Stressed much?

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Final exams start next week, and many BYU students are starting to cram for their exams. Almost no one can escape being stressed at the end of the semester. However, psychologists say it is not only necessary, but possible, to keep calm.

Many BYU students like Thomas Steel have being going crazy all semester with school, work and other activities. Steel is taking 20 credits while working, and he feels overwhelmed.

“I don’t have a life. I am very busy; I might have taken too much,” said Thomas Steel, a senior.

However, now that finals start next week, psychologists say it’s the time to try to relax the most.

“Your brain doesn’t work as well under a high level of stress. You want to have your brain working as well as possible for studying for a test or taking a test,”  said Dr. Barbara Morrell, psychologist at the BYU Counseling and Psychological Services Center.

Doctors say stress shuts down our minds and inhibit our ability to think clearly. They also say students usually put too much on their plate and they should prioritize.

”The one thing that kills me is that there is always something that you could do more. It doesn’t matter how many hours you spend, there is always more,” said Scott Kershaw, a BYU student.

“The only way to find balance is to make hard decisions about where to spend time and not stress out about the things you cannot get done,” Dr. Morrell said.

Experts say students also tend to worry too much about the things they can’t do anything about, like things that have already happened or things that might happen later.

”It can really help to do our best work if we can let go of the past and the future things and focus on the one thing in front of us right now,” Dr. Morrell said.

After finals, some students might think twice when planning their classes and activities for the upcoming semester.

“Yeah, so, 20 credits, I’ll have to rethink it next time I make that decision,” Steel said.

Experts also say that prioritizing and learning to relax aren’t only for finals week; they can also be helpful for anything we do in our lives. They say college is a good time to start learning relaxation skills, and the Counseling Center on campus has a program to help students learn to manage stress. This program is called “Stress Management & Biofeedback Services.”

To learn more about this program, go to the Counseling Center at the Wilkinson Center, room 1500, or visit this website:

https://caps.byu.edu/biofeedback-and-stress-management

 

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