What is stress?
Stress is a physical and emotional reaction to a perceived threat – whether the threat exists or not. Our bodies go into “fight or flight” mode as if we were faced with a saber-toothed tiger in early human days. In our modern lives, our bodies and minds perceive smaller difficulties (exams, arguments, busy schedules) as major threats – it’s what we’ve evolved to do! But the good news is that we can learn to undo this unecessary ”fight or flight” reaction using mindfulness-based skills. Managing our stress can have a direct impact on the quality of our sleep. And better sleep means less stress!
The videos and audio clips below (created in partnership with goBlue Labs) offer strategies for managing stress using mindfulness-based skills.
Quick Stress-Relief Strategies
Audio files (MP3s)
- Surfing Out Stress with RAIN (Listen/Download)
- “Noting” Practice (Listen/Download)
- Body Scan Meditation (Listen/Download)
More on Mindfulness and “Noting” Practice
- Mindfulness - the practice of becoming aware of the present moment and exploring the feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations that accompany it rather than trying to run from or change them.
- The skills (including noting) take practice; watch the videos, try the skills, and then watch the videos again to gain a stronger understanding of the methods.
- You can also download the audio files which highlight the skills so you can practice them whenever and wherever you want.
Additional Tips & Resources
- Mindfulness and meditation resources within the Yale community
- Three relaxing breathing exercises from Dr. Andrew Weil
- Free guided meditations - short & sweet guided meditations from UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center.
- Tips for developing healthy sleep habits. Young adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night!
- Time-management strategies, including workshops at the Center for Teaching and Learning.
- Sports and Recreation at Yale
- Nutrition guidance at Yale Health