As I mentioned last week, stress can affect our body, mind, emotions and behaviour - often in negative ways. Because of this we need to put in place some techniques to help us manage STRESS. Here are some simple ways: S = Support System: Many teenagers who are stressed tend to isolate themselves. This is never a good way of dealing with stress. When you are alone there is no one there to support you and your mind can tell you terrible things about yourself. It is important to have a good support system. If you don't have a good support system, spend the next five minutes writing down the names of five people who could help you during these stressful times. T = Talking: Talking is a great way to release stress. In your support system, have someone's name down as a mentor, someone who has been through exams before. Parents once did exams, so did your teachers. You could talk to them about your stress, and I am sure they would be willing to listen. By talking, it means you get out those horrible thoughts, like 'I am not good enough' and 'what if I fail', out of your mind. This frees up your mind to study. R = Relaxation: Where do you feel most relaxed? Is it sitting in a park, going to the beach, watching your favourite TV show, reading a book, or hanging out with friends? Find somewhere you can go to escape for a little while. This will help to relax your mind so you can concentrate better as you sit down to study. Schedule some time in your diary for relaxation. E = Exercise: A healthy body equals a healthy mind. It's important to take time out of your week to do some exercise. A 20-minute walk or jog will get rid of the tension and anxiety that comes along with stress. You'll feel great, look great and have a healthier mind. It is so much easier to concentrate when you are feeling your best. Find some type of exercise you can be involved in. Do you like to exercise alone? If so a walk or run might be best. If you like group activities, you could join a team sport. S = Sleep: It is very important to get your minimum of eight hours-a-night sleep. Cramming before an exam or pulling an all-nighter will only make you tired and less able to concentrate when you sit down for the exam. Your mind needs the rest. If you have got into the habit of sleeping after school and staying awake at night, you need to break it. Come up with a schedule so that you get eight hours of sleep. If that means you need to start the day at 6am, you should be in bed by 10pm. S = Schedule: It is extremely important to be organised. If you are not good at this, ask someone for help. Write down everything that you need to get done when you return home from school, scheduling in some time for relaxation, homework and revision. Follow your schedule, because this will help you to relax since you know that you have prepared well.