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Transforming Stress

 
We offer stress reduction training workshops throughout the year. These workshops involve training on a biofeedback program the Counseling Center uses called EmWave. EmWave is a "fun entertaining stress relief technology that helps balance your emotions, mind and body." Research shows that our bodies constantly send signals to let us know how we're doing (biofeedback). We now know that there is a relationship between the heart & brain; they actually communicate!  We can use information from reading heart rate variations to gain control over emotional responses to stress and reduce the negative effects of stress on our daily lives.

What to Expect from this Program

  • More Effective Control of Emotional Stress Reactions
  • Improvement of Mental Functioning and Concentration
  • Reduction of the Harmful Physiological Effects of Stress

Online Training for EmWave

You have the power to change how you feel. Take advantage of what the Counseling Center has to offer and click on the tutorial link below to learn to use the emWave® biofeedback program to reduce the negative effects of stress on your life!  After you've watched the tutorial, call the Counseling Center at 512.245.2208 for an "emWave appointment".

Watch the emWave Tutorial to learn about emWave and how you can use it to transform stress.

Check out this video to learn more about the HeartMath Institute and the foundations of emWave.

Guided Relaxation

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Information About Stress

Stress Warning Signals

Phyisical Symptoms

  • Headaches
  • Indigestion
  • Stomachaches
  • Sweaty palms
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Back pain
  • Tight neck, shoulders
  • Racing heart
  • Restlessness
  • Tiredness
  • Ringing in ears

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Excess smoking
  • Bossiness
  • Compulsive gum chewing
  • Attitude critical of others
  • Grinding of teeth at night
  • Overuse of alcohol
  • Compulsive eating
  • Inability to get things done

Emotional Symptoms

  • Crying
  • Nervousness, anxiety
  • Boredom; no meaning to things
  • Edginess; ready to explode
  • Feeling powerless to change things
  • Overwhelming sense of pressure
  • Anger
  • Loneliness
  • Unhappiness for no reason
  • Easily upset

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Trouble thinking clearly
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lack of creativity
  • Memory loss
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Thoughts of running away
  • Constant worry
  • Loss of sense of humor

Spiritual Symptoms

  • Emptiness
  • Loss of meaning
  • Doubt
  • Unforgiving
  • Martyrdom
  • Looking for magic
  • Loss of direction
  • Cynicism
  • Apathy
  • Needing to “prove” self

Relational Symptoms

  • Isolation
  • Intolerance
  • Resentment
  • Loneliness
  • Lashing out
  • Hiding
  • Clamming up
  • Lowered sex drive
  • Nagging
  • Distrust
  • Lack of intimacy
  • Using people
  • Fewer contacts with friends

Strategies for Managing Stress

Physical Strategies

  1. Get adequate sleep daily (8 hours preferable)
  2. Eat a balanced diet.
  3. Engage in regular exercise (at least 30 minutes 3-4 times weekly).
  4. Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake

Behavior Strategies

  1. Breakdown large projects and tasks into more manageable parts.
  2. Create daily task list and check off task as they are accomplished.
  3. Manage your time effectively by using a calendar to schedule specific times when you can work on tasks.
  4. Intentionally slow down your pace.
  5. Try to spend at least one hour of quiet/private time each day.
  6. Spend regular time socializing with friends and loved ones.
  7. Engage in activities which make you laugh.
  8. Engage in activities that you enjoy, greatly interest you, or which give you a sense of accomplishment.
  9. Look for opportunities to help and support others.
  10. Avoid symptom relieving self-indulgent behaviors such as over-eating, drinking, or using drugs.

Cognitive Strategies

  1. Re-evaluate the importance you place on many of your sources of stress. Often we make things better than they really are.
  2. Use self-talk to help you change the message you give to yourself. Think about stressful situations you have dealt with successfully in the past. Remind yourself that you were able to deal with them before.
  3. Think about how stress is affecting you mentally, emotionally and behaviorally and what you may be doing to make the stress you are experiencing worse.
  4. Take time daily to think about and be thankful for the positive things in your life.
  5. Attempt to have a positive rather than pessimistic outlook.

Emotional Strategies

  1. Learn to use relaxation, mental imagery techniques and/or meditation daily to counter anxiety and other physiological based emotional reactions to stress.
  2. Practice calming yourself at the beginning of each day.
  3. Develop interpersonal relationship with family and friends who can provide support during times of stress.
  4. Learn and practice the Freeze-Frame process.

Help Seeking Strategies

  1. Talk with someone close to you who can be of support to you.
  2. If you are difficulty managing stress, you may want to talk with a professional counselor. Due to time limitations, the Counseling Center does not provide counseling to faculty and staff but we can give you referral information.
  3. Check out the Counseling Center web site www.counseling.txstate.edu for self-help information, on-line screening, and useful mental health links.