Counseling and Psychological Services at Cal State Fullerton hosted the second wellness workshop on anxiety and stress management at the Titan Dreamers Resource Center on Monday.
The workshop focused on techniques on how to alleviate stress and provided handouts to help identify techniques and skills students might find helpful for stress management.
Students shared that feeling stressed during a test could make them forget what they have studied and make it difficult to concentrate.
“The goal of the session is to normalize the fact that we might worry at some point,” said Solomon Massin, licensed clinical social worker and facilitator of the workshop. “What we want to do is find a way to manage it so that it doesn’t get to the point where it is preventing us from meeting our responsibilities.”
Those responsibilities could be from school, work or personal relationships, he said.
When a person is worried, he or she can notice physiological changes or reactions like increased body temperature, sweating, increased heart rate, shaking or nausea, Massin said.
The good thing about worried thoughts is that they can be managed, he said.
“The reason we get anxious is how we perceive the situation,” Massin said. “What we want to do is find ways to kind of have a healthy approach.”
Behavior can impact thoughts and feelings, whereas thought can impact behaviors and feelings. It is all interconnected, Massin said.
Massin told students not to believe everything they think and to take a moment to analyze their thoughts and recognize if they are valid or not to their emotional being.
Cognitive distortions are irrational thoughts that can influence a person’s emotions. Everyone experiences these distortions and they can be harmful, he said.
“It is not necessarily a negative thing, but it can become unhealthy or unproductive when we kind of get to the extreme forms,” Massin said.
During the workshop, students were taught how to find ways to become aware of these thoughts in order to deal with them.
“If we are able to manage them, we’re able to manage our emotions and how we feel about things,” Massin said.
Massin advises students to engage in activities that are fun, because they will help manage stress.
“For every negative ‘if,’ rehearse a positive ‘if,’” Massin said.
Students participated in an activity where they were asked to select what things or events worry them in different areas like family, school or friends.
Students said the session was educational because it taught effective ways to deal with stress management and anxiety.
Miriam Tellez, 19, CSUF student, said she learned different ways to manage worried thoughts and how it affects behavior.
“Everyone has worries and stress and everything, so whatever would be useful to kind of better yourself is always helpful,” said Nohemi Duran, 20, CSUF student.
For more information or help, students can look into Counseling and Psychological Services, located at the Student Health and Counseling Center.