The Pitfalls Of Being A Workaholic

A workaholic is someone who works compulsively and who may or may not enjoy the work that he or she does. While there isn’t currently a formal, medical definition of what a workaholic is, certain forms of impulse control disorder, stress, obsessive-compulsive disorder and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder may be involved. This is not the same as being hard-working, given that being a workaholic makes it impossible for people to achieve work-life balance, maintain healthy relationships and cultivate positive, outside interests. Being a workaholic can cause you to consciously or unconsciously lose track of time, neglect other obligations and under-prioritize your physical health. Although being a workaholic can have positive connotations, particularly among people who are eager to obtain professional success, if you lack balance in your life, your performance will invariably begin to decline in all areas.

How Being A Workaholic Can Take You Down

Workaholism is a very deceptive issue. Many people think that this is actually a good addiction given that they are accomplishing more, earning more and furthering their careers. In reality, however, any time you lack balance in your life, there is a problem.

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In this instance, although you feel far more productive than other people, you are actually a lot less productive. As you miss out on sleep, neglect your health and create problems in your personal life, your focus will start to decline as will the quality of results that you produce. There are a number of additional, negative impacts that over-working can have on your life. Too much work will stifle your creativity and your problem-solving abilities, given that many workaholics function a lot like robots. You’ll also find yourself spending far more time correcting mistakes due to lost clarity and increased stress. More importantly, while your mind might be committed to going all of the time, your body will not. Insufficient rest, excess stress, poor diet, limited social engagement, unhealthy relationships and other combined factors can lead to mood swings and waning mental and physical health. Workaholics commonly suffer from chronic and wholly preventable health problems such as ulcers, high blood pressure and a range of cardiovascular issues.

Is Workaholism An Addiction?

It is often difficult to determine when a compulsion to work exceeds being hard-working or having a normal drive to excel professionally. Like all other addictions, a compulsion to work excessively takes on addictive qualities when the individual no longer has the power to control this compulsion and when working begins to have a negative impact on personal relationships and overall emotional and physical well-being.

There are a few key symptoms that distinguish hard workers from workaholics. Foremost among these is a driving need to please others that prevents the individual from recognising the negative effects of over-working on his or her life quality and health. Workaholics are commonly under-rested, stressed out and incapable of maintaining balanced exercise and diet plans. Workaholics tend to feel most exhilarated when they are dashing from task to task or fully immersed in a variety of projects. The adrenaline rush that comes from taking too much on or from facing stringent deadlines can be addictive as well and thus, workaholics may feel depressed or anxious when they are not functioning under this type of pressure. Quiet moments spent alone or with family and friends are impossible to enjoy, given that workaholics cannot help but worry about their work-related obligations and are often eager to return to them.

Work As An Escape

For a workaholic, immersion in work-related responsibilities is also a form of escape. People may feel inadequate in other areas of life, while feeling confident and proficient at work. Work can be the perfect escape from challenging emotions. Unfortunately, as workaholics bury themselves deeper in their work, personal relationships begin to erode. This creates additional emotional difficulties that only deepens the need for escapism.

If you’re a workaholic and know that this behaviour is having a negative impact on your life quality and your relationships, contact me to learn more about how hypnotherapy and coaching can help you obtain balance in your life.