The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

South seminar shows how to cope with stress

By Katherine Ladd/reporter

Even though everyone experiences stress, how one chooses to react determines whether the stress is good or bad.

When Sandra Johnson, a TCC counselor, began Stress: Coping with the Pressure of School, Work and Family Nov. 25 on South Campus, her audience fell silent.

“ If you live, you are going to have stress,” she said.

Bodies produce the same physical reactions when taken on by stress. However, the spirit behind a mental reaction creates the effects of the stress, Johnson said.

During her interactive seminar, Johnson defined stress, the different aspects of life creating stress and the different ways one can manage any particular stress.

“ We have to learn how to manage our lives,” she said.

Without management, stress can consume an individual, Johnson said.

Stress is a physical and emotional reaction to change. The objective is to identify how each stress affects people, allowing them to understand how to make it work to their benefit.

While some stress consequences can be positive, such as creating motivation in an individual, Johnson said many stresses have the counter effect, causing an individual to be counterproductive and can incite disruptive behavior.

Johnson used the HALT system in identifying stress. HALT stands for hunger, anger, loneliness and tiredness. All of these factors signaling stress within your life.

“ More than 50 percent of our stressors come from what we do to our bodies,” she said.

The first step in alleviating stress is to examine what people put in their bodies. Good health, both nutritionally and physically, can dramatically change a person’s stress levels, Johnson said.

Genetic makeup and family history can also help to identify potential stress.

“ Know your family history and safeguard yourself,” she said.

Through different relaxation exercises, including good posture and reflexology, as well as organization and time management, people can safely manage their stress levels.

“ Be at peace with yourself and your choices,” she said.

A counselor for more than 25 years, Johnson has experience helping individuals cope with stress, especially students and the pressure that comes with education. As registration begins for the spring semester, Johnson encouraged all students to take the time to seek counseling and advisement in their college paths.

Johnson said advisement can significantly relieve the stress and confusion that comes with trying to determine your college degree plan and potential career path.

“ I want the student to know what they are doing and why they are doing it,” she said.

For more information, students can visit a counselor or academic advisor on their campus or contact Johnson at

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