Health Promotion: Dealing with Stress and Coping

messages of encouragement and advice on whiteboard

Second semester nursing students study about the stress response and coping mechanisms in patients a few weeks before finals week.

Kim Mueller, a nursing instructor at the Beaver Dam campus, assigns the students to practice the coping mechanism of humor for a minimum of 5 minutes a day for 1 week. In the next class, the students draw on the dry-erase board representations of their experience.  Then, as a group, the class reflects on the benefits of using humor as a coping mechanism based on their personal experience.

Some of the benefits students reflected on included:

  • Decreasing blood pressure and heart rate
  • Many experienced a decrease in their anxiety and helped them feel more positive
  • “It brought my spirit up. I thought, “I can do this!”
  • “I was totally in the moment and I was able to temporarily forget about the pressures of school.”

The Nursing Health Promotions class of BD hopes by sharing their experience here, their fellow college class mates may be inspired to inject humor into their lives on a daily basis and experience the difference for themselves!

To learn more about Moraine Park, visit

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Written by Kimberly Mueller
Nursing Instructor