Students learn to stress less at Kat Chat event


Students gathered in Leasure Hall on Tuesday to learn how to manage stress at the at the fourth Kat Chat of the semester provided by Counseling Services.

The workshop, led by certified peer educator Paige Humphrey, senior in biology, focused on how to identify and manage stress.

“Certain things may be stressing you out more than you realize,” Humphrey said.

There are three main types of stress, Humphrey said: eustress, distress and too little stress. Eustress is a stress that is productive and pushes people to work harder. Distress induces anxiety, anger or panic. Furthermore, a person without stress may be less motivated.

The audience members completed two exercises to help them identify their stress levels and how their bodies react to stress.

Humphrey said there are a lot of physical, emotional and behavioral reactions to stress, which may include irritability, increase in impulsive behavior and disturbed sleep.

“Stress is not the same for everyone,” Humphrey said.

Stress can be managed by building connections with people, breaking issues down into manageable steps and getting enough sleep.

To keep calm and manage stress in the moment, Humphrey shared the 4-7-8 breathing exercise, telling the audience to inhale for four seconds through the nose, hold it for seven seconds, then exhale for eight seconds.

“When I tried it the first time it made me more nervous,” Haley Weinberg, junior in landscape architecture, said. “But the second time I was good.”

Weinberg is a resident living assistant for an architecture-based CAT Community, as is Jaasiel Duarte, junior in architecture.

“This is a great resource,” Duarte said. “Being here ourselves is a good way to get familiar with these types of topics and see the signs in our students and also how to lead them toward a solution.”

Stress management is an important skill to have in college, Humphrey said.

“A lot of college students are really stressed out all of the time,” Humphrey said. “We’ve got a lot of classes that demand a lot of us. Most of [us] work jobs, and we are really setting ourselves up for our future here. So this is a really important time to learn these skills.”

The next Kat Chat event, “Body Dissatisfaction and Eating Disorders: Not Just Female Problems,” will be held Feb. 27 in 13 Leasure at 4 p.m.