TCU works to alleviate stress through meditation groups

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Stress and college are two words that seem to go hand in hand.

In fact, nearly 30 percent of students report that stress has negatively affected their academic performance.

Maggie Hodes, a sophomore nursing major, said she feels like her stress is never-ending.

“Before college I never would’ve called myself a generally anxious person, but now that I am in nursing school stress is constant,” Hodes said. “I forget that I need some time for myself. It’s easy to get lost in all the studying, but whenever I take a break it always makes me feel so much better.”

TCU’s Counseling and Mental Health Center is hoping to help students do just that.

Dr. Matt Johnson, a counselor at the center, is helping students combat their anxiety through meditation groups. Johnson will lead students through various meditation methods with an emphasis on minimizing worry and improving sleep. Methods include sitting, walking and energizing meditation. 

These peer groups are designed to provide tips so TCU students can face personal and academic challenges with ease. Johnson said many of his students have told him that meditation has changed their lives for the better. 

“Every human experiences stress, but not every human being has learned tools to be able to manage their stress and anxiety in a healthy way,” Johnson said. “[In this group] students can learn a variety of techniques to help them manage stress, which is something they will need for the rest of their life.”

Carly Spalt, a yoga instructor and TCU alumna, said it is vital for students to set aside time to relieve stress in order to maintain good whole health. 

Photo courtesy of Carly Spalt (@spaltydawg)
Photo courtesy of Carly Spalt (@spaltydawg)

“It is not normal or healthy for the human body to operate on high levels of stress for long periods of time,” Spalt said. “There are serious health risks correlated to high-stress levels such as; heart disease, high blood pressure and depression.”

Spalt cites yoga as being both physically and mentally beneficial. 

“Yoga is mental clarity, sharpness and stability,” she said. “When you focus on the mental benefits you are receiving then the physical benefits will come naturally.”

Meditation groups will meet four times a semester. Any students who are interested in joining the group should contact Matt Johnson at m.johnson@tcu.edu.