The current issue of New Scientist has an informative article on what you can do to have a happy and stress free career. Many of the things it lists are highly desirable, if not necessarily achievable, such as: a good working environment; raising your status if possible; taking control of at least some aspects of one’s working life; being social (but not too social) and learning to leave work at the office.
There is a lot of good stuff in the article and it good to see mention made of the Whitehall Studies which demonstrated a correlation between status and sickness and mortality rates – the lower down the Civil Service pecking order, the less likely you are to live to a healthy and ripe old age.
When it comes to discussing other stress busting techniques, I have no problem with yoga or other relaxation exercises, I would love to have a cat in the office and a place for a short nap would be great. What I do have a major issue with is armpit sniffing as a means of relaxation: According to a study undertaken by the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia 18 women sniffed extracts from the armpit sweat of six men and volunteers claimed to feel “less tense” and “more relaxed” .
I am quite a tolerant soul but I am not sure I want to see colleagues with their noses stuck in the oxters of other colleagues!