De-stress workshop motivates students

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On Thursday, Nov. 7, the Office of Counseling Services & Student Success at County College of Morris conducted a workshop on ways to combat negative stress.

“Bad stress … impacts one’s life in a negative way,” said Ariella Heisler, a counselor at CCM. “I see many students for a variety of different reasons, and depending on the person’s coping strategies, and the situation, stress levels can be higher or lower.”

To enable attendees to learn the best methods of dealing with situations and worries that can cause stress, she led them through a variety of techniques such as stretching, yoga breathing and relaxing mental imagery. Heisler also offered suggestions for other ways to reduce stress like engaging in different hobbies, meditation, music or even knitting.

The small group of attendees was extremely interested in the topic and expressed difficulties coping with stressful situations. Such as tests and balancing work with school responsibilities and family obligations. The workshop offered their own suggestions for reducing stress, like hanging out with friends, drawing, writing and hiking.

Having a positive attitude and developing effective tools that allow students to take control of their study habits and environment helps reduce stress levels. Some examples of these stress reduction measures are developing optimism, being organized, managing time wisely and creating a good study environment to get your work done, according to

However, stress is not always negative.

“Positive stress is experienced when people are in a situation that they feel they can handle. Positive stress gives you the encouragement to take more risks and do things to reach a particular goal,” Heisler said. “An example would be asking someone on a date. It pushes one out of his/her comfort zone and creates a growth or change in one’s life. Without positive stress, life can be boring and/or complacent.”

Through the Office of Counseling Services & Student Success at CCM, Heisler and other counselors are available to students who are in need of help combating the stress of college life and other problems.

Counseling services “strives to maximize students’ individual growth and development by … [encouraging] openness to new experiences, self-awareness, self acceptance, assuming responsibility for one’s life, developing relationships and developing a philosophy of life,” according to the CCM website.

The students in attendance seemed to feel a greater sense of empowerment and control over the stress levels in his or her everyday lives.


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