Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

Stressbusting with Audrey Tang – Part 3

Stressbusting with Audrey Tang – Part 3

Hello again!

I hope you’re enjoying your week 🙂

My previous blogs discussed some useful tools which Audrey Tang suggested in her stressbusting session which I attended recently. There were also some guest speakers who gave some great advice, which I thought would also be worth sharing.

First guest speaker – John

When John introduced himself, I found out he is an architect and he explained how he can relate to our struggles with the pandemic as students as he went through a similar situation, only for him it was an economic crisis rather than a health crisis. His advice was. . .

“Be yourself, be enthusiastic and be authentic!”

He believes that we can collectively fix the world if we fix ourselves first and then fix the places that are within our world. He uses an analogy to explain how he thinks of a city being like an organism and ourselves being the nervous system or immune system within that organism. He then stated that, collectively, we as humans are affected by our mental health and wellbeing, which also affects the places in which we inhabit.

John is not a mental health expert, he is an architect. However, he quite rightly explained to us that any anxiety experienced should be based on not controlling the outcome and the space you are in. John asked. . .

Where is your happy place? What environment do you feel best in? . . . Make this space for you, it can be at the centre of your mental health!”

If you improve your mental health, you can improve your communities, hence each other, and make the world a slightly better place. It is mental health awareness month, so what better time to create a resilient and robust self!

Second guest speaker – Sharon

Next up was Sharon! Sharon is an award-winning coach who educates parents, children and young people to manage stress and create resilience. Sharon started by explaining that we fundamentally underestimate our capabilities of young people and that adults fix young children too much. Therefore, she gives young people the tools and helps empower them to take ownership of themselves. Sharon then went on to explain some of her tools.

Tool 1

The aim of this tool is to get you to focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want.
With this tool, you need to put your feelings inside the triangle and around the triangle explain your environment (you can decorate your room with inspirational quotes or images). Does your environment inspire you or drain you? What is your social media feed? Do they build you up or are they sharing toxic content with comparisons or negativity etc? You can take action to change this feed and build resilience! (you can take action and decide to only follow profiles who inspire you…choose wisely!) Then, think about the way you see yourself. We cannot choose what is happening around us, but we can choose how we respond to it and how we think about it. Choosing to do nothing is also still a choice.

Tool 2

The thoughts and words we choose to use create your level of resilience and self worth. If you talk about yourself in a self-depreciating way, you are subconsciously giving this same message to your listeners. You are saying to them. . .

“I don’t think much of myself, therefore I don’t expect you to think much of me either.”

When you are with your friends, is there friendly banter? And does this build each other up or tear each other down? Listen out for hot words (ANTs – Automatic Negative Thoughts): “Should” “ought” “must” “can’t” “got to” . . . these are the start of your negative thinking. Even the most resilient people have negative thoughts, but the difference between those who are flourishing, successful and taking action and moving forward are the ones that hear those negative thoughts and start to reframe them.

Tool 3

This tool is all about body language! When you are in an uncomfortable social situation, take note of your posture, think about whether you are standing in a power pose or whether you are making yourself smaller. We all do this subconsciously and it can have a huge impact on how our situations pan out due to the perception others have of us. Have you ever heard the saying, “fake it until you make it?”, well, Amy Cuddy explains where that saying came from and she really goes into detail about how power poses can change your life for the better. Take a look at her TED talk here! She suggests that for those of you who are less confident and who tend to slouch, or make yourself look smaller, for two minutes every day, you should stand in a power pose – stand with your hands on your hips, open your chest and look up! People have been coached on this for years! Evidence has shown that by standing in these poses, you can increase the levels of hormones in your body, which will make you feel more confident. Give it a try!

I hope this blog helps you!

Thanks for reading!

Charley x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *