The science behind why emails make us anxious

Between the Clinton email scandal, Wikileaks and a possible email connection between Trump and Russia, there's no doubt that society has email on the brain these days. But what's the real reason behind email anxiety?

Whether you have an inbox with thousands of unread messages or you constantly check your email to make sure you don't fall behind, emails get under our skin.

Jocelyn Glei delves deeper in her new book, "Unsubscribe: How to Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distractions, and Get Real." In an interview with Mashable Glei states that, "the average person checks their email 11 times an hour, processes 122 messages a day, and spends 28% of their total work week on email."

In her book, Glei compares emails to lab experiments wherein rats are more motivated by random rewards than fixed ones, much like when we check our inbox and half hope to find an email that could change our lives or careers.

Glei also states that people are motivated by the dopamine that is released when finishing a task, which she calls the urge to completion. However, once you finish with emails and feel accomplished, the minute you look away it's back to the grind again.

Tone is another stress contributor with email communication. It's difficult to read intention through email and so an email sent with a positive tone is received neutrally whereas one sent with a neutral tone is usually received negatively.

According to Glei, this stress is mostly in our heads but the anxiety we feel has repercussions not only at work but in our personal and creative lives as well.

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