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Twenty One Pilots understands me. Their song “Stressed Out” has become one of my favorites. Here are some of the lyrics:

I was told when I get older all my fears would shrink,
But now I’m insecure and I care what people think.

Wish we could turn back time, to the good ol’ days,
When our momma sang us to sleep but now we’re stressed out.
Wish we could turn back time, to the good ol’ days,
When our momma sang us to sleep but now we’re stressed out.

We’re stressed out.

But it would remind us of when nothing really mattered,
Out of student loans and treehouse homes we all would take the latter.

We used to play pretend, give each other different names,
We would build a rocket ship and then we’d fly it far away,
Used to dream of outer space but now they’re laughing at our face,
Saying, “Wake up, you need to make money.”

Sound familiar? If you’re a student, the stress you feel is probably related to your finals, your midterms, your finances, your relationships or any number of other things listed in these lyrics. No matter the source of our stress, we have to find ways to handle it because stress generally doesn’t get any easier later in life.

Give me Your attention. Answer these sighs of sorrow; my troubles have made me restless—I groan from anxiety.

Psalm 55:2 The Voice

We find ourselves sighing, groaning, and down-right miserable from stress!
Stress affects our bodies. Common effects of stress on your body include:

  • Headache
  • Muscle tension or pain.
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach upset
  • Sleep problems

So how do you survive finals, midterms, or any stressful time? Here are 8 quick tips:

1. Talk it out

Don’t keep your anxiety bottled up inside. Talk to a friend, roommate or family member about the anxiety you feel. Try praying; tell God what you are worried about and what you would like him to do to intervene for you.

Turn all your anxiety over to God because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7 God’s Word

Anxious hearts are very heavy, but a word of encouragement does wonders!

Proverbs 12:25 Living Bible

2. Clear it out

This one’s simple: declutter your space. Just having a clearer space will relieve some of your stress.

 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

1 Corinthians 14:40 NIV

Of course, don’t go overboard and spend more of your time re-doing your desk than you do studying. But it’s worth it to take the time to create some order in your life.

3. Plan it out

Make a calendar of all your assignments and include how much estimated time you’ll need to do each one. Worrying takes a lot of energy but it’s not very productive. Planning will actually help you be successful.

 Which one of you can add a single hour to your life or 18 inches[a] to your height by worrying really hard? 26 If worry can’t change anything, why do you do it so much?

Luke 12:25-26 (VOICE)

4. Chill out

Listen to music while you study, or if that doesn’t help you, listen to music during a study break. Finding positive ways to relax your brain is important to handling stress in a healthy way, and music has been shown to reduce stress.

 I call to mind my music; it keeps me company at night. Together with my heart I contemplate; my spirit searches, wondering, questioning:

Psalm 77:6

5. Sweat it out

Clear your head with a 15-minute jog or brisk walk outside. The fresh air will do you some good and it is good for your body to not sit for too long.

6. Don’t always eat out

Sometimes the best study sessions are in someone’s home or dorm room with some cookies you popped in the oven or freshly popped popcorn. Sometimes a home (especially not your own) can be a relaxing environment to study in. Plus, you won’t have the added financial stress of buying food or trying to find an outlet for your laptop.

 Don’t reduce your life to the pursuit of food and drink; don’t let your mind be filled with anxiety.

Luke 12:29 Voice

This Scripture says “don’t let your mind be filled with anxiety.” To me, that means making choices that will reduce stress in your life. What kind of studying environment will reduce your stress?

7. Sign out

Take a social media break. Try giving up social media during especially busy times so you aren’t sucked into the vortex of never-ending posts, videos, and likes.

 Banish emotional stress from your mind. and put away pain from your body; for youth and the prime of life are fleeting.

Ecclesiastes 11:10 NET

Sometimes social media creates more emotional stress instead of reducing it. You see a post from someone at the beach and wish you were there, or you read a sad news story you can’t get out of your head. Take a break from this kind of emotional stress; don’t add any of that to your already-full plate. You’ll be surprised how much extra time and energy you have!

8. Hang out

Hearing this about your faith, brothers and sisters, brought comfort to us in our stress-filled days of trouble and suffering.

1 Thessalonians 3:7 Voice

Don’t go it alone! During stress-filled days, make time for your friends. Meet up with a friend at the library or take a lunch break from studying. Comfort sometimes comes from hearing about other people’s faith, even if you don’t have your own.

Finally, make sure to turn to God and he will help you deal with your stress. Here are a few additional Scriptures in which God talks to us about dealing with stress:

When anxiety overtakes me and worries are many, Your comfort lightens my soul.

Psalm 94:19 The Voice

28 “Come to me all of you who are tired from the heavy burden you have been forced to carry. I will give you rest. 29 Accept my teaching.[a]Learn from me. I am gentle and humble in spirit. And you will be able to get some rest. 30 Yes, the teaching that I ask you to accept is easy. The load I give you to carry is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30(ERV)

3 And that’s not all. We are full of joy even when we suffer. We know that our suffering gives us the strength to go on.4 The strength to go on produces character. Character produces hope.
Romans 5:3-5 (NIRV)

Those who love Your law have an abundance of peace, and nothing along their paths can cause them to stumble.

Psalm 119:165 Voice

My peace is the legacy I leave to you. I don’t give gifts like those of this world. Do not let your heart be troubled or fearful.

John 14:27 Voice

Written by

Mandy Kiluk

Mandy Kiluk currently works in the ministry at BACC and a University of California, Berkeley alum.