A workshop on how to manage stress with mindfulness was held Tuesday afternoon in the Disabled Student Programs and Services conference room, which included exercises in meditations and breathing as well as discussion on ways to manage stress.
Janice Klar, one of American River College’s career counselors, hosted the event.
Klar used a boat metaphor to help explain stress during her presentation, explaining that stress is like the water, with waves of stress crashing and shaking one’s boat while breathing is represented by the anchor.
Mindfulness – as defined by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn in his book, “Full Catastrophe Living” – is non-judgemental, moment-to-moment awareness.
“Full Catastrophe Living “is the book that Klar bases her workshop off of.
According to Klar, taking responsibility of one’s stress is a key component to mindfulness. Be present in daily life instead of having an overwhelming concern of either past or future events.
The National Institute of Health indicated that 50 percent of stress comes from one’s lifestyle choices while 20 percent comes from genetics or is hereditary and another 20 percent comes from environment, leaving medical care responsible for 10 percent of all stress.
“I think people eat very poorly and creates an unhealthy response to daily life,” said Klar when discussing the importance of developing better coping mechanisms for when stressful situations occur.
The body reacts to stress in various ways but common symptoms are increase in heart rate, and blood pressure as well as a strain from chest breathing.
The common conception is that diets, exercise and meditation are some of the key components to stress management is true.
Klar led the eight students who attended the event in meditation exercises such as stretching while breathing and other exercises that appeared more like pure meditation, which allowed the students to listen to their breathing and being alone with their thoughts.
However, breathing was Klar’s focal point of the workshop. During meditation Klar would have students take deep breathes which utilized their diaphragms, in order to concentrate on breathing.
Said student, Christina Mathews, about the event, “(The workshop) reminded me of yoga.”
Klar plans to have another workshop by April and is currently petitioning to get an eight-week course for next spring semester.
Mathews is in favor of turning the workshop into an eight-week course.