Duh, Frequently Checking Emails After Working Hours Turns Out To Be Bad For Brain Health, You Know! This is what the experts say


Working from home or working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic often makes working hours blurry. It is true that working from home is considered much more flexible, but for some workers, working hours do not end at 5 or 6 o'clock; some have to work late into the night. Checking email after working hours has become a common activity.

In fact, according to a study, checking email outside of working hours can be bad for brain health, you know! Not only for the brain, but also bad for health, both mentally and physically.

The Bad Impact of Checking Emails After Working Hours for the Brain

Keeping working after the specified working hours if done continuously will certainly make us stressed. When we should rest our body and mind, but instead continue to be forced to work. Every time this is done, the brain can be negatively affected.

Dr. Daryl Appleton, a psychotherapist revealed that when we work (in this case checking email) after working hours, the body will produce cortisol (stress hormone) consistently. As a result, three things happen in the brain when we have consistent stress.

"First, the amygdala starts to overreact and sees everything as a threat," says Dr. Appleton. This means, when reading work e-mails, we may think that the boss or co-worker who sent the e-mail is being passive-aggressive.

"Secondly, the prefrontal cortex (the brain that works to provide views, control stimuli and emotions), starts to panic a little. This means that our decision making becomes more emotional than rational," he explained.

And third, the hippocampus, the part of the brain that stores memories, will shrink.

"If you've ever used a cell phone and then thought, 'where's my phone?' and it's in your hand. Or 'where are my keys?' and you're holding it—it's a sign that you're stressed," says Dr. Appleton.

Causes of Likes to Check Email After Working Hours

Even though they know it's tiring and stressful, not a few workers still check their email after working hours. So, what is the cause?

According to Heidi McBain, a health counselor, often checking or replying to emails after work hours can be caused by anxiety that arises from fear.

"This behavior may be fear-based, because you want to set better boundaries around work, but you may fear losing your job if you do it," she tells Bustle.

It turns out that this is a mistake sending work emails most often after working hours will also disrupt relationships with people around you. They will feel less important if we focus on work outside of working hours.

In fact, a good relationship with the people around is an important part of a healthy life. A Harvard study found that people with strong connections to those around them have better health and live longer.

"Taking care of your body is important, but caring for your relationship is a form of self-care as well," said the study's lead author, Robert Waldinger.

How to overcome

Dr. Appleton revealed that the type of rest when not working is not only physical rest such as sleep, but also mental rest. When not working, try to take a break from heavy decision-making or take a break from problem solving.

In addition, to deal with the stress that arises during overtime, try chewing mint-flavored gum which has a calming effect. Also arrange a more effective way of working so that we can avoid checking email after working hours or overtime.

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