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Albright College

TIP OF THE MONTH
January

STRESS MANAGEMENT

Stress is a feeling you get when you have more items in life to deal with than usual.  In this difficult economic time who isn’t feeling stressed.  When we get stressed our bodies act as though we are in danger, which makes certain hormones speed up our heart rate, increases our breathing, and gives us energy.

Some stress is good, like when we are competing or under a deadline and need to finish a task by a deadline.  Our bodies are kicked into over drive and we work faster and it gives us the energy we need to finish our task at hand.

The ‘bad’ stress we are talking about is if the stress happens too often or lasts too long; this is not healthy.  It can cause an upset stomach, back pain, problems sleeping, and it can also make us moody or irritable, tense, and depressed.  It can affect our immune system and make fighting infection and disease more difficult.  Especially if we already have health problems stress can make those problems worse.  All of these can affect our daily life with relationships, work, and school.

There is good news that we are able to manage our stress with some small easy changes.  Let’s find out what is causing our stress.  Look for ways to reduce that stress.  Then learn healthy ways of relieving that stress.

Sometimes we know why we are stressed, such as our finances, loss of a loved one, major life changes like getting married, having a baby, or divorce.  Other stressors might not be so easy to diagnose.  Journaling the times you are stressed and what made you feel stressed, your reaction to the situation and if it worked or if it didn’t.  You can get to know what works for you in different situations.

Stress is pretty inevitable in all facets of life and we might not be able to get rid of it completely, but we can learn ways to feel better. 

Taking control of what is most important in our life first is where we should start.  Making a schedule of our family activities or creating a budget to help with our finances.  Better coping mechanisms; what works and what doesn’t.  Take care of our body by getting plenty of rest, eating healthy, not smoking, and reducing our alcohol intake.  Try a different way of thinking.  If we find ourselves worrying, try to think of something to get the mind off that subject. 

Some good stress relievers include:  exercising, walking, journaling, letting out our feelings (laughing, crying, talking, and hitting a pillow), finding a hobby, volunteering to help others in need. 

Sometimes life throws us curves that we might not be able to handle alone.  Don’t feel ashamed to talk with a health care professional or counselor, they are there for YOU.

Learn to let go of the things you cannot change and focus on today.

Wishing you a stress-free 2009.


Schumo Center for Fitness & Well-Being Programs that Promote Stress Management

Restorative Hatha Yoga-  Hatha yoga puts equal emphasis on the mind and the body. Deep breathing and meditative techniques teach you to focus your attention and sharpen your concentration as you “tune in” to the rhythms of your body. The elongated movements quiet the mind and rejuvenate the spirit.

Some of the many benefits of Hatha Yoga include:

  • Increased Flexibility
  • Improved posture
  • Decrease in back and muscle pain
  • Increase in circulation to the organs, glands, and nerves
  • Relieve stress and stress related conditions

This program will take place Wednesdays starting on January 28th at 12:15 in the Group Fitness Room.

Power Yoga- This class combines a variety of yoga formats in a rigorous practice utilizing dynamic breathing and challenging postures. The goals of this class are to build strength and focus, make tight joints more flexible, release tension, and make you sweat! Be prepared to move! 

This program is offered Mondays at 4 p.m. during Interim and Mondays and Wednesdays at 4pm during the Spring semester.

Meditation- Victor Forte, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Religious studies. The National Institute of Health reports that regular meditation can increase focus, reduce chronic pain, anxiety, high blood pressure, cholesterol, health care use, substance abuse, posttraumatic stress response, and blood levels of stress hormones.

This program is offered Monday afternoons at 5 p.m. during Interim and the Spring Semester.

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