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Stress And Anxiety
Can Cause Work Addiction

Stress and anxiety can lead us to change our behaviors and attitudes to all sorts of things.

But a recent study of Spanish workers has shown that it can be associated with being addicted to work.

We all know someone who works long hours and who seems to practically live at the office but this does not necessarily mean they are addicted to work.

Several factors need to be present before working excessively can be called an addiction. The factors are:

  •  The compulsion to work
  • A reluctance to delegate work
  • The amount of time spent at work far exceeds their leisure time
  • Rely on work for their self esteem
  • Poor social skills and communication with fellow workers
  • Build their world around work and place great importance to it.

So you may ask how does stress and anxiety bring about work addiction. Well there are many possible causes; the main ones shown in a recent study were around worries and anxiety about:

  • Financial security
  • Pressure from family members
  • Fear of losing their job i.e. not performing as well as others at work
  • A desire to achieve a high status at work
  • Pressures from management

Any one of these stressors could act as a trigger to someone who may have an addictive personality into believing that work is the answer to their worries and that the more they focus on it the easier life will be. Of course this is not true and this addiction can lead to further stresses, such as relationship problems and eventually exhaustion.

This is further compounded by the fact that it has been shown that work addiction can lead to substance abuse such as taking drugs to help keep them going. This can include excessive coffee drinking to more serious brain altering drugs.

It is important that we balance our work life ratio to ensure that we allow sufficient time for our bodies and minds to relax. Ultimately a healthier, less tired person will be able to achieve more at work anyway.

Work addiction is a symptom of the increasing pressures of modern day living, to achieve more, to earn more, to be successful. All of which can only lead us down one road in the end, ill health.

If you think that you may be addicted to work, you need to step back and take a look at why you feel the need to work constantly. You may find that there are issues in your life which need addressing which may be causing you enough stress to be fueling your addiction. Once you are aware of the causes you can begin to tackle them directly, which in turn will allow you to regain control of your life.

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