The Counseling Corner
7 Successful Stress Management Techniques
Is Stress Affecting Your Health?
The Effects of Stress
Journaling for Stress Relief
Articles for the mind!
The Counseling Corner is a newsletter for students, faculty and staff. Articles focus on
personal and professional development. Published by the Delaware Tech
Stanton/Wilmington Campus Student Services Division.
The Delaware Tech Student Development Center
Admissions and Counseling
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Ms. Regan Hicks-Goldstein, Dean of Student Services Stanton/Wilmington Campus
Ms. Cornelia Johnson, Assistant Dean of Students Services Stanton/Wilmington Campus
Ms. Margaret Rose Henry, Assistant Dean of Student Services Stanton/Wilmington
The Peer Associate Student Assistance Program
Students Helping Students
Wilmington Campus - Room 006 East Building (in Cafeteria) Telephone: ext. 5338
Louis C. Vangieri, Counselor & Peer Associate Coordinator, Wilmington Campus
(302) 571-5339 - Email - Lvangier@dtcc.edu
Cherita Weatherspoon, Counselor & Peer Associate Coordinator, Stanton Campus
(302) 453-3037 – Email – email@example.com
7 Successful Stress Management Techniques
By Lyndsay Swinton
Everyone needs successful stress management techniques. Easy to learn and easy to
implement, you can use them for your own stress management or teach them to help
others manage theirs.
Manage your stress and be a healthier, happier and more pleasant person to be around.
Let’s cut to the chase…
1. Make stress your friend
Acknowledge that stress is good and make stress your friend! Based on the body’s natural
“fight or flight” response, that burst of energy will enhance your performance at the right
moment. I’ve yet to see a top sportsman totally relaxed before a big competition. Use
stress wisely to push yourself that little bit harder when it counts most.
2. Stress is contagious
Stressed people sneeze stress germs indiscriminately and before you know it, you are
infected with stress germs too!
Protect yourself from stress germs by recognizing stress in others and limiting your
contact with them. Or if you’ve got the inclination, play stress doctor and teach them how
to better manage their stress.
3. Copy good stress managers
When people around are losing their head, which keeps calm? What are they doing
differently? What is their attitude? What language do they use? Are they trained and
Figure it out from afar or sit them down for a chat. Learn from the best stress managers
and copy what they do.
4. Use deep breathing.
You can trick your body into relaxing by using deep breathing. Breathe in slowly for a
count of 7 then breathe out for a count of 11. Repeat the 7-11 breathing until your heart
rate slows down, your sweaty palms dry off and things start to feel more normal.
5. Stop stress thought trains
It is possible to tangle yourself up in a stress knot all by yourself. “If this happens, then
that might happen and then we’re all up the creek!” Most of these things never happen, so
why waste all that energy worrying needlessly?
Give stress thought-trains the red light and stop them in their tracks. Okay so it might go
wrong – how likely is that, and what can you do to prevent it?
6. Know your stress hot spots and trigger points
Presentations, interviews, meetings, giving difficult feedback, tight deadlines……. My
heart rate is cranking up just writing these down!
Make your own list of stress trigger points or hot spots. Be specific. Is it only
presentations to a certain audience that get you worked up? Does one project cause more
stress than another? Did you drink too much coffee?
Knowing what causes you stress is powerful information, as you can take action to make
it less stressful. Do you need to learn some new skills? Do you need extra resources? Do
you need to switch to de-caffeinated coffee?
7. Eat, sleep and be merry!
Lack of sleep, poor diet and no exercise wreaks havoc on our body and mind. Kind of
obvious, but worth mentioning as it’s often ignored as a stress management technique.
Listen to your mother and don’t burn the candle at both ends!
And those are the 7 successful stress management techniques! Take time to learn them,
use them and teach them, and be a great stress manager.
About The Author
Lyndsay Swinton is an experienced team leader, people manager and business coach. Her
website is www.mftrou.com - 'Management for the rest of us'. Subscribe to her free no-
nonsense Management Tips newsletter at mftrou.com today.
All Articles in the Counseling Corner From: Article City - http://www.articlecity.com
Is Stress Affecting Your Health
By the American Counseling Association
Stress is something we all face, yet many of us don’t really understand what stress is or
appreciate the problems it can cause.
Stress is actually a combination of two separate things. The first is the “stressor,” the
situation that triggers the physical and emotional reactions that we feel. It might be a
family problem, a money issue or just that traffic jam going to work.
Our “stress response” is our natural response to a stressor. Our bodies release chemicals
that increase our breathing, heart rate, alertness and muscle response. That reaction is
inherited from our ancient ancestors for whom survival meant reacting quickly to the
threats they encountered. We call it the “fight or flight” response.
But while that was a good reaction back when the stress source was a bear or similar life-
threatening situation, today’s problems are seldom so immediate or quickly resolved.
Instead, we often face prolonged or repeated stress over which we have little or no
For many of us, repeatedly facing stressful situations can leave us feeling constantly
nervous or exhausted, and can result in very real physical and emotional ailments.
How do you know that stress is negatively affecting your life to the point where you need
help? The warning signs can include changes in both behavior and physical well-being.
Stress-related behavioral changes might include anger or impatience over relatively
minor things. You might find yourself unable to relax, anxious almost all the time,
sleeping poorly and experiencing sexual problems. Major changes in eating, whether no
appetite or constantly overeating, are also common reactions. Excessive stress can make
it difficult to make decisions or set priorities. You may make more mistakes or become
Physical ailments, such as frequent headaches and neck or back pain, can also be stress-
related symptoms. You might find yourself suffering from frequent indigestion, diarrhea
or constipation. Shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or skin problems like acne or
psoriasis can also occur.
Excessive stress is not a problem to be ignored. It has been linked to a variety of serious
health and emotional issues. If you find yourself facing high levels of stress that are
affecting your health or overall quality of life, seek help. Your family physician or a
counseling professional can offer assistance in helping reduce or cope with unhealthy
stress in your life.
“This article is provided as a public service by the American Counseling Association, the
nation’s largest organization of counseling professionals. Learn more about the
counseling profession at the ACA web site, www.counseling.org.
The Effects of Stress
By Loren Fogelman
What is stress?
Stress is a part of daily life. Everyone has stress. Some people appear to have more stress
than others. Stress is one way we react to specific events in our life. There are times when
you might feel that too much is happening at once and feel overwhelmed. Other times,
you feel the pressure of time or a deadline and realize you need to take care of something
before it is too late. Having been in a similar situation before will create anxiety. How we
perceive a situation will affect how we respond to it. There is good stress and bad stress.
Good stress can be a motivator. Knowing that you have an obligation to address and a
timeframe. That type of stressor puts you into action in order to meet a deadline. Or you
might be in an unexpected situation where you need to make a split second response in
order to avoid danger. This could be slamming your foot on the brake to avoid an
accident. Anticipation of a competition or performance will cause tension and
nervousness prior to the event. This nervousness is due to an increased flow of adrenaline
going through your body. Your body is preparing for the “fight or flight” syndrome. The
release of adrenaline prepares your body to take the steps to deal with the situation,
including improved focus, strength, stamina and heightened alertness.
People also have bad stress in their lives. Whether we perceive a situation as being
stressful or not depends on previous experiences. One person might see being in a multi
tasking job as very stressful, feeling overwhelmed and becoming anxious about their
work. Another person might find multi tasking enjoyable because they continue to stay
busy and time goes by faster. Your body is capable of dealing with stress for short
periods of time. When the stress is ongoing i.e. dealing with a divorce or bankruptcy, this
can wear a person down. Long term stress contributes to feeling tired, overwhelmed and
contributes to lowered immunity.
The body’s reactions to stress
Once you view something as being stressful, whether positive or negative, your body
reacts to that perception. The response is a survival technique and a defense mechanism.
The reaction is referred to as the “fight or flight” response. Either you are going to fight
the attacker or you will choose to flee from the threat. This includes increased heart rate
and blood pressure, perspiration, hearing and vision become more acute and hands and
feet might become colder since blood is being directed to larger muscles in preparation
for a fight or to flee. Your body is being prepped to handle the situation. When the threat
is over, your body will return to normal.
If your body has difficulty returning to normal, then you would experience stress
overload. This is when you stress out too much or have ongoing stress in your life and
never get a chance to relax. Pressure in your life might be too intense or go on for too
long without a break. People that have experienced trauma are likely to have stress
overload. If trauma is not resolved then you might become hypervigilant, a sense of being
overly aware of possible danger. You might always be “on guard.” Stress overload has an
emotional and physical effect on the body. This could include panic attacks, depression,
sleep problems, physical pain i.e. headaches and allergies as well as abuse of alcohol or
other drugs. Having unresolved trauma will affect your perception. Situations that might
not have caused tension prior to the trauma can have the ability to create anxiety after the
trauma. Becoming aware of how your perception has changed and seeking support to
address the trauma issue can be helpful to reduce ongoing stressors and to reduce anxiety.
Seeking counseling that focuses on cognitive perceptions will help to decrease
hypervigilance and will help to reduce the likelihood of continuing to be retraumatized.
In addition, your body has memory of the event as well. Being able to release that
reaction to the memory of the event from your body will help to reduce stress overload
Stress and control
Stress is contributed to the desire to be in control. This not only includes control over
yourself, but control over other people and your environment. Trying to control others
and your environment, however, is impossible. You only have control over your own
thoughts and actions. In order to relieve stress and anxiety it is important to let go of
trying to control things outside of yourself. We are unable to foresee the future and
cannot control what events will happen next. Focusing on future potential problems
contributes to anxiety. On the other hand, people are able to prepare for things that might
occur and have a plan of how you would like to respond to events. This could be as
simple as having a repair kit in your car for getting a flat tire or preparation for an
interview and the questions that might be asked during the interview process.
Part of living life is that things always change. Change is normal. How you perceive
something will impact how you react to it. This is where the fight or flight reaction
occurs. You can decide to be proactive and address the situation. Making a choice to take
care of things when they occur. Or you can expend a lot of energy avoiding issues and
letting them build. Taking action will actually help to reduce stress and anxiety in the
long run. In addition, there will be a feeling of empowerment as you begin to deal with
problems as they arise. Trust your intuition and creatively think of all ways you could
resolve the issue at hand. Even if you try to tackle a problem and don’t succeed, you
could then view this as a temporary setback. Review what happened and try to approach
it differently. Setbacks can be temporary. Find who your friends are and develop a
support system. Another option is to seek counseling in order to have someone that is
impartial as part of your support system. You don’t have to always take care of problems
by yourself. Ask your friends, counselor or other support persons what they think about a
situation. They might have ideas that you would not think of on your own. Learning to
address problems as they occur will help you to change your perception of things from
problems to challenges. Doing so will continue to help you build your sense of self
esteem and empowerment. Identifying challenges as they occur, developing a plan to deal
with the challenge, asking others for their point of view, taking action and keeping focus
on the goal you are working toward will help to strengthen your resiliency.
Steps to reduce stress
Each one of us is a unique individual and we all have different experiences throughout
our lives that affect our perception. What might be a stressful event for one person, might
not be viewed as stressful for someone else. In addition, some activities are more stressful
than others. Self care including eating well and getting enough sleep are important for
stress reduction. Making time for doing activities that are relaxing is preventative to
reducing stress overload. Relaxation is important, but there is no one right way to relax.
Some people find that sleeping or going to the beach is relaxing. Others choose to be
involved in an enjoyable activity or hobby as a way of relaxing. The goal is to find an
activity that allows you to escape from everyday worries and problems. There is no right
way to do that. Relieving stress can be done by meditation, exercise or doing an activity.
Making the time to care for yourself is a priority that helps to reduce stress overload.
As you focus on making positive change in your life that will help to reduce stress and
anxiety, be forgiving of yourself if you don’t resolve your problems immediately. Being
critical of yourself is very easy to do, especially when people close to you have been
critical of you for a long period of time. That critical voice can be very loud when you
don’t get it right the first time. A suggestion is a positive response to the changes you are
trying to make and to be forgiving of yourself when things don’t go perfectly as planned.
These are some suggestions that might work or to come up with your own.
“As things develop, I will, through listening to guidance from my unconscious, adapt
to changing circumstances and grow with them.”
“I may not get what I want when I want it; I trust that things will work out in their own
good time, for my ultimate benefit, as long as I remain calm and peaceful.”
“I may not get what I want at all, and yet, in remaining calm and attentive, I may
discover something else that I need even more than what I thought I wanted.”
How you perceive a situation will affect how you respond. Whether you choose to
address the issue or to avoid it. If you have a negative perception then you are more likely
to experience anxiety and not be able to effectively take care of the problem. This will
then reinforce that you have no control over the outcome and reinforce the perception of
being helpless. On the other hand, a positive perception will help you to find a way to
deal with the challenge you are presented with. If you choose to take responsibility for
your feelings and actions then you are more likely to have a positive outcome. This will
reinforce the sense of resiliency and empowerment. Breaking old patterns of behavior is
difficult, especially when trying to do it by yourself. Being willing to look at yourself and
to identify changes you would like to make takes a lot of energy and time. The more
effort you put into making a positive lifestyle change, the greater the feeling of
accomplishment you will experience. Develop a support system, whether family, friends
or a counselor. Having someone that helps you to make positive change will increase the
likelihood that the change will be long term instead of temporary.
About The Author
Loren Fogelman is the co-owner of Kolpia Counseling. Her education includes a
Bachelors degree in Psychology and a Masters in Community Counseling. She is an
Oregon Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and an advanced certified EFT
practitioner. Since 1984, Loren has been working as a therapist. Her experience includes
Mental Health units in hospital settings, schools, residential and outpatient treatment
programs. Her specialties include addictions, chronic conditions, trauma, and spirituality.
Loren’s goal is to help people reach their peak potential, whether personally,
professionally or in sports performance. “Part of my approach to counseling involves
energy work using the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). EFT is the most effective,
gentle, yet rapid method for personal growth I have ever found.” Maintaining a sense of
safety while working on issues is a priority. EFT focuses on perceptions and helps to
change negative beliefs into positive ones. EFT has the ability to clear emotional traumas
without additional anxiety and to remove physical pain. Contact
www.kolpiacounseling.com for a free consultation.
Journaling for Stress Relief
By Valerie Dansereau
Journaling is a great way to deal with chronic stress. It is one of the most powerful tools
for self growth and can help you release negative emotions, clear confusion and sort out
puzzling or traumatic events.
The best way to begin is to set a time to write and put down whatever thoughts and
feelings pop into your head. Your journal can be used to reflect on the events currently
affecting you that are particularly traumatic or overwhelming. It can also be used to
process other things, such as dreams, childhood events, and long and short term goals.
Research has shown that writing not only about your feelings but also your thoughts
about your feelings is more helpful than just venting your feelings. In other words, write
from both an emotional and an intellectual angle,
Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. The purpose of what you’re doing is to relieve
stress and release pent up emotions, not to cause yourself more stress by censoring your
own writing. Keep what you’ve written private. If you think privacy is an issue, keep it
under lock and key. If you’re journaling on a computer, password protect your file.
A journal can be written on lined or plain paper, in a special bound book or a plain spiral
notebook, or you can use a computer. The important thing is to make a commitment to
write for 10-20 minutes each day if you can. Schedule a time to write, whether it’s first
thing in the morning or last thing before you go to bed, preferably a time when you’re
free from interruptions. Experiment with writing at different times of day and in different
Don’t think of journaling as a chore. If you miss several days of writing, simply pick up
and write again when you can. Chances are the more you practice journaling, the more
you will look forward to it. Your journal can be thought of as a friend who is always
willing to listen. In a journal you have the freedom to express deep emotions that you
may not be able to share with anyone. No one will be affected by what you write.
If you review what you’ve written over time, you’ll be able to see your own growth. If
you’re processing a traumatic event, you’ll be amazed to see how far you’ve come and
how much you’ve healed.
Journaling is a lot less expensive than most other methods of stress relief. It’s a great tool
for self-knowledge and emotional healing. Like other healthy habits, you will improve
with practice, and the benefits you attain from journaling will build the more you work on
this life-changing habit.
About The Author
Valerie Dansereau is a banker turned entrepreneur. She is the owner of http://www.work-