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Photo courtesy of VSU

Counseling center offers in-class instructions on managing stress

VSU’s Counseling Center works hard to make sure students are not only healthy physically, but mentally as well.

The counseling center is located on the second floor of the Student Health Center, and it does a lot of work that is free for students. No copay, no insurance, nothing.

Becca Smith, the associate director from the counseling center, visited a News Writing class on Jan. 25 to talk about the many ways to avoid or cope with stress. She mentioned that the counseling center houses a massage chair for students, which immediately caught the attention of students.

Smith and other VSU counselors offer to visit classes for a 10-mintue sessions on stress, time-management and related topics. These sessions are called mental minutes.

During the discussion, Smith said most people relax either ‘top down” or “bottom up.”

“You have to find out which one you are on your own…by that I mean top down and bottom up is depending on how you relax,” Smith said.

People who are top-down relaxers need to relax their mind, either through music or some other mental stimulants.

Smith suggested a song called “Weightless” by Marconi Union. The sounds in the song are very relaxing and can induce sleep. Smith suggested not to put the song on in the car, though.

The Counseling Center also has a room for students. It’s called The Panic Room, and it has a massage chair for students in need of destressing.

The best part of this room is that it’s free for the students of VSU, which is a very nice perk for those who are aware of its existence.

The Panic Room can be used for 10, 20 or 30 minutes and is very relaxing, according to Smith. It’s a dark room with this nice water feature and the massage chair.

“Several people have fellen asleep in there and have been asleep for hours,” Smith said.

Bottom up relaxers are the people who like to take baths, do yoga and other physcially calming activites.

Smith also explained that when emotions are at the extremes, IQ can drop significantly.

“If you are really angry, stress, sad or tired, your IQ will drop 20 points,” Smith said. “If your attitude is very positive in that you aren’t stressed or tired, it’s proven that you test better than if you are sleep deprived and/or very negative before you take a test.”

It also offers a virtual relaxing section online, if you can’t make it to the center.

Story by Bryce Decker, staff writer. Photo courtesy of VSU.

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