Stress Management and Biofeedback Services
While stress can be a positive event that helps us feel motivated and focused, many students allow their stress to go unchecked, causing a negative experience. Good stress management often means recognizing signs and symptoms of stress earlier rather than later. You can have a stress response to anything such as a difficult conversation with someone, driving in busy traffic, or nerves before public speaking.
When we are under stress our body responds in many ways:
- Increased sweat gland activity
- Increased heart rate
- Sharp and erratic heart rate changes
- Rapid, irregular breathing
What is Biofeedback?
Biofeedback is simply feedback on our biological systems. It is a way to help people become more aware of their internal physical responses related to stress and anxiety.
Biofeedback allows you to see your stress levels in your body which helps to guide you in using paced, even, and relaxed breathing techniques to calm the "fight or flight" stress responses that we continue to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Biofeedback allows us to feel more control over our "automatic" physical processes by increasing our awareness and helping us access physiological information. Students can use biofeedback to reduce the impact that stress can have on their daily life.
Using biofeedback to help manage the demands of college can have a positive impact on other areas of life such as social, emotional and psychological well-being.
Optimal Breathing for Relaxation
Your breathing affects your heart rate. As you breathe in, your heart rate speeds up and as you exhale, your heart rate slows down. Practicing slow, relaxed breathing helps create slow, smooth heart rate changes which are associated with health and peak performance.
You can use many breathing techniques to smooth your heart rate and relieve stress quickly. A breath pacer can be a helpful tool to increase your skill in this area.
We use a software program called Alive which includes Workshops and a User Guide that details step-by-step ways to discover and practice your optimal breathing to relax your body and mind. With Alive, you can learn abdominal breathing, advanced breathing, pursed-lip breathing and paced breathing.
We all respond uniquely to different stimuli, so Alive includes audio as well as visual tools to accommodate each individual for optimal, calming, healthy breathing.
Our biofeedback lab is a quiet, private room that is designed to create a calming atmosphere while students are able to learn skills that will better help them manage the stresses of daily life.
The Alive software program we use gives you a selection of engaging software games designed to help you build mental performance and the ability to better manage daily stress while having fun.
Students are walked through an orientation process that educates on stress, the effects of stress, breathing techniques and the Alive software. Through skill-building and consistent practice, students can then use these relaxation techniques in the real world to manage day-to-day stress. Alive has a wonderful combination of coaching and performance tracking. Additionally, it uses active feedback technology which has been proven effective in helping students achieve better mental agility and performance in physically and emotionally demanding life situations.
Relaxation Room with Massage Chair
Our Relaxation Room is a calm peaceful room created with the intention for students to take a 30-minute break from their stressful day to relax, recharge and invest in self-care.
How to Schedule an Appointment?
Students can schedule an appointment to use our Biofeedback labs or Relaxation room Monday through Friday between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm. The student will learn how to use the biofeedback equipment on their own by going through a 20-minute orientation included in the software that will explain how the equipment works and provide education on breathing strategies and stress. The rooms are scheduled on a first call, first scheduled basis. To find a time that works well with your schedule, please call us at 979.845.4427.
Please explore some of the links and apps we have listed below:
- Kaiser-Permanente Relaxation Library - includes podcasts on health conditions and concerns, emotional wellness and living healthier
- Arizona State University Relaxation Center
- Iowa State University Mind/Body Spa - includes guided relaxation activities
- http://mindfulnessexercises.com - hundreds of mindfulness exercises
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH6uY6Ultho - "Palm the Present Moment" with Donald Altman, M.A.
Additional Apps to Consider:
- Headspace - mindfulness
- Breathe2Relax – breathing practice
- Pzizz – relaxation, sleep
- iZen Garden - meditation
- myMeditation - meditation
- Stop, Breathe & Think – guided meditation and mindfulness
- Calm – meditation, relaxation, mindfulness
- Virtual Hope Box – relaxation, positive thinking
- Insight timer - meditation
- Pacifica – managing stress, anxiety and depression
- Moodlytics – mood tracker
Have an app or relaxation website that you love? We’d love to hear what works for you! Send your information to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share your awesome find with fellow Aggies!
If you are ready to make your appointment, please call 979.845.4427. If you have already completed the orientation and have additional questions, please don't hesitate to email your questions to email@example.com. We wish you peace, contentment, and relaxation on your journey to better living!