Many people tend to think that all stress is out of their control.  This is not true.  You can do many thind to keep stress under control.  In a sense, everything you do to maintain your health is a way to manage stress. 

It is important to distinguish between stressors that you can control and those you cannot.  You cannot control natural disasters or major life changes such as the death of a grandparent.  The adults in your family control your physical evironment.  They decide where you live and who lives with you. 

There are, however, many stressors in your life that you can work to change.  These stressors tend to be the everyday problems.  For example, you were in danger of failing math.  What can you do?  You could ignore the problem and pretend not to be worried or you could confront the problem and devise a plan to improve your grade.  Your plan might include asking a friend for help, cutting down on other activities to focus more on math, and paying more attention in class.

If you direct your energy toward those things that are within your power to change, you may be surprised to see what a difference you can make.  Two techniques can help you keep stress under control are time management and mental rehearsal.

Time Management - Do you often wish there were more hours in a day?  Do you tend to put things off until the last minute?  If you answered yes to these questions, you may not be managing your time effectively.  Poor time management is one of the biggest contributors to stress.  You can learn to use time more productively, which leads to not only more done each day, but you will also feel more in control of your life.  As a bonus, you might also end up with more time for fun and relaxation.

Mental Rehearsal - Suppose you have a big event coming up, such as a solo in a concert.  If you are worried about your performance, you might use a technique known as a mental rehearsal to help you prepare.  In a mental rehearsal, you practice an event without actually doing the event.  The event takes place in your mind as you imagine yourself performing at your best.  You might rehearse every aspect of the event a few times over until you feel confident that you can perform it as imagined.  Of course, a mental rehearsal does not replace the need to actually practice for an event. 

Athletes often use rehearsals while preparing for a competition.  This technique helps athletes to stay focused on their performances during highly stressful times.  You can also use mental rehearsal to prepare for a difficult conversation with a family member or a friend. 

When you first try this technique, it may be difficult to keep your mind focused on the rehearsal.  You might find that you are easily distracted by outside events.  With practice, though, you will improve your ability to focus and put all distractions aside.