Jennifer Wegmann, Binghamton University – Stress-Enhancing Mindset

On Binghamton University Week: Stress is an everyday fact of life.

Jennifer Wegmann, lecturer in Health and Wellness studies department, explores how to fight back.

Dr. Jennifer Wegmann is a lecturer in the Decker School of Nursing, Department of Health and Wellness Studies at Binghamton University. She teaches various classes, including Stress Management, Contemporary Health Issues, and Women’s Wellness. She was just awarded the prestigious Chancellor’s Awarded for Excellence in Teaching, and in 2012, Princeton Review named Wegmann one of the top 300 professors in the country.

Wegmann’s current research focuses on the influence stress mindset has on relationships between personality, stress appraisal, and college student well-being.  She is passionate about increasing awareness as it relates to healthy living. Her audiobook Resilience: How to Master Stress, Reduce Anxiety, and Live Well, works to help listeners develop a new, informed mindset about stress.

After two decades of teaching and research, she has seen first-hand how people struggle with stress in their lives. She has made it her mission to help individuals manage their stressors effectively and use their stress to be more productive and healthier.

Stress-Enhancing Mindset

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It’s no secret that stress can impact you negatively, but what if you could use stress to your advantage?

Not only do I teach students how to cope with stressors and avoid creating unwanted stress but just as importantly I teach how to utilize stress in a positive way. 

We teach our classes with a stress-is-enhancing mindset focus. We’re taking a different approach to stress because we all know the horrible things that stress can do; though, research also shows that stress can be positive and there are benefits to it.

My teachings differ from other stress-management techniques since we don’t focus on stopping stress, but teach students to use stress to their advantage and manage stress in a way that makes them more productive. This creates what we call resilience.

It’s not a traditional stress-management course in that we’re not focusing on eliminating stress or reducing stress through techniques like yoga, But, we cultivate resilience through thinking about the ways we cope and how we can change our mindset.

Through student cooperation, we have shown that students could inspire change over the course of a semester, and then had the empirical evidence to back the hypothesis up. By looking at this evidence we have developed a list of tips for mastering stress that anyone could benefit from.  These include…. 

Adopt a new mindset

Take physical action

Manage your time

and

Use your resources

When you change your attitude about stress, you have the opportunity to change the outcomes of the stress in your life. You can be happier, healthier and more productive; not in spite of your stress but through your stress. You can be the captain of your own ship.

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