Exam pressure, deadlines, job interviews and presentations can all make you feel like a nervous wreck.
Just when you need to remain calm, your heart's racing, your palms are sweaty, your voice sounds strange and your mind goes blank.
Well, with a little help from neuroscience, here are three easy and reliable techniques you can use to literally keep calm and carry on, no matter what.
Of course there are other things you can do to combat stress but this trio of tips will hopefully give you instant calm.
First, a breathing exercise.
I want you to take a deep belly-breath through your nose for five seconds hold it for a second, then push all the air out through your nose, slowly, counting to five.
Repeat a few times and you'll feel calmer.
For centuries, yogis and Buddhists have used controlled breathing techniques like this to gain the upper hand over the nervous system and science is beginning to understand how it works.
Research has identified a specific network of neurons in the brain stem called the pre-Botzinger complex that regulates breathing and communicates with other parts of the brain.
Under stress we tend to breathe very quickly as our body prepares for danger, which is useful if you need to run away but not if you're about to speak in public.