Managing Stress Workshop Series


Kate Willett, News Writer

Next Friday, October 30, there is the next installment of the weekly Managing Stress Workshop Series. This workshop has been a weekly event on Fridays from 1:15-1:45 since the end of September, and next week’s topic is Managing Automatic Negative Thoughts. When asked about the event, Ms. Jodi Ramberg, the event organizer, said;  

Managing Stress is a 10-week series of 30-minute virtual workshops via zoom webinars. Each week’s workshop is designed as a stand-alone workshop to better understand how to manage the physical, mental, and emotional dimensions of stress.  Each workshop contains at least one skill that students will practice in real-time to measurably decrease the intensity of their stress.” These skills can be used at any point and are valuable tools against stress and anxiety. 

Negative thoughts affect most people and can be an automatic response to stress. When asked about their significance and how the event would help with them, Ms. Ramberg said;  

With “Managing Automatic Negative Thoughts,” we will be examining how our automatic thoughts and cognitive distortions may be limiting to us and placing us in a state of stress response.  This week’s practice will be focused on decreasing the fear-based response by shifting to empowering beliefs.  By shifting away from fear and by adding in our deep breathing skills, we reduce our stress response and improve our capacity for productive response.” Negative thoughts are a common response to stress, failure, or negative reinforcement from individuals in positions of authority, and this workshop will help teach how to manage them. 

The main thing of automatic negative thoughts is the elevated fear response in the body. When asked about how this impacts the mind, Ms. Ramberg said;  

The foundation of Managing Stress is understanding how to manage our body’s physiological response to stress. Stress activates our sympathetic nervous system, causing us to enter the “fight or flight” mode as it believes our lives are in danger. Because of this response, the body diverts energy from tasks that are not essential to our immediate survival to those that are lifesaving. Essentially the body diverts energy from processes like digestion and critical thinking in order to run faster or fight harder for our lives. While this is useful when we are running away from a tiger, it is not so useful when our tigers are daily occurrences like homework, deadlines, and tests and especially challenging when it’s our own negative thought and belief patterns. 

This event is fantastic for college students and the Managing Stress Workshop Series is a great place to learn new coping skills and how to help one’s mental health during the school year. Students have a high level of anxiety and learning to cope with it can be one of the most helpful skills one can learn. Registration is required, but every Friday students can learn new skills and interact with others learning the same things. More information about this event can be found at 


Kaitlyn Willett is a Dakota Student News Writer. She can be reached at [email protected]