Have you been feeling a bit stressed out lately? According to a soon-to-be-released research study conducted by Loughborough University in the U.K., reading and sending emails, especially those that interrupt your work, significantly raises levels of stress in your body.
As part of a study, researchers monitored 30 government employees as they went about their day, measuring certain markers of increased stress. Scientists found that 83% of those studied felt email-related anxiety, with symptoms including a quicker pulse, increased blood pressure, and higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Stress levels were highest when inboxes are at their fullest.
The study found that there’s a way to find relief from the email stress: Get your inbox organized. Using folders to organize emails and using email managing apps to reduce clutter help lower anxiety by making it feel like you have more control over the communication medium. You should also make an effort to avoid multitasking – that is, reading emails and answering phone calls at the same time – overloading your brain will only increase stress levels.
“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.