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Breathing strategy stories from teen book

Stolen Car


I needed to use some strategies not too long ago.  I used the breathing ratio to keep myself under control when my car was stolen from the student parking lot.  I was very worried about my car but thanks to the breathing strategy, I got through the day.


Luckily, the police found my car later the same day and there was no damage done to it.  It was very important that I didn’t flip out because that would have made the day much worse.


Senior, Strategies for Success



The Race


I’ve learned a lot of strategies but the one that’s been the most useful by far is the breathing ratio.  It was a less than nice morning the Saturday that I had my one mile race.  I was racing a new distance against a freshman who was new to the team.  He was being hyped up and we all looked forward to a close race.


It started drizzling before the race started and it was a little windy too.  I used the breathing strategy before the race began to clear my mind and to help me focus on the race ahead since I knew I had good competition. I ended up running a 5:05 mile, beat the new freshman and became the first from our school to win the one mile race in a meet which means I now hold the record.


Freshman, Strategies for Success I



The Road Test


I have used the breathing ratio right from the beginning.  I find it helps me focus on how I want things to turn out rather than on everything that could go wrong.  On the day of my road test, I was really nervous.  It was a week that it had snowed nonstop and I wasn’t sure if my appointment would be cancelled.  In my Mom’s Jeep Grand Cherokee, we drove to the place where the test was held anyway


Earlier that week because of the snow and ice, my mother had skidded into a pole and had broken the tail light.  Between the weather and the broken tail light, I wasn’t sure I was even going to be able to take the test.  When I got there a man came to my window and said he would be right back.  I had the chance to breathe.  Although I had been nervous, I calmed right down.


The driving examiner made me very comfortable during the test and I passed!  I’m very excited that I got my license and it was thanks to the breathing ratio!


Senior, Strategies for Success II



You Almost Hit My Car!


I was driving when a car from a dead end street pulled out in front of me.  The driver didn’t look both ways and didn’t stop at his stop sign.  The car stopped in the middle of the road and I almost hit it.  I could have gotten badly hurt because not only was the car there but also there was a telephone pole right next to me.


I was so stressed after the incident that I drove to the park near the water and breathed.  I did this several times before I got back on the road again.  I find that I use this strategy the most because with it I have less stress which makes my life easier.


Junior, Strategies for Success


My First Day of High School


My first day of freshman year…wow! My heart pounded.  I was sweating and my hair was a mess because of the rain. My day was already horrible. All the freshmen were instructed to go to the auditorium.  As if we weren’t stressed enough, one of the staff members came in and started talking to us about high school.  She made it seem like the next four years were going to be the worst experience of my life.  It felt as if she had taken two tons of bricks and dropped them on my shoulder.  I really wish I had known some strategies then. 


The strategy I would have used was to breathe.  Whenever you are in a situation that is unsettling or really stressful, all you have to do is breathe.  It calms you down and clears your head.  You are bringing much needed oxygen to the brain.  I am constantly using this method.  It is a life saver!


Junior, Strategies for Success I and II



The Driving Test


It was March 19, 2004.  I couldn’t have been more excited or nervous.  That was the day I was going to take my driver’s test.  As we pulled up to the spot, my dad got out of the car and the woman who was giving me my test got in.

“All right” she said, “I need to see your permit, insurance, and car registration.” Okay,” I thought, “It must be in the glove compartment.”  I opened the glove compartment and pulled out some papers.  I shuffled though them nervously until I found what I needed.


“This has expired,” she said in her Rhode Island accent.  I began to panic, but then I remembered, “Breathe”.  I began to use the breathing ratio. I immediately began to calm down.


Eventually we got the papers and I got my license!


Sophomore, Strategies for Success I



A Classroom Experience



I walked into A139 with a bubble of excitement in my stomach.  I could hardly imagine putting myself in a classroom to learn to be successful.  Yet my schedule led me right to that room, front row, staring into a big fear.


Throughout that semester I learned more than I saw coming.  Different people absorb things so very differently. It’s the beauty of variety. The in’s and out’s of class left me with two deep marks in my life.


One of the best things I learned was the breathing ratio.  It wasn’t that I didn’t understand how to breathe  It was the fact that it was used in the class.   A few days after learning the ratio, I had a day filled with stress.  My mind ran fast.  I stopped to breathe. Breathing made me calm down enough where I could give myself some time.  It became a part of my life.


The second thing I learned was my personal learning style (see description of learning styles in the story “Learning Styles and Relationships” in the Relationship Strategies chapter).  Over time, it became part of me becoming better in many aspects of my life.  Knowing myself as being auditory and kinesthetic, I knew how to manage my frustration, my schoolwork, friendships and romance.  It helped calm me and helped me know how to deal with a frustrating mother.  I knew more how to help myself in school


Above all else, I learned about “connection”.  My biggest joy came from having a class to go to where I knew I was safe.  It introduced me to a class filled with energy and passion.  And let me find some of those things in myself.


Junior, Strategies for Success I



Dealing with Parents


One night my parents made me really upset.  I really hate being mad.  It doesn’t feel good at all.  You know the feeling.  It isn’t fun.  While I was in my room, I did the breathing I learned.  I did about five or six deep breaths because I needed a lot of calming down.  Slow breaths in deeply while counting to five.  Hold for a quiet twenty counts and let it out for ten.  It really worked. 


My anger wasn’t completely gone but it went down to a really low level.  I could actually think straight and focus on other things.  It feels good when you have control over the way you feel.  Breathing is really good...and smiling helps!


Senior, Strategies for Success I





This past Thanksgiving, I ran late as usual and my father who must always be on time got very annoyed.  While I tried to finish getting ready in the car on the way to dinner,  I got make up all over my blouse.  Instead of getting upset, I just sat, closed my eyes and did my breathing. 


Afterwards I felt much better and even discovered how great baby wipes are for taking out stains! 


Senior, Strategies for Success I




The Dance Teacher


A  year ago this March, one of the women closest to me, my dance teacher,  passed away.  I didn’t know how to handle it.  I thought I would never get over it.  But then I remembered the breathing exercise.  It helps  in more ways than you might think.  I took a breath and as I did, I thought of all the good things my dance teacher taught me. I started to calm down and see that things were really going to be ok.


            Now, whenever I look back over the years when she was still with us, I no longer get teary.  I breathe and feel better.  All in all,  I’ve learned that something that seems so simple as breathing could help me through my dark moments.  Don’t let the simplicity of the breathing exercise escape you.  The proof is when you try it because you’ll see that it works.


Senior, Strategies for Success II



Test Taking Strategies


I used to hate taking tests.  I would study so much the night before but when I went to take the test, I would blank out.  I didn’t know why but every time I had a test this would happen.  Then I learned how to breathe. It’s the 1:4:2 ratio.  You can use this method when you are stressed out when taking a test.


            There is also another thing that can help you when you’re taking a test.  When you blank out, tell yourself that you will remember the answer in a minute. (Telling yourself that will help you remember what it is your had forgotten).  If you tell yourself you can’t, then you won’t.  It really works.  I am doing very well on tests now.


Also, if you can’t remember, find out where your eyes look when someone asks you a memory question. If you normally look up to the right when you remember, try looking up there when you’re stuck..  It worked for me!


Junior, Strategies for Success

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