Jo Ann Bibb, a wellness clinician at the Bon Secour Hospital’s Mind Body Institute in Richmond, Va., spoke at Nichols Auditorium on Oct. 4 and 6 about various ways to reduce stress and live a healthier life.
At the Oct. 4 appearance, Bibb, who is the mother of upper school math teacher Jane Keller, who organized the events, spoke to grade 11 parents on how stress can impact one’s mind, body and character, and also offered tips on stress reduction. Bibb spoke to the juniors on Oct. 6 on the same topics.
“Stress is a perceived situation where you feel you have no control,” Bibb explained to the students. “In those moments, your body freezes and the adrenaline rushes and you’re not much different from the caveman who was running away from the tiger.”
Bibb then showed the students a “simple but profound exercise” that could reduce stress levels and help students function more productively. The exercise involved closing one’s eyes and finding sensation in the hands, feet, back and seat areas, and then focusing on breathing.
“Very often, you’re in your head trying to figure out what to do, where the safest place, most reasonable place to be is calm in your body, but you just can’t quite find it,” Bibb said.
Going through this exercise for just 10 minutes a day can keep students from becoming too wrapped up in stressful situations, thus rendering them more able to face them.
Thorough practice of the exercise will also make them more able to recall the sensations so that they can reduce stress more quickly and easily.
“That little stockpile of time … goes through your day,” Bibb said. “You have a much more easeful use of your brain. Things are more easily accessed.”