How to Quickly Relax When You’re Addicted to Working

exhausted woman with head on keyboard
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

You managed to eke out a few more hours of sleep in order to get a head start on your to-do list at the beginning of the day, but you’ve finally made it to the conclusion of your workday. It continued with you having lunch at your desk so as not to lose momentum, rejecting calls from family and friends so as not to feel guilty about not working, and adding new tasks to your plate after completing the ones you were already working on. 

You have been able to avoid taking even the slightest break from your job in order to maintain your concentration on improving your performance and achieving your goals. You must be worn out at this point. And in addition to that, you have an unhealthy obsession with your job.

There is a part of you that is aware of this fact and is aware of the sense of urgency with which you need to summon the personal bravery necessary to address the unhealthy factors that lie at the root of your compulsive work style.

For the time being, the only mental energy you are capable of mustering is the little amount that is necessary to figure out how to fast rest so that you may do it all over again tomorrow.

Do You Spend Too Much Time Working?

A person who is a workaholic is one who is preoccupied with working at all times, whether they are in the workplace, at home, on vacation, or even when they are taking a break. Job addiction hasn’t received a lot of attention as a mental health disorder, despite the fact that the phrase “work addiction” was originally used in the early 1970s.

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On the surface, it may seem as if the person is merely trying to keep on top of their game or have their job under control, but the underlying problems with it go far deeper.

People have a tendency to become emotionally, socially, and physically dependent on the job that they do, and as a result, they get fixated on spending additional hours at the workplace. This may result in unhealthy reliance, in which a person is unable to separate their life outside of work from their life at work.

Observable Indicators and Indicators of Work Addiction

You won’t be able to successfully combat job addiction unless you have a solid understanding of the symptoms that accompany it. It is still simple to see job addiction in other people, but in order to recognize it in oneself, you need to have a high level of self-awareness.

The following is a list of the most prevalent symptoms that you or someone you know may have a problem with job addiction:

  • Even if there isn’t a deadline in sight, they are always considering ways that they may do their task in a shorter amount of time.
  • They have long since given up the hobbies at which they formerly excelled, in the expectation of making more headway in their careers as a result of their work-related activities.
  • They are preoccupied with professional achievement to an unhealthy degree. When people are asked about themselves or their lives, the most important aspect that they discuss is their job.
  • Their relatives or other people they care about have recently begun to express concerns that they are becoming emotionally distant, disregarded, and even unwanted.
  • They utilize their employment as a means to sidestep obligations, conflicts, feelings of guilt, worry, and sadness. They channel the anger and fury that results from unfortunate events into their art.
  • They have developed irritability and mood swings as a result of their inability to consistently get enough sleep since they are either working or thinking about work.

It is evident from the aforementioned warning signals that work addiction does not simply harm the person who is afflicted with it but also may have an effect on others who are in the individual’s immediate environment. After recognizing these indicators in yourself and coming to the conclusion that you have a job addiction, the next step is to deal with it.

Issues Associated With Being Addicted to One’s Job

Even while being addicted to one’s profession may seem like a frequent problem, which it is, there isn’t a lot of conversation about the issues that come along with it. Individuals often devote a significant portion of their time to working long hours, which has a detrimental effect on their mental health.

People do their jobs sometimes in order to escape the problems or reality of real life, and they discover that their jobs provide them with a safe haven. On the other hand, because of this, it is quite simple for individuals to disconnect from the real world and get caught up in bad work habits, both of which have an effect on their physical health.

The following are some of the most typical problems associated with an addiction to work:

  • When this happens, one gradually loses contact with their own personal and familial lives. They begin to create space between themselves and the ones who are closest to them by isolating themselves from them.
  • Workaholics often fail to receive sufficient amounts of sleep, relaxation, food, and exercise, which has a severe influence on their physical health. It’s been linked to headaches, difficulties with the spine, and other health concerns.
  • Workaholics are notorious for ignoring their social commitments and withdrawing from their networks of friends and family. They are seldom seen attending activities, and as a result, they grow more introverted.
  • Workaholics run the risk of developing an unhealthy psychological dependence on their occupation and abusing their bodies to the point of fatigue.
  • They are more likely to have feelings of vulnerability if their workload is light or if they suddenly lose their employment, and they are more likely to engage in harmful conduct as a result of their agitation.
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How to Break Your Dependence on Your Job

Until you are ready to make the bold effort to modify your attitude toward work, the following are five short-term options that you may try out to alleviate the stress and mental fatigue that come along with being addicted to your job.

1. Go For A Stroll Around The Neighborhood

After you have finished using your computer and have gotten up from your desk, put on some walking shoes and go for a stroll outdoors. It has been known for a long time that walking is an effective way to relax both the body and the mind. In fact, studies have shown that going for a brisk walk may ease stress and anxiety in a manner comparable to how taking aspirin can ease a headache.

The reason for this is due to the fact that this kind of low-impact exercise causes the production of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that encourage relaxation. You are in luck if you find that your devotion to work has left you with little free time. Even a short stroll of just ten minutes may offer you the stress relief and mental refreshment you need to get through the day.

You may attempt a slower-paced walking meditation to help you relax after a stressful day at work if you’ve exhausted your energy to the point where it feels like more trouble than it’s worth. The practice of “mindful walking,” which focuses on walking with respect, may be found in many different schools of Buddhism. 

This indicates that each step is performed with conscious breathing, knowledge of the complete body, and an attitude of profound gratitude. Walking with awareness is a practice that aims to bring your mind and body into harmony and has been shown to be effective in reducing stress in as little as ten minutes.

Try using a weighted blanket if you’d prefer to relax with a little bit less motion than you normally would.

2. Hibernate With A Weighted Blanket Beside You

After putting in a long day at work, many individuals find that taking a nap is the best way to relax and refresh both their bodies and their minds. On the other hand, if you have a job addiction, it may be difficult for you to detach yourself from tasks that aren’t yet complete and give yourself permission to drift off to sleep.

It’s possible that a weighted blanket may be of use. This particular kind of blanket may weigh anywhere from 5 to 30 pounds and is designed to make the user feel as if they are being wrapped in a warm embrace. When you are anxious, the “pressure treatment” that the blanket is supposed to deliver may help calm your nervous system and slow your pulse rate. A sensation of calm may result from pressure treatment because it may cause an increase in the amount of serotonin and oxytocin that are produced in the brain.

The use of a weighted blanket for twenty to thirty minutes is recommended by a few specialists. However, the length of time is up to you and is dependent on how relaxed and comfortable you feel throughout the process. It is possible that you will have no trouble falling asleep after you have wrapped yourself in a weighted blanket and made yourself comfortable.

However, if you find that using a weighted blanket on its own isn’t helping you relax as quickly as you’d like, you could find that adding music to the routine is more effective.

3. Play Some Otis Redding On Your Stereo

When it comes to boosting positive feelings, music is often the tool of choice. Activate your preferred music streaming service and choose some relaxing tracks to listen to if you suffer from an addiction to work and are seeking a means to alleviate the tension that has built up as a result of your obsessive concentration on increasing your productivity. According to the findings of certain studies, listening to music with a tempo of around sixty beats per minute might induce your brain to “synchronize with the beat” and produce alpha brainwaves. When you are calm, and at ease, beneficial patterns of brainwave activity begin to emerge.

You may be curious as to what kind of music can be found at a tempo of sixty beats per minute. Imagine Otis Redding playing. There is a playlist on Spotify titled “60 bpm” that has numerous of Redding’s songs, including “My Girl” and “These Arms of Mine.” 

In the event that you are not a fan of classic jams, the list also includes other musicians and songs that you could like. You may also undertake your own research to develop a bespoke playlist that is instantly accessible for you to use at the times when you need it the most.

When picking out some music to listen to as you relax, keep in mind that you don’t want to choose a song just because scientific research suggests that it will help you unwind. It’s possible that the opposite of the relaxing effect you’re hoping for will be produced if you listen to music that doesn’t appeal to you.

4. Exclaim “Cheese!”

Smiling is one of the simplest, quickest, and most effective ways to relax that there is. To relax, all that is required is to get over the uncomfortable feeling of sitting down or wandering about with a smile on your face for no purpose other than to let off steam. 

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Research has shown that something as basic as smiling may be beneficial in decreasing the severity of the body’s stress response and lowering heart rate levels following stressful activities. And all of this may take place irrespective of whether or not you are truly experiencing feelings of joy.

When you smile, your brain produces dopamine and endorphins, which are chemical messengers that help lift your mood and make you feel better. Because of this, smiling may be a sly but effective technique to trick your brain into making you feel good about yourself.

Research has shown that a pleasant expression, such as a smile, may make a person seem more beautiful. Participants in research that was carried out at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland thought that men and women who smiled and maintained eye contact were more attractive than those who didn’t do either of those things.

Try relaxing on the floor with a smile on your face if you truly want to push your level of calmness to the next level.

5. Lie Down On The Ground

If your addiction to work has left you in such a terrible state of tiredness that the only thing you can think of doing is lying flat on the floor, you may be closer to relaxation than you know if this is the only thing you can think of doing. The Alexander Technique, which is named after a Shakespearean actor, provides a certain method for lying on the floor in order to relieve tension in the muscles of your body.

This method, which is also known as “constructive rest,” requires you to lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. This particular pose not only assists in relieving stress but also maintains proper alignment of the spine. Be careful not to let yourself grow too comfortable, however. 

When you lie on the ground for a lengthy period of time, you run the risk of developing muscle pain and joint stiffness. The Alexander Technique only requires that you maintain each position for a few minutes in order to experience a sensation of relaxation, and consistent practice may lead to effects that endure for much longer.

The Crux of the Matter

Being addicted to work may cause an intolerable level of anxiety and uneasiness, which can leave a person feeling an urgent need to find some kind of relief from their symptoms. But unless you can have the courage to alter your perspective on work and achievement, the comfort you feel is doomed to be fleeting at best. There are a number of different approaches, each of which is supported by scientific research, that may assist in bringing about a momentary feeling of relaxation.

It has been shown that going for a walk causes the release of neurochemicals that are responsible for reducing stress. It is believed that you may benefit from pressure treatment, which helps calm your nervous system, by placing yourself in a position where you are surrounded by a weighted blanket.

On top of that, the production of alpha waves in the brain may be prompted by listening to music with a certain beat. Alpha waves are the waves that are produced when a person feels calm and at ease. Another option is for you to try lying on the ground. 

The appropriate horizontal posture might assist you in releasing the stress that has built up as a result of working beyond your normal shift. However, cracking a grin is the easiest and fastest technique for those people who are hooked on working to bring about a feeling of peace within themselves. Researchers have shown that smiling might lower the body’s stress response.

Now, if you’re an overachiever when it comes to figuring out how to relax, just as much as you are an overachiever when it comes to work, consider taking a walk around the block, returning home, turning on smooth sounds, lying on the floor with a weighted blanket on top of you, closing your eyes, and smiling at the same time. All of these things should be done simultaneously.

Your MASTERY OF LIFE begins the moment you break through your prisons of self-created limitations and enter the inner worlds where creation begins.

-Dr. Jonathan Parker-

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