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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Eight ways to fight the stress of finals

Photo by Photo by: Alexis Will

Symptoms of stress include low energy, headaches, slow-stumbling walk, upset stomachs and insomnia.

With finals approaching and stress levels rising, students often struggle to find ways to relax. Battalion news reporter Rylie Hester spoke with psychology professor and clinical psychologist Jack Bodden and psychology professor and behavioral and neuroscience specialist Shane Clifford about several ways to shut stress down before it becomes a problem.

1. Change your perception

“We assess the problem itself and how significant it is,” Bodden said. “Sometimes we attach far too much significance, such as if you don’t make a ‘B’ it will be the end of the world. This is very common and we feel a lot more stress because of it. You need to stop and ask if your assessment of the stressor is realistic. How we think often determines what level of stress it will be. Change how you think, and you’ll change how you feel. If there’s a snake on the floor, as long as you believe it’s dangerous, you’ll feel stress.

2. Rely on your abilities

“When we look at the stressor, we assess our abilities to handle it,” Bodden said. “Stress occurs when we think that we can’t handle the situation. An athlete enjoys a good opponent, if they’re confident in their abilities. I assess my resources, and if I decide that they are adequate, there’s no stress. We tend to devalue our own experience when we should give credit to our abilities.” 

3. Act accordingly to the problem

“Try to fix the problem,” Bodden said. “With finals, you can study or go to tutoring for the test.” 

4. Accept the situation and move on

“There’s lots you can do, such as meditation, to quiet the emotions,” Bodden said. “You can talk to a friend about the problem. If you’re religious, you can turn to prayer. You don’t want to be overwhelmed by negative experiences.” 

5. Get active

“Physical activity is very useful, because it depletes stress hormones and helps you to relax,” Bodden said.

“Maintaining diet and exercise is very beneficial for minimizing the impacts that finals will have on you,” Clifford said. “Preventing stress, not so much, but exercise is a great and healthy way to relieve some of that pressure.” 

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