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. 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.
  1. Ban tobacco smoke. Constant exposure to tobacco smoke
    and its toxins can be a persistent environmental stressor and
    lead to respiratory problems and other symptoms.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

  1. "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 stress.

Author's Bio: 

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, or call him at
(757) 427-7032. Go to his web site,
, and signup for the
newsletter, OnPoint, and receive his free report,
"JumpStart Your Succes."