Accountable Healthcare - Science-Backed Methods to Reduce Stress Throughout the Day
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August 15, 2023

Science-Backed Methods to Reduce Stress Throughout the Day

Stress is an inevitable part of modern life. However, long-term stress can wreak havoc on our mental and physical health. The good news is that science has provided us with several effective strategies to manage and reduce daily stress. Here are a few to consider integrating into your routine:

Deep Breathing

A study published in the journal *Frontiers in Psychology* found that deep, diaphragmatic breathing can activate the body's relaxation response, reversing the stress-induced changes in the body. Simply take a deep breath, hold for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly. Repeat several times to calm your mind and body.

Physical Activity

Regular physical activity is one of the most effective ways to manage stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise increases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. It doesn't require hours at the gym; even brief spurts of physical activity, like a 10-minute walk, can provide benefits.

Mindfulness Meditation

This is a practice where you focus on the present moment, accepting it without judgment. A review in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine showed that mindfulness meditation can help reduce anxiety, depression, and pain. Just spending a few minutes each day practicing can make a difference.

Limiting Caffeine

While many of us rely on coffee or tea to kick-start our day, high doses can increase anxiety. Find the amount that is right for you, and be aware of how caffeine affects your mood and anxiety levels.

Sleep Hygiene

A study from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that poor sleep quality is linked to higher levels of stress. Ensure you're getting 7-9 hours of sleep, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.

Meaningful Connections

Social connections can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Having someone to talk to can be a tremendous buffer against stress. This doesn't necessarily mean having a wide social network but fostering deep, meaningful connections with a few.

Limit Screen Time

A constant connection can be overwhelming. A study from the *University of Gothenburg* found that heavy cell phone use is linked to increased stress. Designate times to be on your cell and social media to prevent constant disruptions. Power hours of calls work well at Accountable.

Incorporating even a few of these methods can make a meaningful difference in your stress levels. Remember, consistency is key. Prioritize self-care, and your body and mind will thank you.