Students learn techniques to handle stress
Posted Feb. 13, 2009
Carmin Hermosillo
Staff Writer

Anna Ayvazlan, a counselor at the University of La Verne and Alicia Grey, an undergraduate student and marriage and family therapy trainee led an interactive and educational stress management workshop Feb. 5.

The objective of the workshop was to teach students the behavioral, physical and emotional signs of stress and how to deal with them.

The workshop was held in the West Dinning Room and through the hour-long session, students learned how to identify and cope with stress.

Ayvazlan and Grey taught students several stress management skills.

One skill was a simple exercise.

It is called diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing, which involves taking a few deep breaths to help with relaxation.

The exercise requires pushing down and out on the abdomen and breathing slowly through the nose while the lungs slowly fill with air.

Completing the exercise requires holding the breath while slowly exhaling out.

This allows one to refocus and concentrate on the next task that must be completed.

The workshop taught students how to become more aware of stress signals that the body gives.

The physical characteristics of stress include fatigue, muscular tension, chests pains, nausea and dizziness.

In behavior, a student might notice that they are withdrawn, reckless, less productive and dealing with insomnia.

To aid in the reduction of stress Ayvazlan and Grey also emphasized the importance of time management and having a positive attitude.

“Planning and having an agenda is a great way to manage,” Grey said.

Students at the workshop learned how important such techniques used to deal with stress are, especially during finals week.

Sophomore Giulana Zaga understands the importance of time management.

“I psych myself out,” Zaga said.

The coping methods that can be applied to stress are evaluating what is causing stress, breaking down what important issues are that need to be addressed first and what issues are worth just letting go.

Once organized the issues can be tackled one at a time.

This will allow the mind to be focused on one thing at a time. When one issue is done , attention can then turn to something else.

It is in human nature to want to do everything and anything all at the same time and please people along the way.

This adds extra baggage to the weight that many already carry trying to get tasks done.

The workshop gave a coping method to this issue.

Students and others who are stressed should avoid irritating goals and expectations. They have to realize that they cannot all be great at everything.

Students and others must emphasize strong points and not allow the extra worry about tasks that they have little to no control over.

Another coping method that women are already good at and men might need help on is discussing worries.

Having someone else listen to worries and problems can bring a new perspective.

Talking about problems can also help those who are stressed out blow off some steam.

The workshop was a resource to identify and learn stress management skills.

“I liked the atmosphere and instructors’ attitude,” Teresa Zago, an undergraduate student, said.

Information about the stress workshop can be obtained by contacting Anna Ayvazlan in the counseling center located in Hoover Building.

Carmin Hermosillo can be reached at

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