UNT hosts monthly stress management workshop

UNT hosts monthly stress management workshop

Steven James / Intern Writer

UNT students and faculty experiencing stress during everyday activities can take advantage of a free workshop put on by the Health and Wellness Center’s Meadows Center for Health Resources.

First Fridays Stress Management is a program that will teach students how to deal with stress. The program will take place on the first Friday of each month until the end of the semester. October’s workshop will take place from noon to 1 p.m. today in the Business Leadership Building.

Noelle McIntyre, health educator and coordinator of the Meadows Center, said she believes that stress is one of the biggest factors that impedes students’ abilities to perform well in class and on exams.

“Family and academic issues cause students to feel overwhelmed, taking away their energy,” McIntyre said. “This program will give students a burst of energy, making them feel more human. Good energy is something that we must feel all day long and all the time, not just part of the time.”

Susana Mena, the program’s supervisor and creator, said she is very proud of the event and is hoping more people will turn out for the event each month.

“In our past First Fridays Stress Management Programs, we had more than 100 people per program stop at our table and ask information and get free stuff,” Mena said. “I love that in every program we get different people with different questions and views. It is such a great feeling when we get compliments on the program by the students and the staff that attend.”

This program features activities that encourage stress management for students, including a 30-minute yoga session, mindfulness-based meditation, stress ball making, making your own trail mix and chair massages.

Dylan Matsumori, staff psychologist and outreach coordinator for the Counseling and Testing Center, said he volunteers with the program by teaching meditation and Biofeedback.

“[Biofeedback] is getting feedback from our biology to see what is going on,” Matsumori said. “There are a variety of ways to do this. For treatment and anxiety of stress, this is done by measuring key biological markers that are affected by stress and anxiety.”

Matsumori said that some of these key biological markers include extremity temperatures, muscle tension, reading rate, heart rate and blood pressure, among others. He said he believes stress is not only something everyone goes through, but that most people are not taught how to properly deal with stressful situations.

“The techniques I use are a combination of rational emotional behavioral therapy combined with mindfulness meditation,” Matsumori said. “I focus on helping students identify the sources of stress and anxiety, which seem to be commonly tied to their sense of self-judgment and a variety of expectations they have about themselves and their lives.”

First Fridays Stress Management is made possible by the combined efforts of the Health and Wellness Center, the Counseling and Testing Center and the Pohl Recreation Center.

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