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Combatting stress with yoga and workshops

MAASTRICHT. The Educational Programme Committee of the Maastricht Science Programme was wondering how stressed their students actually are. A survey among 129 MSP students showed that the situation was more  favourable  than anticipated. It is true that they are practically all stressed at some time – especially during exam periods – but the majority feel that it is part of student life and sometimes it even works as a motivator.

Approximately 72 per cent are only stressed during those specific moments, the other 28 per cent feel a constant pressure. They have trouble sleeping, are curt, afraid of failing and have no time for relaxation. Almost 50 per cent give themselves a 7 or higher on a ten-point scale for the way in which they deal with stress. The survey asked whether more so-called assessment points – test instances, such as a presentation, a paper or an exam – during that period would help? Opinions were divided on this matter: 54 per cent feel they would, but 46 per cent think that it would just bring on more stress.

The students did, however, have other tips for improving things, such as organising yoga lessons in exam weeks or providing workshops on ‘dealing with stress’ or ‘more effective studying’. “We are going to see whether we can set up yoga classes, for example together with UM Sports,” says Yara van Ingen, student member of EPC. “We are also going to talk to the psychological counsellors for students at the Student Services Centre to see if we can develop a workshop with them or inform our students better about the workshops that are already available.”

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