Tests, an internship report, preparing presentations and doing a part-time job… it can get quite stressful. According to a study by the TK, more than half of the students in Germany are regularly stressed out – sometimes so much that their study progress suffers. “Stress lass nach” is a new workshop at the Carl von Linde Akademie. Kirsten Bannert explains what it is about.
A workshop to reduce stress – what exactly should I imagine?
Kirsten Bannert: The basic idea is to discuss the topic of “stress” from different perspectives: On the first day, we provide medical and psychological information on how stress arises – and we point out specific solutions for everyone to maintain a functioning energy balance. On the second day, we deal with thoughts that cause individual stress as well as with strategies of positive influence. In the third part, we focus on relaxation techniques, meditation and mindfulness, providing the participants with a stress buffer.
So it’s not so much about avoiding stress?
Right. The actual question is how to deal with everyday challenges in a more relaxed and healthy manner.
Who is the workshop aimed at?
Anyone who wants to learn more about himself/herself and about dealing with “stress” can benefit from the seminar. We all know situations or stages of life that are very challenging or difficult. Thus, it is good to be aware of one’s individual stress triggers of self-induced pressure, and to know how to address situations like that more adequately.
Why does the topic of stress play such an important role for so many students nowadays?
Our professional experience is that students often have to cope with a lot of things in a fairly short time. In addition, many have to take on a part time job to finance their studies. You need to be good at time management to manage everything – and to leave enough time for sports and other leisure activities.
This is not your only workshop. What topics do the other courses focus on?
Our seminar program includes courses on topics that, according to our experience, concern many students – for example how to pass exams without becoming stressed out or how to concentrate on what’s really important while learning. There are also seminars for chronic procrastinators or on the topics of performance anxiety and test anxiety. All seminars are based on a mixture of theoretical input and practical exercises, individual tasks, group work and reflection.
What should I do if I don’t like to talk about my concerns in front of a group? Can I get help in individual sessions?
Of course! There are many issues that are better discussed in one-on-one-conversations. In addition to our seminars, we also offer individual coachings that are open to all TUM students – free of charge. Also, we are of course obliged to respect confidentiality. Everything that is discussed in coaching will be treated with discretion. We also cooperate closely with the Psychosocial and Psychotherapeutic Advice Service which offers free advice concerning problems caused by studying as well as in personal conflict situations.
How do the students benefit? Do they get better grades? Are they more relaxed about exams?
That can differ – depending on the concerns they address us with. Of course, our work is mainly about the course of studies, about trying to ensure that the students can continue or complete their studies all right. Our evaluation results show that the coaching helps most students to become more confident. It helps them to organize themselves better and to keep up with the requirements of their course of studies. Mostly, the study results improve as well.
How can I contact you if I need assistance?
Quickly and easily by sending an e-mail to coaching(at)cvl-a.tum.de – and we will get in touch with you. We always try to arrange for a first meeting within a few days, so that the coaching process can start quite soon.
(Interview: Simone Müller)
Kirsten Bannert has been working in the scope of the project “Erfolgreich durchs Studium. Selbstkompetenz stärken“ at the TUM’s Carl von Linde Akademie since September 2013. Together with Bettina Hafner, she offers students workshops on topics regarding learning and motivational psychology, yoga & meditation as well as individual coaching sessions.
Carl von Linde-Akademie "Erfolgreich durchs Studium"