Fort Riley, Kansas

 

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Learn to cope with stress

By Julie Fiedler | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | August 14, 2014

Stress is a natural response to an event or situation that places an unusual demand on one’s physical, mental and emotional resources.

Unchecked, stress can adversely affect a person physically, such as in the form of depression, anxiety, heart disease or chronic ulcers.

“It’s very real,” said Lindsey Kassulke, nurse educator, Army Wellness Center, during a recent Stress Management class at the AWC.

Not all stress is bad, and learning to cope with stress on a physical level can benefit one’s well-being, Kassulke added.

That’s where the AWC comes in.

AWC offers biofeedback for clients, which teaches them to monitor and regulate their bodies’ physical responses to stress. As a pre-requisite for biofeedback sessions, clients must attend a Stress Management class.

The introductory class covers the basics, such as common stressors, ways to manage stress and how biofeedback can help.

“It’s a short class, and we try not to get too scientific about it. But we want people to realize that (stress) impacts health,” Kassulke said.

While the class can spark self-evaluation to get people reflecting on their stress levels and the importance of managing stress, Kassulke encourages clients to schedule a one-on-one biofeedback session after attending the class.

During the biofeedback sessions, clients can learn in-depth about various techniques, like guided imagery, mental relaxation and deep breathing. Clients can also monitor how well their bodies respond to the techniques.

Some clients attend one biofeedback session, while others choose to return regularly for what Kassulke called maintenance, or a continuing practice of stress reduction.

“It’s a day-to-day mindfulness,” she said.

Classes are offered at 1 p.m. every other Monday at the AWC. For more information or to reserve a spot in class, call 785-239-9355 (WELL).