How often a day do you check your emails?  Do you feel anxious or a sense of panic at the idea of not being able to access your emails for a few hours?  Recent research has suggested that checking your emails too often could actually be bad for you and significantly increase your stress levels.  Your first reaction to this statement might be that you have no choice in this matter!  The following information might help you change your views on emails.

A study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior (Kostadin Kushlev & Elizabeth W. Dunn, February 2015) has suggested that it isn’t the volume of emails that you handle which is problematic.  What plays a role in causing stress is the frequency with which you check your emails.  Researchers observed a significant reduction in stress when participants checked email less frequently (only 3 times a day). This reduction in stress was significant and about as large as the benefit people get from learning relaxation techniques (e.g., taking deep breaths, visualizing peaceful imagery).  This research also concluded that we can be more efficient with daily tasks by checking less often.  Reducing stress levels and being more productive, now those are two great reasons to start rethinking how you manage your emails!

Manon Melanson
Psychologist