Don't hold your breath! And other tips to reduce email stress.


Those of us who do most of our work online will not be surprised to hear that reading and responding to emails tends to raise the heart rate, increase blood pressure and heighten levels of cortisol. Yes, that’s the ‘stress hormone’, responsible for raising the chances of all things nasty, from heart disease to weight gain.

It turns out there’s even something called email apnea, a problem which affects 80% of the population, causing us to breathe shallowly or even hold our breath while reading email.

Unless you want to change jobs, there’s not much you can do. But you can take steps to become aware of what’s going on in your body and mind, and work to reduce or remove these symptoms as much as possible.

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