Life is stressful enough without allowing the physical environment - air quality,
lighting, noise, and other controllable factors - to intensify day-to-day stress.
Especially in the Fall and Winter is where you experience less daylight and
more mood swings.
The great thing about environmental stress is that in most cases we can control
what is in our environment that is causing the stress. Take these five steps
to eliminate environmental stressors that might cause stress and tension in
your work and home life.
1. Increase your activities during natural light. Natural light elevates the
mood and helps maintain a regular internal body "clock". Especially
during the fall and winter we experience a substantial decrease in natural daylight.
If you're indoors, try working next to a window and allow as much sunlight as
possible to enter your space. If you work in an office without windows try buying
a natural sunlight lamp ( http://www.wackyplanet.com/natsunlam.html). These
lamps can help with Seasonal Affective Disorders as they provide a natural sunlight
spectrum for health and well being. Prolonged exposure to artificial lighting
in any setting can be an environmental stressor.
2. Ban tobacco smoke. Constant exposure to tobacco smoke and its toxins can
be a persistent environmental stressor and lead to respiratory problems and
3. Evaluate your furniture arrangement. Arrange your furniture so that you
don't feel cramped. Remember you are more productive in a relaxed environment.
Also, is your furniture arranged so that you inviting constant interruptions
from visitors? If you can, move your furniture from the line of sight of potential
visitors so that you can focus better, accomplish your goals, and decrease stress.
4. Frequently Change Your Ventilation or Air Filters. Your office or home is
full of ingredients found in cleaning supplies, upholstery, carpeting, adhesives,
and in chemicals. Devices such as copy machines, printers and computers all
contribute to poor air quality. Combine that with working in an office building
where you can't open windows it makes the situation ten times worst for the
occupants. In extreme cases, individuals may become physically ill from these
pollutants, and even moderate doses can cause coughing, a scratchy, burning
throat, and other symptoms.
If you are concerned about poor air quality in the office speak with the building
maintenance crew and see how often they change the air filters. In most cases,
if you explain in a friendly way why you are concerned they will make an extra
effort to change at least the filter in your area. Also you can buy a personal
air filtration kit at any appliance store to make your life easier. Open windows
At home to allow air circulation. Also frequently change your home air filter.
5. "Bring the Green In." This is a term my wife, Joy Fisher- Sykes,
uses to say that natural colors make us more relaxed. Color has effect on your
mood and energy level. It is generally agreed that blue and green are very relaxing
colors. On a personal basis these might not be the colors that relax you. You
decide on the amount of color you're comfortable with and the shades that most
appeal to you. For example, bright yellow would tend to irritate me it may work
just fine for others because of its brightness. Experiment with colors that
will work to minimize stress for you.
Remember, these are all environmental factor that you can change to work for
you. Just recognize what works for you and take the first steps to decrease
Copyright © 2004 Ed Sykes. All rights reserved
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About The Author
Ed Sykes is a professional speaker, author, and success coach in the areas
of leadership, motivation, stress management, customer service, and team building.
You can e-mail him at mailto:email@example.com, or call him at (757) 427-7032.
Goto his web site, http://www.thesykesgrp.com, and signup for the newsletter,
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the Busy Professional."