CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - New research shows surprising formulas to stomp out stress.
To knock out a mental melt down, give your stress a hug.
Psychologists now say we should embrace stress instead of trying to look for ways to get it to go away.
Feeling stressed can make you feel like something is wrong with you, Stanford University psychologist say and that can lead to more stress. Instead, they recommend a new approach: take control and find YOUR favorite way to accentuate the positive.
"It's bad," said Josh Bruce, a student at Southeast Missouri State University. "From finals to finances there's so many things to get you off track."
Stress students and parents and just about anybody you ask agrees, there's no escaping it.
"I'm a mom, I have three kids, they are in sports and school and it's just 'go, go, go,' all the time!" said Sara Wagganer. Not only is she a mother but also the Assistant Director of Wellness and Fitness at Southeast.
Wagganer said the university realizes students are under a lot of pressure these days, so they organized a Stress Busters event to take a time out.
The event included nail painting, snacks, massages, puppies and more.
By compiling the latest studies, psychologists now say you have to re-train your brain to take control of stress. See it as a way to bring more positive experiences into your life.
Even thinking about stress they can, can make you crazy because it takes your mind off what's really at the root of the problem, they say.
Psychologist say it can also make you feel like you're inadequate or depressed. Turn what can feel like perpetual panic into positive power.
"It has made such a difference to just take time out today," said Paige Marquart, a Southeast student. "I have a lot of homework to do, but in doing this and taking time away for a while I already feel like I'll go into that and be more productive."
Marquart spoke to Heartland News while holding a puppy from the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri.
"Just holding something warm and fuzzy makes you forget what's wrong," she said.
The top five stress busters
2) Pampering such getting your nails or hair done or a massage.
"It's amazing how much pressure people care in their neck and back," said Massage Therapist Seth Keith. "A 20 minute massage releases those toxins and re-energize you."
3) Others, spend time with pets.
4) Taking time away from smart phones and talking with friends or prayer.
5) Others say it's key to learn now to say 'No!'
"We have to realize sometimes we are actually better off saying 'you know, that can wait until tomorrow'. Good health is key and that's part of that," Wagganer said.
Psychologists suggest people stop seeing stress as a sign something wrong with us instead realize busy can be beautiful if we make up our mind to make the most of the moment.
Southern Illinois University in Carbondale is also bringing in therapy dogs to help students de-stress during the end of the semester. They will do that at Morris Library.
"Dawgs Meet Dogs" is set for 10 a.m. to noon Thursday and Friday. The event will take place Friday also between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
The event is focused on giving students a break as they prepare for finals. More than 700 people dropped by to pet and play with the dogs last December.
Meanwhile "Float into Finals" with free root beer floats for students, faculty and staff will take place at Southeast this Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kent Library Fountain.