Reduce your stress by changing your thinking – Addressing Feelings of Stress – Dec. 7, 2012

Stress. It plagues us! We are burdened by it. Is there a way to manage stress? Yes, there are some ways that you can reduce stress by changing the way that you perceive situations. While some situations are out of our control, there are ways to manage stress by taking some actions that you may not have considered. Dr. Robert Deluty, Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Professor of Psychology will lead this session on “Addressing Graduate Students Feelings of Stress” on Friday, December 7, 2012, 4:30 PM, UMBC, Public Policy Building, Room 206. In addition to being an administrator and professor, Dr. Deluty is an author and practicing clinical psychologist with a  private practice.

This seminar is brought to you by popular demand. Students who came to the seminar last year reported feeling more relaxed after Dr. Deluty’s seminar. Our evaluations, and our research show that graduate students don’t fully utilize services on campus that assist with reducing stress, but that they enjoy coming to seminars and workshops that have a welcoming atmosphere to talk about topics of stress and anxiety. Dr. Deluty’s schedule is very busy, but he is taking time out of his week to spend time with our graduate students. Please take advantage of this special opportunity. Light refreshments will be served. This event is open to all graduate students and their guests.

UMBC students, please RSVP on MyUMBC:


Graduate students from other campuses may RSVP by writing in the comments below.

About Dr. Deluty:,


SLEEP! It’s like “my precious”

Inspired by PROMISE Alum Dr. Sophoria Westmoreland during her days in the PROMISE Dissertation House as a graduate student at UMCP. Dr. Westmoreland is now on the faculty of the U.S. Naval Academy, serving as Research Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Published by Renetta Garrison Tull

Dr. Renetta Garrison Tull is the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at the University of California Davis. She previously served as Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives at The Graduate School at UMBC, and was Professor of the Practice in the College of Engineering & IT. She was Special Assistant to the Sr. Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Director of Graduate and Professional Pipeline Development for the University System of Maryland (12 institutions). She is the Founding Director of PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) –, and Co-PI for the USM LSAMP. Her research on global diversity in STEM continues, and she is an international speaker, covering nearly all continents, for groups and conferences such as the World Engineering Education Forum, the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies, and the Pacific Sciences Congress. Her personal website is: Connect with her on Twitter: @Renetta_Tull;

6 thoughts on “Reduce your stress by changing your thinking – Addressing Feelings of Stress – Dec. 7, 2012

  1. Dr. Deluty’s seminar on stress management was very informative. I was experiencing a significant amount of stress earlier this past week, and was “catastrophizing” several areas of my life. His advice on combating negative thinking helped me put things in perspective. I now feel more relaxed going into this week, and was able to accomplish a lot this past weekend. To help me combat future stress, I will purchase the recommended reading Dr. Deluty gave us. I have also written out positive affirmations to help center myself during those stressful periods. Today, I also wrote out a prayer to recite when I am facing stressful situations. It is posted on my desk.

    I appreciated the inclusive non-judgmental atmosphere of the talk. I did not feel anxious about asking questions, and I felt comfortable sharing my past experiences with stress brought on by bullying. I feel I will handle stress this semester better because of this seminar.


  2. At the moment I am not feeling particularly stressed because I carefully plan the tasks I need to complete, both short term and long term. My schedule even allows space for free time. I learned at the Dr. Deluty’s seminar that people manage stress and accomplish tasks in different ways. For example, I am a student that can’t study with other people. Doing so causes unnecessary stress. I will continue to do so when studying for comprehensive exams next semester to minimize the potential for a stressful situation.


  3. The main thing I learned was that many sources of stress actually come from things we shouldn’t even be stressed about to begin with. I am not currently experiencing stress, but when I do I deal with it by directly addressing the source of the stress and try to use it as a motivator.


  4. Dr. Deluty’s seminar taught me that most of the stress that graduate students have is based on the personal pressures that we put on each other. Most of the time we end up catastrophizing small mistakes and blowing things out of proportion because we are accustomed to exceling in different areas when surrounded by the general population. But now that we are exposed to people of similar minds and qualities, we tend to desire the same degree of superiority, which leads to disappointment. Also, he talked about the fact that most grad students try to overanalyze situations and draw their conclusions ahead of time, and, when things don’t happen the way we expect, we tend to break apart. He taught us to live in the present instead of trying to live in the future, and learn from mistakes instead of dwelling in the “should be” or “must be”.


  5. This seminar was an excellent way to channel and identify the source and/or other ways graduate students tend to get stressed. Identifying these ways also helped us recognize alternative thinking patterns for a better outcome. Dr. Robert Deluty explained these cognitive thinking patterns that graduate students experience, which ultimately increase anxiety and depression. Patterns such as over-generalization, black/white thinking, and dichotomous thinking can all contribute. I believe all graduate students experience some form of these cognitive thinking patterns, but being able to focus on the positive aspect can eliminate the issue. He explained that time-management, constructive criticism, and effective communication can always help these negative patterns. He emphasized the “classic advice” of eating, sleeping, and exercising well to help stress levels. He also encouraged us to speak with older alumni from our specific programs for advice moving forward. I’m glad I attended to program, and this was perfect timing as we approach final exams.


  6. At this time I am also not feeling negative stress. I try to make sure that I balance the time I spend on school work with the time I spend not working. Every week I try to spend my evenings with friends and family. One strategy that has been working well for me is figuring out what potential sources of stress are and planning my time accordingly. I also play basketball regularly which gives me at least one event each week to look forward to that is not related to school.


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