Is Your Inbox Stealing Your Calm? Discover How Less Email Can Mean More Zen!

Electronic gadgets such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops are designed to enhance productivity and accomplish tasks effectively. However, many people feel that they are controlled by these gizmos and are enslaved by them. An important aspect that may interfere with your interaction with technology is lack of control. Constant email alerts can keep you on edge and anxious, as you wait for the next task or appointment.

The connection between stress and email

Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Canada conducted a study to explore the connection between electronic communication and psychological stress. A total of 124 participants from various professions, including students, medical professionals, and financial analysts, were recruited for the study. They were asked to follow a specific email schedule for a week. Some participants were allowed to check their emails frequently (consistent with their usual habit), while others were limited to checking their emails only three times a day.

In the second week of the study, the email habits of the participants were swapped. The researchers assessed the stress levels of the participants associated with their email usage. They discovered that people experienced less stress when they checked their emails less often.

The challenge of changing email habits

However, modifying your email habits to make them less stress-inducing is easier said than done. According to the study, most participants found it challenging to check their emails only a few times a day. Despite the difficulties, making an effort to limit your email usage can positively affect your stress levels. Kushlev, a researcher involved in the study, changed his email habits and noticed that it helped him be more relaxed and less stressed. He now checks his email in chunks several times a day, instead of continually responding to messages.

Companies can also play a part in helping their employees manage their stress levels by encouraging them to check their emails occasionally, rather than constantly viewing and replying to messages.

The significance of email content

The relevance and importance of the content of your inbox should also be considered. A study from Georgia Tech revealed that around 15 percent of business-related emails contain gossip. Gilbert, a researcher at Georgia’s School of Interactive Computing, was surprised by this percentage but noted that gossip plays a role in various aspects of people’s lives.

Improving your mental well-being

It’s essential to take a break from your inbox and focus on your surroundings. Doing more physical activities, like walking, and being more observant of the world around can be more rewarding than constantly engaging with your email. Adopting this approach can substantially lower your stress levels and contribute positively to your overall well-being.