Campus’s favorite furry friends will be back on the third floor of Milner Library this semester, spreading smiles and reducing stress. PAWSitively Stress free is a free event co-sponsored by Health Promotion and Wellness and Milner Library that brings therapy dogs to campus. The dogs are certified through Therapy Dogs International and are provided by Town and Country Kennel Club in Bloomington.

Illinois State students report stress as one of their top impediments to academic success. While stress is a necessary part of life, too much of it can be harmful.

Research shows that for some, just a few minutes of petting a dog can lower the body’s level of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone. Reducing cortisol levels lowers your blood pressure and helps you feel relaxed. Lessening your stress will allow you to be able to focus better on studying and projects.

Additional stress management resources are available through Health Promotion and Wellness, such as a mindfulness class, a free guided meditation, massage offered on campus, and interactive workshops.

What: certified therapy dogs, coloring, and other stress-relieving activities and information
When: Fall semester dates are

  • Wednesday, September 10, from 3 to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 8, from 3 to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 12, from 3 to 5 p.m.
  • Monday, December 8, from 2 to 6 p.m. (finals week with free chair massage by certified massage therapists from Aches Away)
  • Tuesday, December 9, from 2 to 6 p.m. (finals week with free chair massage by certified massage therapists from Aches Away)

Where: third floor, Milner Library
Cost: free
Registration: not needed