The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Counseling Services offers tips to help beat stress

    With midterm grades now posted, many students may find themselves in search of ways to relieve stress.
    Fred Drummond, a psychologist at Mississippi State University Counseling and Testing Services, said that it is natural for students to experience stress and they should use it to their advantage.
    “First of all, it’s important to recognize that anxiety is a normal emotion,” Drummond said. “Expectations in our lives lead to pressure. We all experience stress, but instead of only focusing on the negative aspects of the things that cause stress, like midterms, students should see them as opportunities for improvement and success.”
    In addition to changing the ways they view stress, Drummond said that students should learn how to relax, which will help them cope with stress.
    “Although many people say it’s how they relax, watching TV is not a sufficient means of relaxation,” Drummond said. “You have to physically relax your body and relax your mind.”
    The counseling center is available for students to seek individual help, but Drummond said that there are general activities that many people find relaxing.
    One method of relaxation that Drummond suggested is exercising.
    “Exercising, whether it is going to the gym or running, can definitely help reduce stress levels,” Drummond said.
    Greg Altorfer, director of fitness said that the Sanderson Center offers a wide variety of classes and facilities for students who may be looking to exercise for a way to relieve stress.
    One service that Altorfer especially recommends for students looking to relieve stress is weight training.
    “Weight training can definitely help blow off steam, and at the same time it gets you in shape and it raises your self-esteem,” Altorfer said.
    Other services offered at Sanderson include aerobics classes and individual workouts.
    These aerobics classes include Powerobics, Abs 101, Funk, STEP, CardioCombat, CardioFusion, Aqua Aerobics, Power Yoga and Yoga Moves.
    “Our most popular classes are probably Power Yoga and Funk,” Altorfer said. “They are both unique fitness classes, up to par with classes that you would take in bigger cities. They are unique to the state and we have probably twice the participation of other places.”
    “We also have top-of-the-line fitness equipment available for individual workouts,” Altorfer said. “Students who are not interested in the classes or feel that they do not have the rhythm for them, can do cardio on various types of machines and watch TV at the same time.”
    Sanderson provides these services, as well as instructors and personal trainers, free to students.
    Drummond said that in addition to exercise, students should try other means of relaxation, especially what they are most comfortable with.
    Several businesses in Starkville provide massage therapy and a variety of other relaxation techniques. One of these is Awakening Spirit on University Drive. This business has been open since July 2001 and provides a variety of services, massage therapist Ryan Sykes said.
    “We have a very mixed clientele, but probably 30 to 40 percent of our customers are students,” Sykes said. “We offer massage therapy, hypnosis, Reiki and reflexology.”
    “The effects of massages can be seen on physical, mental and emotional levels,” Sykes said. “A massage helps relieve muscle tension, regulates blood pressure and improves posture, but it also puts you into a relaxed state of alertness that leads to clearer thinking.”
    “Reiki is hands-on healing that puts people into a peaceful relaxed state where they are almost asleep but still conscious,” Sykes said. “Through reflexology we work specific points on the body, and that leads to an overall sense of well-being throughout the entire body. Hypnotherapy is typically used to cure smoking and help in weight loss, but it can be used in relaxation as well.”
    Drummond also suggests that students look to relaxation guides and books.
    “There are many books out there that suggest ways of dealing with stress and teach relaxation skills,” Drummond said. “Some simple techniques that might be helpful to focus on include progressive muscular relaxation, deep diaphragmatic breathing and normal relaxing breath.”
    Drummond said he encourages students to find their own personal relaxation method and learn how to lower their levels of anxiety, which will make them able to perform better.
    “Students who learn how to use these techniques and find a way to relax, will be able to reduce their levels of anxiety to levels that they are more comfortable with, whenever they feel them getting too high,” Drummond said.

    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover

    Comments (0)

    All The Reflector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Activate Search
    The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
    Counseling Services offers tips to help beat stress