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Have you had that feeling that you have so much to do but you just can’t move? Have you felt like a tea pot at the moment it shakes in preparation to let off steam?

That’s pressure building—a common experience for most students as they prepare to go to college or make any big change that requires effort.

Pressure can be either a shackle or motivator. Most successful people have learned to harness their stress. Without solid coping skills, pressure can easily turn into crippling anxiety.

“As parents and educators, we too often focus on achievements—doing more to stand out,” says John Stephenson, founder of Beyond Education. “However, building the soft skills to deal with stress won’t just contribute to academic success, but it builds a foundation for success later in life.”

Here are five coping strategies, we believe are good starting points:

  1. Set priorities and simplify. Pressure builds when your to-do list has more on it than you can accomplish. American business magnate Warren Buffet credits success to intense focus.
  2. Time management: Planning ahead and managing your time is a great way to reduce pressure, but it takes a realistic approach. Find your most productive time, build from there and schedule your day.
  3. Exercise: A brisk walk or a run around the block is a great way to burn off some stress hormones like cortisol. Then you can get back to refocusing on your project.
  4. Meditation: NBA star LeBron James credits his success to good mental fitness and uses meditation techniques to prepare before any important performance—on and off the court.
  5. Talk it out: Everyone deals with stress, and by talking to others you will know you are not alone. What you don’t want to do is put a lid on pressure and set a scenario for a potential blow up. Early intervention is key.

Figure out a way—your way—to make pressure work for you, not against you. At Beyond Education, we specialize in teaching soft skills like stress management because we know that the habits you create today set the foundation for all of your tomorrows. Learn more about our programs online.