Stock Your Toolbox

Gain a competitive edge and hack your way to more happiness.

Stock Your Toolbox is a weekly, drop-in, skills workshop designed to give you tools to buffer stress, perform at higher levels, recover more quickly from setbacks, and feel happier. Anyone can learn these skills and get better at them! Hacks are based on the cutting edge work of researchers such as Steven Hayes, Brene Brown, Daniel Siegel, Alia Crum, Gabrielle Oettigen, Amy Cuddy, Carol Dweck, Geoffrey Cohen and many more. See below for a description of each workshop offered this semester.

Although some workshops have two parts, all workshops are stand-alone and everyone is welcome!

Stock Your Toolbox will be on Thursdays at 4 - 5 pm in 3rd Floor St. Liam Hall Conference Room (changed from McWell Living Room)


October 3: Handling Difficult Thoughts or Feelings, Peter Barnes, Ph.D.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could just control our thoughts and feelings? That way, we could choose to have only the pleasant ones, right? However, contrary to what we think, we have fairly limited control over them, and the more we try to gain control over them or avoid them, the more out of control we tend to feel. Instead, we can learn to relate to them differently. This workshop introduces you to mindfulness/acceptance-based skills that help you learn to make peace with your difficult thoughts and feelings, so that they don't cause you unnecessary suffering.

October 10: Maximize Brain Function and Improve Performance I, Weiyang Xie, Ph.D.
Want to become a master at juggling your schoolwork and day-to-day life? These two workshops will help you improve your executive function and develop the skills necessary to do just that. We will cover different areas of executive function skills (such as planning, prioritizing, cognitive flexibility, emotional regulation, and impulse control) and help you build critical skills that will lead you to success. Part 1 in a two-part series.

October 17: Maximize Brain Function and Improve Performance II, Weiyang Xie, Ph.D. - Rescheduled for November 21
Want to become a master at juggling your schoolwork and day-to-day life? These two workshops will help you improve your executive function and develop the skills necessary to do just that. We will cover different areas of executive function skills (such as planning, prioritizing, cognitive flexibility, emotional regulation, and impulse control) and help you build critical skills that will lead you to success. Part 2 of a two-part series but beneficial as a stand-alone.

October 31: Discovering the Gifts of Imperfection I, Peter Barnes, Ph.D.
While being perfect is a noble ambition, perfectionism can make us fear failure, disapproval, or rejection - inevitable experiences of the human condition that can actually teach us valuable lessons. Discover the gifts of imperfection and deepen your creativity, resilience, and success. Through this workshop you will learn how to: Understand problems with perfectionism, engage in better ways of experiencing your imperfections, learn how valuing imperfection can make us happier and more successful. Part 1 of a two-part series.

November 7: Discovering the Gifts of Imperfection II, Peter Barnes, Ph.D.
Who would you rather live with, a bully or your best friend? Which of these would help you flourish and be your best self? Most of us would answer "my best friend!" Yet the person who talks to us the most (that voice in our head) is often the most critical, leaving us drained and discouraged. Counter to cultural beliefs, research suggests that turning that bully into a trusted friend decreases anxious and depressive thoughts and increases happiness, productivity, and achievement. In this workshop, you will practice the antidote to perfectionism and take away powerful skills for turning you into your own best friend. Part 2 of a two-part series.

November 14: Self-Betterment Through Worry Management, Weiyang Xie, Ph.D.
Are you stuck in the past and worried about the "what if" in the future? Want to free yourself and unlock your full potential? This workshop will help you achieve that goal by providing you with an understanding of what happens in the mind-body connection when you feel held back. You will learn stress and anxiety management skills as well as strategies that will help you become the best version of yourself!

November 21: Maximize Brain Function and Improve Performance II, Weiyang Xie, Ph.D. - Rescheduled from October 17
Want to become a master at juggling your schoolwork and day-to-day life? These two workshops will help you improve your executive function and develop the skills necessary to do just that. We will cover different areas of executive function skills (such as planning, prioritizing, cognitive flexibility, emotional regulation, and impulse control) and help you build critical skills that will lead you to success. Part 2 of a two-part series but beneficial as a stand-alone.

December 5:  Self-Betterment Through Worry Management, Weiyang Xie, Ph.D.
Are you stuck in the past and worried about the "what if" in the future? Want to free yourself and unlock your full potential? This workshop will help you achieve that goal by providing you with an understanding of what happens in the mind-body connection when you feel held back. You will learn stress and anxiety management skills as well as strategies that will help you become the best version of yourself!

December 12:  Taming Text Anxiety, Megan Brown, Ph.D. and Michael Sheffield, M.S.
Get ready for exams with some science-based strategies to perform at your best.


Attend five sessions, turn in your Edge Advantage Card and you'll be entered into a drawing for a well-being gift such as an essential oil diffuser! Bonus: bring a friend with you for the first time and it will count as an additional session!


This workshop series is co-sponsored by the McDonald Center for Student Well-Being and the University Counseling Center.  For questions, contact Megan Brown, Ph.D., Director at mbrown15@nd.edu