Feeling a bit stressed? Look no further than your e-mail inbox.
According to a new study by Loughborough University, reading and sending emails, especially ones that interrupt your work, significantly raises your stress levels.
Researchers monitored 30 government employees as they worked through the day, measuring certain markers of increased stress. They found that 83% of workers felt e-mail related stress, with symptoms including quicker pulse, increased blood pressure, and higher levels of stress hormone corisol. The more full the inbox, the higher the stress levels.
The study also found a way to find relief from e-mail stress: Get organized.
Using folders to organize e-mails and using email managing apps to reduce e-mail clutter help lower anxiety by making it feel like you have more control. You should also try and avoid multitasking, for example, reading e-mails and answering phones calls at the same time.
"The brain can only deal with eight to 12 tasks at any one time and if you can’t shut those tasks down you start to become overloaded and fatigued," explained Professor Tom Jackson.