Illinois State’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 recurring 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 barriers to academic success. While stress is a necessary and unavoidable 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 overall helps you feel relaxed. Lessening your stress will allow you to be able to focus better on studying and projects as well as improve your overall well-being.

What: certified therapy dogs, coloring, and other stress-relieving activities and information
When: fall 2017 semester dates are

  • Wednesday, September 13, from 2-4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 11, from 2-4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 25, from 2-4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 11, from 2-4 p.m.
  • Monday, December 11, from 2-4 p.m. (finals week with free chair massage by certified massage therapists from Aches Away)
  • Tuesday, December 12, from 2-4 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

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

Need your furry fix now? Check out this video shot last year that tells you more about the program.