Stress is a necessary and normal part of life. However, too much or unmanaged stress can lead to academic, personal, and health issues. Illinois State University students report stress as one of the top barriers to academic success.

Practice of Positive Living is a free, eight-week stress management program that helps students become more present in their daily life. Classes meet once a week for one hour.

The program utilizes a variety of stress reduction techniques such as support, meditation, breathing practices, self-discussion, exercise and nutrition, and journaling as resources to help you manage stress.

No special equipment or clothing is required for participation. Sessions are facilitated by Jill Belongia, B.A., ERYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher).

A separate class is available for faculty and staff on Tuesdays beginning March 18.

What: Practice of Positive Living stress reduction class
When: Every Thursday from March 20 to May 8
Where: 159 McCormick Hall
Cost: Free, but registration is required and space is limited

Top 5 things a student learned from Practice of Positive Living

  1. Keep a log of negative thoughts you have during the day. This made me realize that I had a lot of negative thoughts daily and that I should focus more on the positive things in life.
  2. The importance of a regular sleep schedule. I struggle personally with being able to have a regular sleep schedule while at school, and I know a lot of college students have the same problem.
  3. Essential oils. I did not know these could help reduce stress. I bought lavender oil for myself recently and I love using it when I feel stressed out or anxious.
  4. The “Where does the time go?” log sheet was very helpful. After I completed this activity, I really saw how much time I wasted during the day, and how I had free time that could’ve been put towards exercising or doing other important things.
  5. Mindful eating and paying more attention to the foods I put into my body. I started to realize I had a somewhat unhealthy diet, and after the course I really worked on incorporating healthy eating habits into my daily life like getting more fruits and veggies as well as getting more dairy.

Find additional information on stress reduction programs and resources from Health Promotion and Wellness.