Research

The 2014 Stress in America™ survey from the American Psychological Association revealed that 42% of adults feel they are not doing enough or are not sure whether they are doing enough to manage their stress.

[1]

Persistent and intense stress can have negative health impacts on your entire body:

  • Head: stress causes loss of sleep, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression
  • Heart: stress increases blood pressure, raises cholesterol and increases your risk of heart disease
  • Stomach: stress can cause pain and digestive problems
  • Immune System: stress decreases your body’s immune response, increasing susceptibly to colds, flu and other illness

How can you reduce stress?

Strategy Benefit
Mindfulness A growing body of research shows a link between mindfulness activities and lowered levels of stress.[2]
Breathing Deep breathing opens the diaphragm located next to the vagus nerve, which regulates your body’s relaxation response. By practicing deep breathing, you can naturally trigger your body’s relaxation response[3]
Positivity By focusing on the positive, you are able to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body[4]
Physical activity In the short-term, exercise can reduce stress by quickly helping to lower blood pressure. Longer-term, exercise reduces stress by improving overall health.[5]
Taking a break Breaks are a necessary refresher for your mind to re-energize on the task at hand or to re-set to a more positive mindset after encountering a stressful situation[6]

 

How does Monday fit in with all this?

Monday marks the beginning of the week and culturally symbolizes a day for fresh starts. In fact, research shows that Monday is the day people are most likely to adopt new health behaviors [7] which means it’s a great day to engage in new stress-reduction strategies and connect with others who may be doing the same.

While 27% of people report that Monday is the day they experience the most stress, 58% of people see Monday positively, as an opportunity for a “fresh start” and a day to “get my act together.” [7]

A 2014 survey showed, 85% of respondents strongly agree or agree that starting Monday with a positive frame of mind improves mood for the rest of the week. [7]

  1. American Psychological Association. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2013/stress-report.pdf
  2. Kimberly A. Williams, Maria M. Kolar, Bill E. Reger, and John C. Pearson (2001) Evaluation of a Wellness-based Mindfulness Stress Reduction Intervention: A Controlled Trial. American Journal of Health Promotion: July/August 2001, Vol. 15, No. 6, pp. 422-432.
  3. Harvard Health Publications. (2015, January). Relaxation techniques: breath control helps quell errant stress response. http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/relaxation-techniques-breath-control-helps-quell-errant-stress-response
  4. Frederickson, B.L. (2001). The Role of Positive Emotions in Positive Psychology. Am Psychol. 2001 Mar; 56(3): 218–226.
  5. Stress and Exercise (2015). American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2013/exercise.aspx
  6. Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (2010).Healthy Monday: Two literature reviews.
  7. FGI Research (2014).  Online panel of 1,000 respondents.