Stress & Stress Reduction
Stress is the body's normal response to anything that throws it off-balance. This can be positive (like a new relationship or a promotion at your job) or negative (like a big exam or a break-up), but either way, we feel the impact.
Stress reduction refers to a whole array of strategies that guide us back to a sense of relaxation and comfort. If you've tried some strategies before, there are always different ones to try!
Think you may be stressed? Check out stress warning signs and symptoms to be sure!
Stress Reduction On Campus
Tame your tension by using what's available to you on-campus:
Biofeedback | Mindfulness Meditation | Mental Health Counseling | Stress-Free Week Activities | Stress Balls, Bubbles & Aromatherapy | Athletic Center Facilities | Free Yoga and Zumba Classes | Oasis511 (Campus Ministry)
EmWave (our biofeedback program) is an excellent way to decrease feelings of stress and anxiety. A sensor is connected to your ear lobe to display heart rate, which will be measured as you practice deep breathing while using imagery and games. Benefits of biofeedback include decreased anxiety, better focus and sleep, and feeling more calm, peaceful and positive.
To use EmWave, please make an appointment with the Health & Wellness Center.
Mindfulness meditation, basically just paying attention to the present moment, can help relieve stress. Spend just minutes a day in meditation and increase your ability to cope. The Health & Wellness Center provides weekly mindfulness meditation practices on campus.
Sometimes we can feel hit with a tidal wave of challenges. Talking things over with a counselor can provide a little extra help with navigating and finding new ways to stay steady in stress-provoking situations.
If you would like to speak to a counselor, don't hesitate to make an appointment.
Stress-Free Week Activities
Stress-Free Week takes place during finals week each semester. The Health & Wellness Center, along with Campus Life, facilitates many stress-free activities, such as kickball tournaments, movie screenings, scavenger hunts, yoga, zumba, pet therapy, chair massages, hand massages, and aromatherapy.
Stress balls, aromatherapy and bubbles are available from the counselors in the Health & Wellness Center. Stress balls prompt you to squeeze and release, which can leave you feeling less tense than when you started.
The act of squeezing releases some energy and that induces relaxation. It is not surprising that blowing bubbles is relaxing. Relaxation techniques usually focus on breathing exercises, because slower and deeper breathing is proven to have a calming effect. The same thing happens when you blow bubbles.
Aromatherapy is a great stress reducer and can be available to us everywhere. Accumulating evidence now shows that the fragrance of flowers and herbs can help us to change our thinking and therefore our behavior.
The Athletic Center facilities offer many ways to engage in physical activity, which not only keeps the heart healthy, but helps to reduce and prevent the effects of stress through the release of endorphins. Facilities available include: fitness center/weight room, baseball complex, football stadium, track and field complex, and a varsity gym.
The Student Government Association offers both yoga and zumba for free! These are fun ways to be physically active, which helps to prevent and reduce stress. Visit the SGA Services page for more information on class times and dates.
Oasis511 is located in Campus Center and is a beautiful, calming environment suitable for quiet moments of mediation or prayer. For information about Oasis511, contact Campus Ministry at (585) 385-8368 or visit the Campus Ministry website.
- Stress Management Strategies (including ideas to fight off stress)
- Phone Apps: BreathBiofeedback, Breath Pacer Lite, MyCalmBeat, and DoAsOne