Is Work Taking Over Your Life?
Most people assume that addiction only visits those who are prone to substance abuse, but the reality is that addictive behaviors can be formed around any activity or behavior that humans are capable of. Many things stimulate the reward centers of the brain, which are responsible for addiction, and so anything good can become unhealthy if you let it. Same goes for work.
Americans statistically work more hours than any other western nation and have higher levels of recorded stress. When you’re working too hard, you don’t sleep enough or eat right, and you often fail to see the damage being done to the immediate relationships in your life. “Addicted to workohol” some jokingly say but the effects of a work addiction can have far-reaching effects.
Consumed with performance and the tasks and actions of the daily work mode can often obscure from view the things that truly matter in life. We tell ourselves that if I can just to that next achievement, I can rest and enjoy life. If I just make this little extra money or finish this next project. But the work keeps coming and the days and hours of your life are sucked up into the tasks and duties of the day until suddenly one day you look up from your work to see that the kids are grown and the spouse is miserable and you’re no spring chicken anymore. Suddenly those “somedays” disappeared and you’re left with no memories of life, family, health, and beauty.
Remember when you’re plugging away at your ambitions and achievements that the real wealth of life is not always money and trophies. There’s a reason our ancestors established a “holy day” once per week when you weren’t supposed to work. It’s important to take time (at least in the evenings and on the weekends) to communicate with the people you love and share experiences that make life worth living.
If you or someone you know is overly absorbed in stressful, life-consuming work, break them out of it with something out-of-the-ordinary. A trip or a day off that somehow reminds them of what’s truly valuable. If the situation continues to damage the person’s health and wellbeing, professional help may be required. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us