From homework to jobs to student organizations—Illinois State University students are busy. With all of that busyness, oftentimes comes stress. And while stress is a normal and necessary part of life, Illinois State students report stress as one of their top barriers to academic success. Health Promotion and Wellness has numerous programs and events to help you manage stress in a productive and healthy way. Here are ways to help you stress less this spring semester.

Meditation for Positive Living

Living with a positive outlook in today’s society can take a lot of practice! Mindfulness meditation, breathing techniques, and journaling exercises will be utilized during this seven-week course (March 17–April 28). Attendees will be encouraged to participate in the exercises during each session and then continue the practice on their own. Attendees will then have the opportunity to talk about their experiences and through this discussion, help each other bring the practice of mindfulness out of our classroom setting and into daily life. Sessions are facilitated by Jill Belongia, B.A., ERYT. A separate session is also available for employees.

Mindfulness Class

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the moment, and nonjudgmentally. During this class, participants will learn and practice various mindfulness and meditation techniques that can help improve sleep; reduce stress and anxiety; improve focus, academic performance, and eating behaviors; and contribute to a greater sense of well-being and happiness.  This course meets once a week for four weeks for two separate sessions in February (February 5, 12, 19, and 26) and in April (April 2, 9, 16, and 23) from 3:30–4:45 p.m. Attendance at all four sessions is strongly recommended.


On-campus massage

Massage is a great way to relax and manage stress. Health Promotion and Wellness partners with Aches Away to provide massage services right here on campus every Tuesday and Wednesday. The cost is $15 for 15 minute, and you are able to book consecutive appointments for a longer massage. View available appointment times and sign up at

PAWSitively Stress Free

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. Recently, therapy dogs have also been shown to lower anxiety levels and reduce feelings of loneliness for college students. Lessening stress allows you to focus better on studying and project work as well as aids in information retention. Students can take a break with certified therapy dogs, coloring, and more. Here are spring 2015 dates and times:

  • Wednesday, February 4, from 3–5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 4, from 3–5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 1, from 3–5 p.m.
  • Monday, May 4, from 2–6 p.m. **finals week with free chair massage**
  • Tuesday, May 5, from 2–6 p.m. **finals week with free chair massage**

Seven: Discover wellness at Illinois State

Seven is a free incentive program that encourages participants to focus on all seven dimensions of wellness: emotional, environmental, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual, and vocational. People who focus on all dimensions of their wellness are more likely to reach their full potential. Participants log activities in one of the seven dimensions to accumulate points. Points = Prizes = Wellness! Read more about and sign up for Seven here.
Here are some additional campus resources to help you manage stress: