by Kelly Langevin
Exams, papers and homework assignments are a few of the many things that can cause stress for most students.
Thursday afternoon, Joanna Curry- Santori, a LMFT therapist and consultant from the Copper Beach Institute, acknowledged this issue and spoke at Central Connecticut to discuss mindfulness and self-leadership.
Santori emphasized that in order to focus and be alert, people need to calm down and do a small exercise called “tuning our brains.” It is a short but extremely helpful exercise that allows the body to relax and release stressors, allowing us to feel settled and more alert.
To tune your brain, Santori said that all one has to do is sit in the position most comfortable to them, close their eyes and start focusing on different body parts one by one. Start with the head, go to the neck, then the shoulders and so on until the toes. After completing this exercise, the mind and body feels restful and ready to conquer the day.
Santori explained that when people are being their best self, they feel a mix of emotions: accomplished, carefree and ecstatic. That can also lead to self-leadership.
Santori acknowledged everyone has those days where they feel overwhelmed and stressed, but being aware of one’s emotions is most important.
“[It is] so incredibly helpful to be aware of your stress because once you start to develop choice and how you manage your stress and how you’re aware of it, you can start to develop choice and how you manage your stress and how you handle the challenges that come up in your life,” Santori said.
“If you’re not aware of it, then it’s just going to perpetuate and continue. So, this is like the awareness is the door to freedom from it. That’s where there’s the possibility that you don’t have to live with that degree of stress the rest of your life, so it doesn’t build up,” Santori continued.
Santori explained that when feeling stressed, people go into a fight, flight or freeze zone. Physically, some people may feel sick, tired, have a stomach ache and experience some dizziness. Mentally, people tend to feel frustrated, irritable, anxious and overall not in a good place. People’s behavior changes as well, they can get distracted or argumentative, but all these mixes of emotions are normal.
CCSU freshman Kerry Thomas knows this feeling as well.
“I feel like my body starts to overheat and my head starts throbbing and then stress becomes overwhelming after [just] an hour,” Thomas said.
CCSU student Tyler Grashaw agreed.
“I think the volitive nature of modern politics can be very distracting,” Grashaw said.
To relieve stress, CCSU offers Balanced Body and Mind on Mondays, as well as Mindful Movement on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Moment to Moment Meditation on Thursdays is also available. All are a part of CCSU’s RECentral programs.