Exams. They start in two weeks. And I’m stressed. I expect you might be too, with over three quarters of university students reporting being stressed in their daily lives.
Around this point of the term, your College and YUSU will probably start advertising stress busting events – like puppies or a ‘free alcohol’ BBQ. These make you feel good for a couple of hours, then leave you to revise alone – somewhere where there’s very little chance of puppies and any alcohol certainly isn’t free.
Psychologists agree there are better ways to tackle stress and anxiety – for example mindfulness, breathing training, and techniques to change how you perceive stressful situations (your “stress mindset”).
Stress management coach Glyn Blackett of York Biofeedback has developed a programme for resilience training based on all these, and in particular focusing on biofeedback – a technology that monitors physical changes in the body as a basis for training optimal breathing and relaxation skills.
York Biofeedback is looking for up to 20 volunteers to trial this ground-breaking new programme for free, and claims it can help with any form of anxiety or stress, including “exam or performance nerves”, social anxiety, panic attacks, “feeling constantly on-edge” and “problems with focus and concentration”.
As the web page points out, “this is a skills training programme, not counselling, and it can work even for ‘techies’ and others who don’t feel very emotionally literate or who don’t want to have to talk about their feelings”.
The training involves teaching videos, one-to-one coaching (the office is on Campus, just a 5 minute walk from Alcuin College, where a large number of University of York exams are held), and working at home with loaned biofeedback equipment.