU between your ears. The good news: A higher IQ is within reach. Start by playing this game for just 15 minutes a day.
Get lucky
What could be more stress-free than a life in which good things just fall into your lap? We can’t imagine—and we want that life to be yours. Make it happen by grabbing paper and a pen…then read this.

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