Deep Breathing and Relaxation Exercises

Physiological changes occur in your body when you are stressed.

Back in the "caveman" days when people had to fend for themselves, their bodies went through physiological changes to help prepare for either "fight or flight." Today we don't have to worry about the saber tooth tiger, yet the "fight or flight" response gets triggered when faced with common student experiences, such as an exam, a relationship breakup or a job search. While these experiences don't pose an immediate physical danger, your bodies still respond in a way that is focused on survival. Learning strategies to relax your mind and body can help you manage the stress better.

Resources

  • University of California, Berkeley, Counseling and Psychological Services Mindfulness Groups
    • Mindfulness for Stress Reduction & Resilience 
      • Mindfulness meditation is the practice of focusing your mind on the present moment to become more aware of thoughts, feelings and sensations as they occur without judging them. In this weekly group, participants will learn general mindfulness meditation skills by doing a variety of mindfulness exercises together, discussing their experiences doing the exercises, and considering ways to apply mindfulness in daily life.
    • Mindfulness Meditation
      • This 8-week group is offered for students who want to learn and practice mindfulness as a means to reduce stress and develop resilience. Each weekly group session will have a different topic or theme related to mindfulness-based stress relief. Participants will practice mindfulness exercises and learn ways that mindfulness can be used to manage stress and facilitate new ways of coping with challenges.
  • Arizona State University, Virtual Counseling Center
    This site includes downloadable relaxation training exercises
  • Davis, M., Robbins Eshelman, E., McKay, M. 2000. The relaxation & stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.