Stress reduction

Customized stress assessment

You work hard, balance numerous responsibilities, and face your share of challenges and adversity. You know all of these bring stress. But how do you get a clear and detailed picture of your life stress and its impact on you?

The Center for Work and Family Life (CWFL) can help you complete a customized stress assessment, working with one of their licensed professional staff members to:

  • complete a stress profile questionnaire and interview
  • receive comprehensive, individualized feedback about your sources of stress, and how stress affects you
  • get ratings on your health habits, social support, Type-A behavior, coping style, psychological strengths, and more
  • use feedback to develop a personalized stress and health management program to target specific areas of need

HeartMath Stress Reduction Lab℠

For employees looking to lower their stress and improve their overall health and wellness, CWFL offers the Stress Reduction Lab℠, where our staff teach effective techniques to reduce stress using a type of biofeedback technology.

How it works

Participants learn a simple technique that combines focus, breathing, and positive emotional states to make heart rhythm patterns more smooth and coherent. Using the program’s real-time feedback, participants then make adjustments until they master the technique and can practice it independently.

How it helps

According to 15 years of research, high coherence of heart rhythm patterns is associated with:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety, improved sense of calm
  • Improved alertness and performance at work
  • Improved emotional states
  • Reduced stress hormones, leading to reduced incidence of stress-related health problems, including both mental and physical health conditions

How you can try out this program

First-time participants can sign up for a one-hour introductory session, during which a CWFL professional staff member will provide a demonstration and tutorial to help you get comfortable with the program. Those who want to continue can sign out a free, portable biofeedback device for independent practice, for up to onemonth or until they feel they have mastered the technique. Stress Reduction Lab℠ sessions are considered separate from counseling and do not count against the annual allowance of counseling sessions.

For more information, watch the stress reduction lab video:

How to sign up

Call CWFL at (213) 821-0800 and ask to schedule a Stress Reduction Lab℠ introduction session

Audio relaxation exercises

These exercises, produced and read by CWFL staff, are designed to help listeners reduce tension and regain energy. They feature breathing, muscle relaxation, and guided imagery techniques, and they can be practiced with or without music.

Download these MP3 files and listen directly from your computer, or download to a portable MP3 player, for easy access to relaxation any time, any place.

Guided Imagery Relaxation Exercise: Breathing for Health and Relaxation – with music, performed by Craig Joyce (4:45) (11 MB)

Guided Imagery Relaxation Exercise: Ocean Waves – with music, performed by Craig Joyce (5:51) (14.4 MB)

Guided Imagery Relaxation Exercise: A Favorite Scene, Place or Person – with music, performed by Bill Macias, LCSW (2:17) (2.6 MB)

Guided Imagery Relaxation Exercise: A Favorite Scene, Place or Person – with voice only, performed by Bill Macias, LCSW (2:17) (2.6 MB)

Guided Imagery Relaxation Exercise: The Forest – with music, performed by Andrea Bardack, LCSW, CEAP (3:14) (3.8 MB)

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercise – with music, performed by Andrea Bardack, LCSW, CEAP (10:58) (12.6 MB)

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercise – with voice only, performed by Andrea Bardack, LCSW, CEAP (10.31) (12 MB)

Breathing Relaxation Exercise “4-6-8” – with voice only, performed by Jason Sackett, LCSW (2.33) (2.9 MB)

The Mental Body Scan – with music, performed by Zachary Ginder (9:57) (11.7 MB)

Other helps for stress

CWFL staff are trained and experienced in helping people develop relaxation and stress management exercises tailored to their specific needs, including meditation and other tools to help cope with life pressures. Call CWFL (213) 821-0800 for information.