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Handle life's hiccups: you can't control everything that happens to you. But you can handle life's ups and downs like a pro!

Let's face it: Life doesn't always dish out cream puffs and apple pie. Whether it's friend drama, school stress or the seemingly impossible feat of getting your crush's attention, it can feel like the odds are stacked way against you. Here's how to face the hard stuff head-on so you can come out stronger--and smiling--in the end.

THE CHOICE IS YOURS

If you're like most girls, life wriggles outta your control several times a day. Whether it's getting the flu before the big softball game or doing not-so-hot on last week's algebra test, things aren't always gonna go your way (bummer, we know). So what do you do when it feels like the universe is plotting against you? First, know that whatever you're up against will not be a life-ruining tragedy. There will be more games, more tests, more chances for you to shine. Second, realize that you've got choices, chica, and defeat is only one of them. Then just take a deep breath. When you slow down your breathing, your brain actually sends neurohormones that restrain stress-producing hormones and give your bod the signal to relax. Simple so far, right?

FIND A FRIEND

While it may be easier to close yourself off to the people around you when times get tough (hello, avoidance!), you've gotta try to do the opposite. Next time you're in what feels like a hopeless sitch, try this: Instead of skipping the subject, go out of your way to talk about it with a parent, friend or adult you trust. They might be able to help. Feel that? It's the weight of the world lifting off your shoulders.

ADJUST YOUR MINDSET

Do ya sometimes notice yourself exaggerating a situation, just a little? Instead of a test being hard, it becomes "impossible." Or the cool party you weren't invited to is suddenly "the only place to be." Instead of looking at these situations as futile, realize that you have some control, even if it's over your own reaction. After all, you get to choose how you spend your night--sulking alone or having your own slumber party. Not such a tough decision, is it?

CHANGE DIRECTIONS

Ya know that cliche about turning lemons into lemonade? Give it a go. Just found out that your crush doesn't like you back? That's embarrassing and disappointing, but there will be other guys, promise. Didn't get cast in the school musical? Guess that just frees up time to take that pottery class you were considering. Think of it as one door closing and another opening. Go ahead and march through that door already!

BE A SURVIVOR

No matter how bright your outlook, there will be days that are pretty downright gruesome. Like when your 20-page history paper disappears into your laptop's black hole the night before it's due, or your BFF reveals your secret crush to the entire school. You may want to wallow, but here's the big secret: You already have what it takes to handle this hiccup. Take 10 deep breaths, step away from the sitch and come up with a plan of action. Know that whatever the outcome, it will make you wiser, savvier and stronger. And hey, you may even laugh about it one day!

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Author:Silken, Lindsey
Publication:Girls' Life
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2012
Words:538
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