Stress Management

Goals

The goal is to find scientifically backed effects of stress on humans and expert-recommended ways to reduce stress levels.

Early Findings

  • Chronic stress can "can lead to atrophy of the brain mass and decrease its weight" which can affect cognitive abilities and memory.
  • WebMD says that 43% of all adults suffer negative effects of stress and that anywhere from 75-90% of doctor visits are related to stress.
  • Stress can cause ailments such as headaches, high blood pressure, diabetes, skin conditions, depression, and anxiety.
  • Researchers found that stress creates more myelin-producing cells in the brain, but decreases the amount of neurons. This interferes with communications in the brain and has a negative effect on the brain's hippocampus.
  • Stress has been proven to increase cortisol levels and can actually kill brain cells.
  • Guided imagery is a short-term stress management technique that involves imagining a peaceful scene in one's mind to reduce feelings of stress.
  • Other short-term techniques include meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and breathing exercises.
  • Longer-term techniques include remembering to allow yourself breaks from stressors, such as taking breaks at work, and building a social support system.
  • Experts often recommend regular exercise as a tool to combat stress, as well as making sure to spend alone time taking care of oneself.
  • We found some proprietary research from one of our data partners which may be helpful:
Key Findings on Sleep Aids and Stress Management (Euromonitor International, $260)
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Proposed next steps:

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