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Video: PAWSitively Stress Free dogs give students a break

Dogs aren’t just adorable. They’re also really good at calming you down.

That’s why Illinois State offers PAWSitively Stress Free, a stress-relief program co-sponsored by Health Promotion and Wellness and Milner Library. Once a month and twice during finals week, students can take a break and stop by Milner Library’s third floor to pet certified therapy dogs and enjoy other stress-relieving activities.

Illinois State students report stress as one of their top impediments to academic success. Research shows that for some, just a few minutes petting a dog can lower the body’s level of cortisol—the stress hormone. This lowers your blood pressure and helps you feel relaxed, which will allow you to focus.

“I think with all the stress of finals week, it’s nice to take your mind off of it and get to interact with dogs,” said Terri Kaszynski, music education major. “Dogs are very loving, and I feel like we can tell that, and the dogs can tell that. Together, it just makes everyone a little happier.”

The dogs will be back at Milner Library for finals week from 2–6 p.m. Monday, May 4, and Tuesday, May 5, along with chair messages.

PAWSitively Stress Free is one of many stress management programs offered by Health Promotion and Wellness. Learn more at

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