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Is Overworking Your Coping Mechanism?

Certain difficulties in life may seem insurmountable. Tackling issues that cause stress, one-off or long-term, isn't easy and oftentimes our flight response is to work. Working has been used as a coping mechanism. Burying ourselves into work to distract us from the problem(s) we need to face, can be costly. So, how much work is too much work? What are the costs? This flight reaction to stress can alleviate emotional stress temporarily, but it's natural to become unaware of the long term impact. In this blog post, we delve into the insidious stress response of overworking and its profound impact on personal relationships, emotional well-being, and physical health.

Photo by Igor Omilaev on Unsplash

Strained Relationships: Overworking can create affliction in personal relationships as time and energy devoted to loved ones diminish. The constant preoccupation with work can lead to emotional distance, communication breakdowns, and neglect.

Prolonged Emotional Suffering: While work might serve as a temporary distraction from emotional distress, it often serves as a band-aid concealing underlying issues that need addressing. Ignoring emotional well-being in favor of constant work can continue the cycle of suffering, as unresolved emotions continue to fester. Ultimately, the toll on mental health becomes evident, affecting overall life satisfaction and hindering personal growth. Talk about counterproductive.

Physical Distress: Overworking takes a toll on the body, manifesting in physical distress. According to the American Psychological Associate (APA), stress can increase the risk of depression, anxiety, sleep problems, headaches, and more. Prolonged periods of stress and inadequate self-care can lead to burnout, compromised immune function, and increased susceptibility to various health issues. The desperate desire to ignore our issues at the expense of physical well-being becomes counterproductive, curbing our wish for a fulfilling and happier life.

As we navigate the demands of our lives, it matters to recognize the expense of overworking as a coping mechanism. While dealing with stress is never as easy as we would like it to be, it should not come at the expense of personal relationships, emotional well-being, and physical health. This is why mental health awareness is so important and can help us cope in a way that helps us to continue living a satisfying life. We can't ignore that this decision, to work to distract ourselves from dealing, can also be influenced by mental health stigmas. Families, friends, and organizations need to be able to identify this occurrence and encourage emotional support and motivate to address underlying issues that are essential steps toward breaking free from the chains of mental health stigmas, and fostering a more holistic and fulfilling life.



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