Stress relief program at WSC

Kori Siebert, Staff Writer

Wayne State College is helping students and faculty get rid of stress by hosting a stress management program every Tuesday through Nov. 7.

“The program of mindfulness practice was developed originally by Jon Kabat-Zinn over 40 years ago,” said Karen Granberg, program facilitator. “More recently the program has appeared in research documents as The Relaxation Response Resiliency Program (3RP).”

Though the WSC counseling center has presented stress management classes before, the SMART-student program is longer and more in-depth than ever before.

“This program is especially effective for students who deal with everyday disorganization, distraction, procrastination, and dissatisfaction,” Granberg said. “It can also be effective for students who feel anxious, have depressed mood, or might be dealing with physical distresses in their daily life. Learning to adapt effectively to life changes is a skill that can benefit everyone.”

The SMART-student program is already full, so another session that will begin on Oct. 19 to finish out the semester.

“The reason that this (stress management program) has been developed is because we have learned a lot about stress over the years,” Granberg said. “Chronic stress can be a negative factor in all of our lives and it can reduce our effectiveness and create depression, anxiety and disease. It can make all of those things worse.”

Charissa Loftis, a reference librarian at Wayne State College, also has ways of relieving stress. Loftis has been instructing yoga at WSC for about five years.

“Yoga helps with stress management in terms of when people get stressed out, it changes their posture and it changes their breathing habits,” Loftis said. “Yoga can help realign posture. It can help bring awareness and attention to the breath. There is a direct correlation between your breath and your emotions, so if you can get ahold of the breath, you can bring in emotions that are doing whatever they are doing.”

The SMART-student program and yoga at WSC provide two ways of getting ahold of stress and getting rid of it.

“They’re slightly different things but they’re both open and free to students,” Loftis said. “When students get stressed out and overwhelmed they think the last thing they have time do is go to a program like the SMART-student program or to a yoga class, and it’s the thing they need the most.”

For more information about the stress-management program starting in October, contact the counseling office. Yoga classes are held at the Rec Center and registration is available online.