Past You Said It!

Peace Out

Eleven-year-old Eliza asked this question: "When you feel nervous about something, what is one thing that helps you calm down?"

These girls shared their thoughts:

When I'm nervous about doing something big, I flip through my diary or photo album and remind myself about other goals I've reached. It helps me feel as if I can do anything.
–Lily, age 10, Nevada

I play basketball, and sometimes I feel nervous because I'm the only girl on the team. It makes me feel better when I believe in my abilities and remind myself how good I am at defense.
–Abby, age 9, Illinois

I snuggle with my cat, Freddy. Stroking his soft, warm fur helps me calm down.
–Erin, age 10, Maryland

If I need to quiet my jitters, I like to sing my favorite song. By the time I'm halfway through it, I already feel more peaceful.
–Grace, age 12, New Jersey

Hanging out with my friends is the cure for me. My friends bring out the best in me, and when I'm around them, my nervousness just seems to melt away.
–Allie, age 11, Arizona

I always feel nervous before soccer games. To deal with my worries, I talk to my mom, a friend, or a teammate about something other than soccer. It takes my mind off my upcoming game.
–Jordan, age 13, West Virginia

Something that always calms me down is drinking a glass of water. I pretend that the super-cold water is freezing my fear.
–Pamela, age 10, Georgia

When I'm nervous about a horse show, I just take a few deep breaths, and reassure myself that I've practiced a lot and I'm going to do fine. I also give my pony a hug!
–Camryn, age 11, New York

If I start to have stage fright, my theater coach gives the actors breathing exercises to do before going onstage. I find that breathing is calming and helpful.
–Dillon, age 12, Massachusetts

Before my first volleyball game, my friends and I got together at my house to talk about the big game and practice our volleyball skills together. It helped a lot!
–Elizabeth, age 11, Texas

One thing that helps me clear my head is working on algebra. I love figuring out complex problems—solving for the answers always makes me feel relaxed.
–Sarah, age 13, Ohio

I perform solos on my violin a lot, sometimes with nearly my whole town watching. Before I step onto the stage, I picture numbers in my head, counting backward from ten to zero. This really calms my nerves.
–Hannah, age 11, Colorado

I'm writing a book, and the main character is a girl who is brave, clever, and confident. When something scares me, such as going on a roller coaster for the first time, I just ask myself what she would do.
–Madeline, age 10, Iowa

Before a dance competition, I always get nervous. That's when I think about all of the cool trophies I have at home. I have one that's almost as tall as me! My accomplishments help me to think positively about my dancing.
–Allison, age 13, Kansas

If my nerves get the best of me, I just shake it out—literally! I shake my hands around or sway my arms back and forth. When I get moving, my jitters usually disappear.
–Kaela, age 11, Georgia

If I start to freak out about a performance, I go somewhere private, such as my bathroom, and make funny faces in the mirror. Most of the time I make myself giggle so much that I forget all about my nervousness.
–Veronica, age 12, Missouri

One thing that helps me feel calm is reading. When I read, I feel as if I'm in another world, and it helps me forget about my nerves.
–Emily, age 10, Connecticut

This might sound funny, but I like to pretend every person in the audience is an animal. I love animals, and just thinking about them helps me calm down whenever I'm on a stage.
–Siana, age 9, Minnesota

When I feel nervous, I usually take a deep breath, count to ten, and think of all of my favorite people, who will be proud of me when I go out there and perform or play in a game!
–Maggie, age 12, New York