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.
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?
|Mindfulness||A growing body of research shows a link between mindfulness activities and lowered levels of stress.|
|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|
|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|
|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.|
|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|
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  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.” 
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. 
- American Psychological Association. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2013/stress-report.pdf
- 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.
- 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
- Frederickson, B.L. (2001). The Role of Positive Emotions in Positive Psychology. Am Psychol. 2001 Mar; 56(3): 218–226.
- Stress and Exercise (2015). American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2013/exercise.aspx
- Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (2010).Healthy Monday: Two literature reviews.
- FGI Research (2014). Online panel of 1,000 respondents.