Even in the middle of a stressful university-setting, stress was nowhere to be found in the multi-purpose room at the Health and Wellness Center on Tuesday as Dr. Scott Case hosted a “Coping with Stress” workshop. The workshop was aimed to help improve healthy responses to daily stressors.
Case is a licensed psychologist and guides the Employee Assistance Program at WSU. The main goal of the program is to assist employees in managing stress in their personal lives and provide counseling on work-related issues.
“I think (the workshop) serves a purpose,” Case said. “The better you understand what is happening to you, the better you know how to deal with it.”
Ana Rarig, a WSU employee, said one of the reasons she attended the event was to learn about stress and coping.
Case said stress can have damaging effects on the immune system of our bodies. He explained that some stressors do not go away and our bodies can break down if we do not cope with them the right way.
On a psychological level, stressors can even cause people to strain good judgment if they do not relax, he said.
“Chronic exposure to stress can affect mood states,” Case said. “There is wisdom in allowing yourself to recover if it prevents burnout.”
Case practiced a simple breathing technique with participants in order to see if their stress levels would subside, he said. Breathing techniques are the foundation of stress management.
“There is a new investment to giving it a try because there is science behind it,” Case said.
A spoken word tape was played after the breathing exercise, encouraging listeners to relax in ways such as imagining themselves on a beach and being in their own elevator.
The event concluded with a few more words on stress and for the participants to practice the breathing techniques and apply them in real-life situations.
For WSU employee Andrea Butcherite, the event was a good resource for coping with stress.
“Some people get more stressed out than other people,” Butcherite said. “College kids are under a lot of stress.”
Case said he tries to host workshops at least once a year. Individual counseling can be provided for employees through the WSU Employee Assistance Program, according to their website. For more information about the program, visit their website at www.eap.wsu.edu.