How to embrace and manage stress

The April 27 symposium at MCR helps women take charge of their health by learning mindfulness and stress management.
April 18th, 2017

We all have stress, and we will never completely rid ourselves of it. In fact, some groups —  younger generations and women — are reporting higher stress levels than decades before, according to the American Psychological Association.

Though the human protective fight-or-flight stress response and its relationship to lifestyle overload and disease has been studied since the early 1900s, few people have the tools to manage stress.

But at the upcoming “Take Charge of Your Health: Mindfulness and Stress Management for Women” symposium, Deanna O’Connell, registered dietitian and UCHealth Community Health educator, will review mind and body practices that can bring comfort and regulation to the nervous system, emotions and stress level.

“We can’t totally eliminate stress, so what we need to learn is our triggers and ways to manage it,” O’Connell said.

The body responds to stress by releasing stress hormones, and these hormones can make blood pressure, heart rate and blood-sugar levels go up, according to the U.S. Office of Women’s Health. Long term, this can lead to health issues such as heart disease, obesity, depression and anxiety, as well as menstrual and skin problems.

“Cultivating self-awareness with these mind-body practices can enhance both our health and overall sense of well-being,” she said. “Stress affects our bodies in different ways — emotional, mental, physical manifestations that can cause health problems.”

The symposium, from 6-9 p.m. on April 27, will provide participants with tangible tools to take home and use in daily life—not to eliminate stress, but to embrace and manage it.

The event will kick off with keynote speaker Toni Zimmerman, PhD, from Colorado State University Center for Family and Couple Therapy. Then there will be two breakout sessions — one educational, one experimental.

In the educational session, O’Connell will teach about self-awareness, while Kristin Glenn, MBA, will discuss strategies to get through life’s challenges using the BrainWise™ curriculum.

In the experimental session, Stesha Irons, RN, CNM, MS, will guide people though exercises they can integrate into their daily schedule at work, while Jen Strating, MS, will teach relaxation techniques.

Where to go

WHAT: This three-hour symposium will help women  learn about very tangible tools to use in daily life — not to eliminate stress, but to embrace it and manage it.

WHEN: “Take Charge of Your Health: Mindfulness and Stress Management for Women” symposium, 6-9 p.m., April 27, 2017.

WHERE: Longs Peak Room – Medical Center of the Rockies, 2500 Rocky Mountain Ave., Loveland.

DETAILS: Registration is required. Cost is $25 per person. Discounts are available for Medicaid/CHP+. Register by calling 970.495.7500 [or register here.]