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Pychosocial well-being


CLM is committed to improving the psychological and social well-being of all its members (students, teaching and research staff and administrative and service staff). It is a commitment to mental health understood in a positive way, that is, in the form of physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not only as the absence of illness. In this section you will find different psychological techniques that will help you to improve your wellbeing and quality of life, tools to be able to face stressful situations more effectively, techniques linked to conflict management and resolution, as well as contents linked to sexual health.  

How to manage anxiety and stress?

On many occasions we may experience intense negative emotions that affect our quality of life and cause us suffering. Some of the most common are related to both anxiety and stress.  

The first thing we need to know. Understanding our emotions

  • Anxiety and stress are normal reactions to situations we are experiencing that we think are not. Underlying these processes is fear (such as the fear of losing control, of not being able to perform a certain task or even of dying). These fear reactions provoke a response from our body to try to cope with a threat. The problem is that our bodies have evolved very little over the last few thousand years, while society, and therefore the problems we have to deal with, have changed completely. As a result we have a coping system for anxiety or stress designed to deal with short-term threats (such as a potential predator) and not medium or long-term ones (such as being able to pass a subject, a course or a degree). Therefore, don't worry, your body's response is normal.
  • As a consequence of these responses, our body prepares us for action, such as running. As thinking is not the best strategy in these situations, anxiety and stress, when intense, make it very difficult to concentrate, so it can be very difficult to study. Other symptoms we may experience are shortness of breath, choking sensation, palpitations, chest pain, sweating, trembling, dizziness, fainting or digestive disturbances. The first thing to understand is that these symptoms are caused by anxiety. 


What can I do about it?

Both anxiety and stress have a strong relationship with fear. All emotions have a valence, positive (joy) or negative (sadness). But they also have what we know as a level of activation or arousal. In other words, there are emotions that activate us, such as anger or fear, and others that deactivate us, such as sadness. The solution, therefore, is to reduce the activation or intensity of the emotion of fear. In this way we can reduce anxiety and stress through relaxation techniques.

We propose two relaxation techniques that have been scientifically proven to be effective in reducing anxiety and stress, choose the one you like best. The two are different, Jacobson's progressive relaxation, which is a more behavioural technique that involves using mainly the body, and Shultz's autogenic training, which requires more cognitive work and, therefore, more use of thought. However, both techniques require perseverance to learn and, therefore, a constant routine. Don't expect them to work completely immediately, they will reduce anxiety and stress little by little. With perseverance, they are very effective. Practice them, as much as possible, every day.

  • Jacobson's progressive relaxation. Both anxiety and stress produce a marked muscular contraction of which we are often unaware. Progressive relaxation is based on achieving muscular relaxation with the aim of reducing anxiety and interrupting stress responses. It consists of a series of exercises to perceive the contrast between muscular tension and relaxation. In this link you have a document for training in this technique.
  • Schultz's autogenic training. Autogenic training is a much more cognitive, more thought-based technique. It is based on thoughts about physical sensations in one's own body, especially weight sensations. 

Ask for help

When we feel unwell, we sometimes find it very difficult to ask for help. If we feel that we cannot cope with the situation we are in on our own, we should ask for professional help. Health professionals in health centres and hospitals will be happy to help us. It is important not to wait until we are very ill to ask for this help, as it is always much easier to solve problems related to our mental wellbeing in their early stages. If you are unwell, do not hesitate to ask for help.