Managing student stress and anxiety

Written by: Samantha Burgess

As college students most of us would explain that we are always busy. Whether that’s going to class, working on an assignment, hanging out with friends, working at a job, volunteering, playing a sport or much more. This list of activities that fill our days can seem infinite.
Sometimes it becomes hard to balance everything that’s going on in our lives and it seems like there’s never enough time to finish everything. With these overwhelming feelings come stress, and sometimes anxiety. As someone who deals with stress and anxiety I know that it can disrupt our ability to function.
According to, stress and anxiety are different.

Stress comes from the pressures of life. As we are pushed to finish tasks that put a lot of pressure on our minds and body, it causes our adrenaline and blood pressure to spike.
Anxiety is a result of stress. It’s a continued feeling of fear or apprehension that overcomes all other emotions. Anxiety remains even after the task or event that caused your initial stress is gone. It can cause physical symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pains, dizziness and panic attacks. (healthstatus)
Through my personal ups and downs with stress and anxiety, I’ve discovered four ways to help deal with them.
The first solution is to talk to someone. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t bottle it up. Share your feelings with a friend, parent, teacher, pastor or even a therapist. I will admit that there was a time in my life where my stress became a deeply rooted feeling of constant anxiety. This lead me to talk to my mom, doctor and then a therapist.
My therapist helped to work through a lot of my anxiety and made me realize a lot of the negative thought processes I was allowing myself to have.

The Bible encourages counseling in Proverbs 15:22, “Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.” I would only recommend therapy if anxiety is a constant problem in your life, but if you’re seriously stressed I would recommend talking to someone you trust.
The second solution is to get organized and manage your time. Sit down and make a list of what you need to do. With this I don’t mean only assignments, I also mean sports, work, and social events.
After you’ve made your list, organize it into how important it is. Do you need to do it today? Do you have time? Choose the tasks that best fit these questions and make a schedule of what to get done that day. Set a desired time to do each thing. Whatever isn’t urgent and has more time to be done, add it to your schedule for the rest of the week. The Bible even encourages us in Ephesians 5:16 to be “making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”
The third solution is to have a little “me time.” This means allowing yourself to relax. One way to do that is when you’re studying or working on a rigorous assignment, take a break. Spending anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes relaxing and taking your mind off the assignment can help you to come back to it happier and refreshed.
If time permits it, take thirty minutes or even an hour to do something you love. Do your regular devotion, read, watch TV, play a game, listen to music, or hang out with friends. That last one is important too. While your academic life should be a priority, you should also set aside time at least once a week to be with friends.

Rest and relaxation are an important part of a balanced life. Mark 6:13 noted, “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’”
The fourth solution might be an obvious one, but take a special time to pray and be in God’s Word. I find that whenever I become stressed or anxious, it’s usually because I’m relying on myself to do something. It’s much easier to deal with things if you pray and trust God. I always manage to find comfort in the Lord and the Bible. I have a lot of favorite verses about stress and anxiety, but I’ll share two.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Also, 1 Peter 5:7, which says to, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.”
These are four ways students can deal with stress and anxiety. I’m no expert, but these are ways I find personally helpful. I hope this article will be an encouragement and help you deal with stress and anxiety.