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Taking the ACT on Saturday?

This week, I'll be posting 5 tips each day to help you start fresh with less stress.

1. GET A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT. Naoum Issa, Ph.D. and medical experts believe that you are more tired two days after you stay up too late.

2. REGULATE YOUR BREATHING. Understand how stress works in the body (more on this later) and breath to reduce it by "holding a deep 4-count inhale for 4 counts before a 4-count exhale."

This keeps you in the parasympathetic nervous system as opposed to the "fight or flight" sympathetic one.

3. BANISH PAST FAILURES FROM YOUR THOUGHTS. When "I don't test well" pops into your head, push it away because it doesn't have to be true. Just focus positively on what you are doing.

4. FIND YOUR CONFIDENCE. What's your method for successful dealing with other challenges in activities like sports, debating, acting, or settling issues between friends? Apply that to the test.

5. HUMAN TOUCH. You don't need to get a massage to benefit from simple skin-to-skin contact. A hug can raise oxytocin (the "bonding hormone") and lower cortisol, which raises stress.

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