When it comes to understanding what causes you stress, your usual suspects might be difficult colleagues, bad bosses, nasty clients, crazy deadlines.
You might also be blaming yourself for not maintaining the work-life balance your doctor advises you to maintain. Or you might be feeling guilty for not following the right diet, exercise, and sleep routines in your daily life.
While all of these are well-known as elements that overload our brains, they are not the complete story always. Sometimes, stress isn’t caused by any of these lofty things. It’s caused by something as invisible as the furniture around you.
Yes, you read that right. Furniture.
3 Ways in which Furniture Lets Stress Accumulate in Your Body
- Bad Posture
The smaller the distance between your chest and your navel, the worse your posture. If you tend to think of it as an atypical personal habit, think again.
Bad posture is caused by a bad choice of furniture. If the workstation and the chair you re using are not chosen wisely to suit your height and body type, you are being asked to adjust to the furniture. And that means slouching or stretching.
Imagine doing that for a minimum of 8 hours a week. And 8 hours is just a pretend number! Most executives work longer than that! If you are slouching, you may not be completely to blame. The furniture given to you might be responsible.
It’s also not a story of a mean boss trying to impose cheaper furniture onto the employees. Very often, the bosses themselves are sitting on bad chairs and using bad workstations that have cost them a fortune.
If you are slouching, you are not quite in an energetic mode to just nail it at work. You are not going to achieve anything substantial on a day when you can’t get yourself to sit straight.
The usual fallout? Unwillingness to do anything. If you are ready to curl (thanks to the narrow distance between your chest and navel mentioned above) in your chair, you might be in need of a bed.
Beds are not usually parts of offices. And you know that. But what you’ve been unknowingly doing is exhibiting your bed behaviour on your chair. No wonder no work gets done!
The sleep mode in office gets you blamed for not being able to catch up. Or you guilt-trip yourself into thinking you don’t try hard enough. Because your younger colleagues seem to be doing better than you.
In reality, it’s not about capability but about youth. Younger bodies can withstand a lot of wear and tear to their posture. They eventually do catch up with their posture karma later on.
The point is to recognize that your helplessness emerges from your lethargy which in turn emerges from your bad posture. Caused by the wrong furniture around you.
To summarize, instead of blaming yourself for being chronically stressed (and thereby causing more stress), think a little “objectively”, literally speaking. Spend some time thinking about the chair and the workstation you’ve been taking for granted.
Break this vicious cycle of bad posture, lethargy, and helplessness, for a change – apart from paying attention to all the other obvious factors everybody points you towards.
People choose their jobs carefully. Founders choose their offices carefully. It’s time you think about your personal zone carefully.
If you can’t replace your furniture immediately, try exchanging your chair and workstation with others. A little bit of change might energize you to feel different. Who knows it might turn out to be a different workday for you?
And let us know what you think.