Roll your shoulders back, part your lips and your teeth and let out three slow sighs.
Do you notice a difference in how you are feeling?
This is one strategy to ease your body and mind taught by Dallas L. Johnson, Ph.D., in his “FEAR-less Emotion Management” workshop.
The self-help workshop is held over Zoom every Tuesday from 2-2:45 p.m. for all BYU-Idaho students. There is no cost of admission and no requirements to have your camera turned on, but questions are encouraged.
Johnson works at BYU-I’s Counseling Center and teaches strategies to control depression and anxiety.
The workshop is not individual advice or therapy. Students can attend the workshop any Tuesday and learn something without attending any prior workshops.
During the workshop on Feb. 2, Johnson began by asking the question, “What is your hope from attending this workshop today?”
Among the student’s answers written in the Zoom group chat were those of fostering hope, managing anxiety, feeling more joy and de-escalating emotional spirals.
According to the American College Health Association, one in six college students have an anxiety disorder. Olivia Jensen, a senior majoring in social work, talked about how students can calm their brains when feeling anxious during the workshop.
“When you shake up glitter water, it takes a while for the glitter to settle back to the bottom,” Jensen said. “When we have stress in our lives, sometimes we get more stressed because of it. But it takes us a while to de-stress, just like it takes a while for the glitter to settle back to the bottom. We need to stop fighting against our own thoughts and give ourselves a break. For example, we can take a warm shower or go for a walk to take a break.”
De-stressing is an important part of controlling depression and anxiety. Johnson advocates that when we ease our bodies, our minds will be at ease too.
“The healthiest thing we can do when we are stressed is to relax,” Johnson said.
Join Johnson next Tuesday on Zoom to learn ways to relax and control depression and anxiety.