It can be easy to get overwhelmed by stress—especially when your thoughts and emotions run away from you. Yet, you can learn to stay in control. You can ride the wave of life instead of being thrown around by it—or even drowning. Learn and practice the 7-C coping method to manage the daily stresses of life.

1. Control. You need to feel in control of your own life. As a teen, this can sometimes feel limited because your parents are strict, or your teachers have high expectations. But you need some space to think for yourself and make your own decisions.
2. Competence. Feeling competent increases your confidence. You can push outside your comfort zone and be okay. By building talents and abilities you already have, you can develop new skills and strengths.
3. Confidence. Confidence helps you take risks and identify new coping strategies. You start to believe that you’ll be okay no matter what.
4. Connection. Healthy relationships are essential. A sense of community and belonging is important when you’re stressed. These connections can help you find resources to cope.
5. Character. This is your moral compass—what you stand for and your values. Being clear about your values can help you overcome stressful situations.
6. Coping. There’s healthy coping and unhealthy coping, and it’s important for you to develop healthy coping mechanisms, like self-care strategies or relaxation techniques.
7. Contribution. If you help others, you’re more likely to ask for help. It strengthens families and communities when members lean on and rely on each other.
So now you know the 7C technique, and you’re probably aware that you can’t just eliminate stress from your life. Considering one C (“coping”), here are some healthy examples:

• set boundaries
• accept yourself for all that you are
• get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise regularly
• balance your life with routine, responsibilities, and play
• let yourself fail and make mistakes—and don’t beat yourself up
• find creative ways to express yourself
• recognize and manage your triggers
• talk to a trusted adult when you need help