Tension, worries and fear

Stress, tension, low spirits, fears and worries are (unfortunately) unavoidable parts of life – and of studying for a degree. Challenges can create tension, and studying involves more than enough challenges.

However, it can sometimes be the case that you can no longer function in the way you would like to. This is when it makes sense to acquire skills that help you set priorities that are right for you and maintain a healthy balance between the demands you face and getting enough downtime.

Important: As soon as you start to feel that your situation is out of control, get support!Make an appointment with the Student Counselling Office by mail, or contact us by phone during our psychological counselling office hours, which take place Tuesdays from 2:00 to 3:00 pm.

How do tension, fear and worries show themselves?

The more we know about our unpleasant experiences and sensations, the easier it is to deal with them.

Worksheet: Understanding ourselves

Caught up in thoughts

Especially during stressful periods, our brain tends to keep us caught up in our thoughts. This can drastically reduce our ability to pay attention, our concentration and our productivity; we may also have difficulty shutting off or falling/staying asleep. Being aware of this helps us to free ourselves from this trap again and again and re-focus our attention on what is important.

Worksheet: Caught up in thoughts
Worksheet: The mind bully

Dealing with difficulties

The following exercises aim, on the one hand, to help you to differentiate between those situations you can change and those you have to (learn to) accept and, on the other, to help you deal with the things you can't change in a more relaxed way.

Worksheet: A shift in perspective
Worksheet: What is within my control?

Meditation and mindfulness training

Mindfulness and meditation are effective methods for dealing with difficult thoughts and feelings, learning to wind down, and increasing your ability to concentrate.

Worksheet: Mindfulness and meditation

Reducing your overall stress level

The lower your overall level of stress is, the less of a breeding ground there is for worries and fears. This is why it's worth using the following tips:

Stress management and relaxation


Getting help in times of crisis

In acute crises, chaos often breaks out in our minds. We feel agitated and unsettled and no longer know what to do next. In this kind of situation, what provides immediate help is to use the STOP approach before moving on to the next steps.

Worksheet: First aid for crises
Counselling for psychological problems and crisis support services