Yes. It’s not just drugs and alcohol that can get you addicted to them. We have a new candidate that is equally potent, perhaps even more. Recall those times when you’ve unknowingly worn your stress as a Badge of Honour –
- You spent your weekends working
- You slept for less than 3 hours last night
- You have 8 to-do lists to complete
- You JUST don’t have the time
Does this sound familiar? We’re sure either you or someone you know speaks like this on a daily basis. Maybe when your colleague brags about how he spent the night in office trying to meet the deadline or your classmate when he/she brags about how little he/she slept last night trying to complete the syllabus. We also find people who proudly claim that they’re workaholics. Let us get this straight – These are not the qualities you should be proud of.
More often than not, we’re busy working hard, meeting every deadline, crunching the letters on the keyboard, going through sleepless nights, all which are used later to prove how efficient and hardworking we are. But the reality is far from this; as we are continuously working, we forget the reason why we are putting so much effort into our work. How frequently do you stop and admire the life around you? When was the last time you truly felt happy and satisfied with your work?
Just like alcohol and drugs, stress also has a similar effect on your body and brain. Hormones such as adrenaline help in pumping the body with sudden bursts of energy in case of a dangerous situation. Most individuals enjoy adventure sports because of this ‘high’ that adrenaline produces. However, if such hormones are present in the body for a prolonged duration, it causes more harm than good. Every time to satisfy yourself and to achieve that high, you need a bigger “fix”. That means, you’d need more dangerous sports to quench your thirst. Addiction to stress works exactly like this.
In essence, we seem to be running away from our happiness by crazily overworking ourselves to feel important, busy or even to make more money. Another factor that plays a major role in this situation is the society. The more busy you seem, the more important you’re perceived to be. Don’t you feel important when someone asks you for an ‘appointment’ to meet you up?
Escapism – Here’s another entity that makes the entire addiction scenario worse. As humans, we frequently get bored with our job; things also seem too monotonous at times. Now, instead to dealing with the monotony in a positive manner by finding alternative methods, we choose escapism. We take up more projects which seem interesting or even give into procrastinating. All of this just adds to the existing stress, giving you that bigger ‘fix’ you need to satisfy your addiction to stress.
If you think you’re addicted to stress or know someone who appears to be an addict, here are some quick tips to manage stress better –
- Avoid smoking, drinking and substance abuse for quick fixes. These will only add to your stress.
- Detach yourself from your screen – laptops, mobiles, tablets etc. Higher screen time has proved to increase stress levels.
- Prioritize yourself. Stop overworking and unnecessarily straining your body.
- Exercise. This will help your feel relaxed and also increase your productivity.