How do you deal with stress/nerve wrecking situations?

  1. I have to attempt something really stressful and nerve wrecking tomorrow evening. My future and my family's future depends on everything going smoothly, but for the most part it's out of my control. I know I'm being very vague but it's a touchy and private subject and I don't want to give out too much information. Anyway, I'm 21 and have pretty much no experience with things like this, so I'm ridiculously nervous and scared. I haven't slept all night and I keep getting burst of panic throughout the day. I have no idea how I'm going to prepare myself to do this in just over 24 hours. I feel like I'm responsible for everyone else in my family, which is just too much to deal with right now.

    Can anyone give me any advice about how to calm myself down a bit? If you've been in these "do or die" situations, how did you deal with it? I've obviously been in regular nerve wrecking situations (work evaluations, exams, the lsat, etc--the usual things), but never anything like this. At this rate, I think I might just pass out when the time actually comes. If anyone can give me any advice I would really appreciate it.
  2. First of all, if you THINK it's a problem. It IS a problem. Secondly, the more you worry, the worse it will be. Just relax and breath normally. That helps keeping your mind clear. Then you can handle better whatever comes to you at the moment. If you have to say anything, take a deep breath first. If you have to take any action, take a deep breath first. Always remember to breath as deep as possible. Good luck.
  3. For me I tend to feel worse and worried BEFOREHAND than when I'm actually in the heat of the moment working the problem, if that makes any sense.

    Try to identify all possible things that could happen and what action you will take. And if you know anyone close to you who has dealt with a similar situation they could give you advice as well.