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Stephanie Ross Presents “Stressed: To Be or Not To Be”

November 1, 2012

On November 7, Stephanie Ross, Director of the Complementary and Integrative Therapy Program, presented a workshop to the University community titled “Stressed: To Be or Not to Be.” She showed the audience how to recognize stressors, eliminate unnecessary ones, and most importantly, how to cope with daily tribulations in a healthy manner.

According to Professor Ross, the first step in achieving a less stressful lifestyle is to identify your “energy vampires,” or people, things, events, or conditions that drain energy and remove inner peace. Some common examples of energy vampires are feeling like you have to do everything or it won’t get done, feeling that you need to fix everyone around you, and having the inability to say no to anyone. Professor Ross recommends that people work to assess these stressors, eliminate some of them, and also address those involving other people. She believes that her favorite quote, “You are what you take in, what you do with it, and what you do not let out,” relates directly to the way people often stomach negative experiences rather than confront them. She said, “If you eat food that’s gone bad, your body finds a way to expel it. But if something happens that upsets you, do you let it stay inside of you or do you speak up about it?”

Professor Ross also gave audience members instruction about a selection of stress reduction techniques that included meditation, energy therapy, and self-hypnosis. She even led the audience in a demonstration of diaphragmatic breathing, which she describes as a great way to relieve stress on the go. Additionally, Professor Ross recommends utilizing natural herbs and substances to relieve very particular stressors. She suggests green tea to support weight loss, valerian extract to help ease the symptoms of insomnia, and the scent of lavender to soothe anxiety.

She concluded her presentation by driving one point home: people in the medical field need to manage their stress well in order to fulfill their occupational duties. “If we break down, we will not be able to serve those around us. We can only be a service to others if we take care of ourselves,” she said.