Helena Bravo, Negosentro | In the United States, work ethic is a cherished valued with deep roots. Such is this foundation that on an average, Americans tend to spend more hours working than any other developed countries; this includes night shifts and weekends. While it’s true that most of them wouldn’t mind some nice time off, job uncertainty and modern technologies (such as work emails on your phone or tablet) can usually get in the way of this.
A few have the ability to balance work and personal life. They make time for their personal affairs, they also approach their workflow in the most efficient possible way and most importantly, they know when enough is enough. For others, however, the line is thin and fragile when it comes to a busy schedule to a non-stop, always working lifestyle.
Statistics point out that both young and adults in the US can be diagnosed as workaholics. Even though this might be acceptable in certain work circles, many experts agree that carrying on such a lifestyle can bring detrimental or even lifelong consequences.
Just like any disease that involves addiction, the most important step is to recognize that you have a problem. Sometimes that is not as easy to do and people might be blinding themselves subconsciously thinking that what they are doing is fine. Here are 5 signs that could prove that you are addicted to work, or you are starting to become one.
1. You Work Noticeably Longer Than Your Peers
Work addicts are usually the ones that arrive first to the office and leave when night has set in and not another soul remains in there, or might go home but immediately log in and run the midnight fuel. 40-hours a week can also seem little to them.
This is because of the common thinking that extra hours means more productive hours, but this is often not the case. Experts recommend taking care of yourself, having sufficient time off and good rests between work hours, which will result in more productivity in less time.
2. You Can Not Seem to Turn it Off
Workaholism is not defined by working for endless hours only. Experts define workaholism as being unable to take your mind and actions out of work. It means that even if you are in your dreamed vacation or the best place ever, you will not be happy or enjoying yourself, you will be stressing and missing the work you are not doing.
It will also have the added effect of stress, which is one of the most common problems amongst work addicts. healthy worker will be thinking and looking forward to other aspects of their lives; they will help to trigger parts of the nervous system that keep you happy, and functioning in a healthy way. For work addicts, as they can only think of work even while they are not there, thinking of anything other than working will tend to trigger stress-inducing parts in the nervous system, leading to anxiety and even mood swings.
3. Your body Does Not Feel Well
Work addicts tend to have a ton of bad practices that usually result in health deterioration. The starting point usually is unhealthy food, such as fast food, which is go-to for the sake of getting it over with so they can return to work, and it can escalate to the point of skipping meals altogether just to keep working. Exercising is not even contemplated and sleeping patterns get unbalanced and off-schedule.
Overworking obsessively can bring ailments such as migraines, headaches, severe gastrointestinal problems, rapid weight loss or weight gain because of bad eating habits, ever increasing tiredness and mood swings. These, combined with high levels of stress can lead the body to start releasing hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, and many other high doses that are detrimental to the person’s physical condition.
4. Your Relationships Are Strained
It is important to remember that workaholism is a disease and it has an addiction cycle that will be progressing with time; the first signs of detriment start with your loved ones. Family and close friends will be the first to tell you that your absence is more than noticeable. When phrases such as “I don’t remember the last time I saw you” or “You never seem to be around anymore” start to be heard perhaps it is time to re-examine the balance of your work lifestyle.
If you are addicted to your work, you will start to miss important milestones in the life of your close ones, like birthdays and anniversaries because you feel unable to say “NO” at work and “YES” to your family, friends or loved ones. Experts say that in most cases, marital problem surface because of work addiction tendencies, and if not treated they are most likely to end up in divorce. Children of work addicts have a tendency to develop depression and anxiety.
5. You Think You Are Worth Because of Your Work Success
Workaholics determine their worth only through achievements. They start to develop a sense of perfectionism. While the tenacity and conviction to do your job as best as possible is a great trait to have, workaholics tend to distort this sense of perfection.
Never being satisfied and spending more and more hours trying to find solutions to problems that don’t even exist in the first place. As a result, it becomes a destructive behavior with each passing day, as they label great results as “mediocre” or “lackluster” and thus, reflect those feeling upon themselves.
Having the desire to excel and be the best at your job is not a bad quality to have at all. However, many personality traits can lead people into dangerous paths. Remember that as a disease, addiction should be professionally treated. It is important to have a balanced relation between work and life.
If you feel identified with any of the signs above, or if you have a family member or loved one that could be going through any of these situations, reach out to them, talk to them, and try to convince them they need to seek professional help.
What are some cases you know about workaholism? Share your experience with everyone in the comments below!
Author Bio – Sahiba Sadana is a content writer, well-versed in SEO writing. Her works have appeared on Business Town, Sharda University, and The Business Woman Media. The English post graduate is a Sherlock Holmes fangirl. You can read a recent article by her about drones on The Absolute Reviews.