UB Presents to Columbia Chronicle Staff on Mindfulness, Stress & Conflict Management

By UB Clinical Intern & Northwestern Graduate Student, Taejah Vemuri

Urban Balance recently had the honor of being asked to present to over 40 student staff of the Columbia Chronicle, the student newspaper of Columbia College. Their Faculty Advisor, Christopher Richert, recognized the demands of balancing work, school and personal lives and wanted to offer the students support and resources to promote their personal and professional development.

UB Founder, Joyce Marter, along with UB Clinical Intern, Taejah Vemuri, tailored Marter’s Psychology of Success presentation into a 2-hour session to meet the particular needs of this dynamic group. Marter and Vemuri facilitated interactive discussion on the following recommendations:

  1. Practice Mindfulness
  • Stop second guessing the past and worrying about the future by bringing your attention to the present moment through meditation, deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.
  • Living in the moment also guides you towards understanding your current emotions, instead of allowing them to control you and dictate your life.
  1. Live Consciously
  • Recognize themes and patterns in your life, decide what is working for you and what is not. Empower yourself to make conscious decisions regarding your future.
  1. Practice Gratitude
  • Look at the good parts, recognize the blessings that empower you, and the challenges that help you grow.
  1. Practice Acceptance
  • Empower yourself to control what you can, then let go of the rest. As Maya Angelou once said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
  • Foster self-love and self-forgiveness, which are key components of achieving balance.
  1. Think Positively
  • A key step in reaching your goals is to think positively.
  • Strive to believe in yourself and in your ability to reach your potential.
  • Visualizing the completion of your goal is the first step in achieving it.
  • Don’t let others deter your positive thinking. As Marter pointed out, “Do not listen to people who try to make your life smaller.”
  1. Practice Self Care
  • Achieve balance by replenishing your emotional and physical energy with activities that restore you, and acknowledge yourself and your hard work.
  • Show empathy for yourself by recognizing that progress is not linear, and that you will loop through ups and downs during your journey. As Marter stated, “Sometimes things that feel like setbacks are actually opportunities for growth.”
  • Spend time with people who support you and encourage you to be your best self, while concurrently setting healthy boundaries that demonstrate respect for yourself and others.
  1. Use Your Time Effectively
  • Manage your time effectively in order to achieve balance and reduce stress.
  • Strive to avoid time wasters and prioritize your tasks.
  • Break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable projects.
  • Prepare and plan, stay organized, and focus on what you hope to achieve.
  • Take the time to reflect on your work habits.
  • Think about what is and is not working, and brainstorm better ways to manage your time. There is always room to grow and become more efficient.
  1. Resolve Conflicts
  • Learn to resolve conflicts by becoming rooted in the present through mindfulness.
  • Avoid knee-jerk emotional reactions, and to zoom out of the current conflict in order to gain perspective and see the big picture.
  • Strive to avoid behaviors that add fuel to the fire. Specifically, it is often tempting to be overly critical, defensive, or show contempt for someone you are in a conflict with. Remember that these behaviors do not serve you, and will only worsen the conflict.
  • Focus on what you can control, such as your own behavior, yet recognize that you cannot change other people or your own reactions.
  • Use assertive communication that is honest and straightforward, along with “I” statements, which focus on your thoughts, feelings, and reactions.
  • Make amends and forgive. Take responsibility for yourself, and let go of resentment and anger by forgiving others and yourself. As a student beautifully stated during the presentation, “He who gets you angry conquers you.” Learn to resolve conflicts instead of losing yourself in anger.

UB was delighted to present to the student staff of the Columbia Chronicle on these important topics, which represent ways to reach success while also maintaining a balanced sense of self.  We were also happy to explain that UB provides insurance-friendly counseling and is in-network for most plans. The students were interested to hear that UB offers confidential, sliding fee counseling with our clinical interns, for as low as $25/session.

For more information about Urban Balance or our presentations, please contact info@urbanbalance.com.

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