A lot of things are obviously stressing you out . . . your job, dealing with your relatives.  But here's a list of four things that might be stressing you out without you even realizing it.

  • The Lack of Cubicles at Your Office. A lot of offices have open floor plans now, so you can see the whole way across the room.

They say it's more stressful than sitting in a cubicle, because your brain is constantly being distracted.  Even if you don't notice all the extra activity, your brain is working overtime.

  • Sleeping with a Night-Light On. It might even make you depressed.  Researchers at Ohio State made one group of hamsters sleep in complete darkness, and made the other group sleep with a night-light on.

After eight weeks, the ones that used the night-light weren't as active, and also started eating less.  Which are both symptoms of depression.

Long story, short:   When you sleep with a night-light on, sometimes your brain gets confused.

  • Background Noises. Even a buzzing fluorescent light or the hum of traffic adds to your stress level.  You just don't notice it.
  • Your Smartphone. You can do basically anything on it now.  And when you bought it, you probably thought it would make your life less stressful, right?

If you're anything like me, when you have a smartphone everyone expects you to be available all the time.  And research has shown that your stress level goes up the more you check your email and text messages.  I swear, I twitch whenever my email chime goes off.