The following comments are from participants, aged 15 to 77, who completed a 12 session group program of relaxation and stress management techniques :
"I don't sweat the small stuff anymore, and I feel a 100% better mentally and physically. I used to get headaches all of the time and now I only get them some of the time. The best part of the program was walking out the door after an hour and feeling like a new person. I have told everyone I know about this program and how much it has helped me."
"I feel happier and more light-hearted, less emotional and tearful.
My jaw barely hurts anymore. I feel more confident. It has had quite a
"At work, which is super-stress all of the time, my performance has increased."
"My headaches and muscle tension have decreased tremendously. I
rarely need the Advil tablets I was relying on."
"Being an athlete, the training was extremely helpful. I would like
my teammates to achieve success like I have. I feel like I have control
over my mind, a better balance & perspective on life, and I feel
like I have my potential back. I have loved every minute of it!!!"
"I was very afraid of panic attacks and of too high of anxiety levels in general. I was relieved to discover that there are very helpful ways to finally "get a hold of myself" and teach my body to respond to my mind. Now I feel more in control of myself and this makes me more confident."
"I left each class feeling like it was morning instead of evening. Lots more energy! This course has given me an incredible awareness of the stress that I have been heaping on myself over the years. The best part of this program was a feeling of well-being. It has minimized my headaches and helped me to go back to sleep in the middle of the night. I have used the techniques in a couple of tense situations and was able to come out of conflict feeling okay!"
"It demonstrated my own ability to influence/control Raynaud's symptoms. It made me realize my abilities to reduce the impact of others or stressful situations."
"I come to the classes directly from work and find that when I leave class I always feel so much better about myself and can better handle my problems."
"When family problems upset me now, I can breathe deeply to slow my racing heart and clear my mind. I can relax my muscles by doing my training so that, in the end, the issue(s) can be resolved faster and/or they do not affect my daily life so much. The techniques have helped me relax while studying for midterms, and I am much less worried about midterms and assignments. It has taught me that my muscles often are tense and I am now at least aware of them. In general I am happier. Events which used to cause a lot of emotional pain are handled better and last for shorter periods of time."
"The short techniques were most useful and the most practiced. I am doing better in my classes and dealing better with stress that I ever have in the past."
"I am more relaxed when I get home from work - a very significant effect."
"This training had a large impact on how I feel. It has helped me control anxiety for a couple of presentations, control nervousness during exams, and fall asleep quicker. At the computer I am more relaxed, and generally less tense throughout the day. It has helped me focus with my studying and increased my concentration!!"
"My goal was to improve my stomach pain, and I can control it now with these techniques that I use."
"I am more self-aware, less exhausted, and am feeling more optimistic and empowered to change/manage my physical/emotional reactions. It is easier to fall and stay asleep. I am able to drastically reduce my tension and am more in tune with what my body is telling me about stress."
"I'm sleeping better. I can talk calmly when my teenager fires one of her moods at me. I'm able to let go of things almost immediately."
"People comment that I seem more relaxed (without even knowing that I'm taking the course)!"
"This class has been wonderful. Coming from a place of a lot of stress, anxiety and depression, it was a breath of relief. I wasn't sure what to expect when I began, but slowly I could feel the tension melt. Now I am feeling better and am on track."
"This program was packed with useful information - much more than I had expected. All of it could be applied in my life in some way. It was taught very well and I looked forward to each class. I don't worry as much, I stick to schedules better, I feel in control of my life, and I am happier overall."
"I have been pretty much headache free for a couple of weeks."
"I tend to gather tension in my abdomen. Diaphragmatic breathing always provides me with an immediate release."
"It has been very successful for me because knowing I can do something helps even before I use a technique."
"I feel more alert due to better sleep and quick relaxation."
"This program helped in ways I didn't realize but my husband and kids did! I learned how to cope with "problems" I didn't even know I had. "
"I have had fewer headaches during this period and have slept better. I also was able to not focus on noise outside of the bedroom when I go to bed."
"I was surprised at how well some of these things worked for me. I felt I had already learned a lot about stress management but here I learned a lot more."
"My mind is calm, no more crazy mood swings and freaking out when something is due. I am able to look at situations more calmly and and better able to make a plan of action."
"These skills have had an incredible impact. I have less frequent panic attacks and physical symptoms of stress. I feel so much more in control of situations. This program contained diverse techniques and a calm, helpful, respectful teacher."
"I want to commend you on your course, all of which was non-threatening and informal, yet well thought out, thorough, and exceedingly practical."
"I am truly amazed by the results. Since the course I have found that I get less stressed during exams and my marks have increased incredibly. Through this course I have learned that if I do my work when I am in the mood, and concentrating without feeling stressed, I am much more efficient, and I have more time to do the little things for myself that make me feel better about myself."
"I feel so much better. I'm relaxed, I'm not getting panicky and annoyed as much, especially over little things. My self-confidence / self-esteem has risen - something I've never had before."
"I find I now know ways of relaxing my mind when I need it to shut
down. It is because of these skills that I can now manage stressful
"The best part was how good I felt after each session... I was prepared to be focused on the evening's tasks."
"I recommend this program very much. I think it should be required by every staff and student at the University."
"I was worried that others would think I was crazy or had a problem. This group program was not that way at all. And it was so helpful."
"During my exam I stopped and did a short breathing technique to quiet my mind and allow an answer I knew to flow back in. The exam went well... My interview for a job was much calmer now that I am able to calm myself... I handle busy tasks with less stress."
"I find that I release tightness and tension automatically, especially in a home environment. I am practicing and finding it helps some in a "group of strangers"... I have fewer tension headaches. I am more aware of tightness in my shoulders, neck and behind my eyes so I can control and avoid headaches... With the relaxation techniques I am sleeping right through most nights now!"
"Relaxation is good for focusing my mind before studying. I have more patience with my four-year-old. I did not panic or become upset in the lab when nothing was coming out right. These are big changes for me."
"This program exceeded my expectations. It will strengthen our family in future stressful situations - we are sharing the information with each other and it's working well. I learned a lot about myself and how I ignored stress and just kept going / giving. Now I am able to address stress and deal with situations better and move on to my next task calm and alert and less driven - I take things more in stride."
"I have been sleeping better and have cut the time I needed to fall asleep. I never thought my sleeping habits could be improved so much."
"I learned valuable information that helped me overcome a very stressful period with anxiety attacks. I currently use the techniques and tell others about them."
"I was relieved to participate in a proven, scientifically-based approach which was so affordable. I have found myself feeling more calm and remaining calm day-to-day. I feel less threatened by confrontation and tend to seldom over-react."
"I was initially skeptical about the effectiveness of this type of experience. I found it interesting. The skills presented were very valuable and they did influence how I feel. It made me think of myself and respond to personal needs and implement positive action for my well-being."
"I did not expect to learn so many ways of relaxation. I am very happy to have gained so much. I can now recognize any tension almost instantly. I have used Autogenic Training to relax tension before a migraine took over and I am learning to stay calm. I feel a definite improvement already."
"When I found myself during the middle of the night awake and totally stressed - I tried the techniques and initially felt I had little success. Now, I rarely wake up in a panic. If I do find myself there I can reduce the anxiety."
"Stress inhibited me from getting work tasks accomplished, which then created more stress. Now I can tame the stress response and get the work done - which ultimately reduces the stress level."
"Practicing the techniques and learning examples of negative self-talk were the best. When you did the negative talk it seemed funny - I now find myself laughing when I get caught up in negative talk. Thanks!"
"I can much better manage restless leg syndrome, and a lot of the pain in my upper leg."
"It was more helpful than I anticipated. Seeing the "hard" evidence of improvement in stressful situations as well as the biofeedback was very helpful."
"Usually by the end of fall term I feel sick and tired, but this year I feel much better. I have less upset stomach and am thinking better about life. This was an incredibly helpful program."
"Before, I felt as though I was at the mercy of situations. I feel more in control of my emotions. It has given me power and strength to prevent climbing to the peak of my stress."
"I've noticed I am a lot more relaxed overall. During exams it helps so much if I take 2 seconds to breathe deeply and relax my shoulders. The breathing techniques help me put things into perspective and really focus."
"I actually found myself considering my mental well-being as integral a component as physical fitness in my overall health! I am less quick to get angry at myself and always take time to scan and release discomfort. I looked forward to coming to class and truly enjoyed the friendly and supportive atmosphere."
"I have been able to relieve jaw pain and clenching over the past few weeks. I have a feeling of well-being, calm, and increased confidence in dealing with stresses. The variety and effectiveness of the techniques was surprising and exceeded my expectations.""I enjoy coming to the classes and find I am more relaxed after doing the techniques. It was helpful to see how stress mountain can build and that I can do something to prevent it from escalating further."
"Learning common factors about stress and reactions has helped me
feel less isolated by stressful symptoms (when I learned how common
they are among everyone). I felt that this course was very sensitive to
individual needs, interests and likes among a group of people, while
addressing everyone as a group."
"I am more in control of my environment and how I react to stressors. I am integrating the skills into my workday."
"I sleep better, I have fewer sore necks and headaches, I wind down more often and more easily. I think my coping mechanisms are much stronger now due to these techniques."<>"I have learned to assess the importance of situations more easily, and respond to them accordingly. I have more energy, more positive mood, smile more, and have less abdominal pain!"
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