Do you know someone at work who never seems to pause, who is always rushing to meetings and staying late in the office? Stress, it seems, is a normal component of life. A third of the American population is dealing with stress. It is taking a toll on hundreds and thousands of people. It negatively affects one’s health, career, and relationships, having significant effects on all aspects of life.
In a world where being busy is celebrated and admired, it is easy to forget that the human body needs to rest. People associate being busy with being successful, an achiever, and significant. Now going back to that busy co-worker. When you invite him to a coffee break, he will mostly decline because he is busy. When the rest of the team goes out early for dinner, he will likely refuse to go because he is busy. And he is proud of being busy.
Being busy at work means that you are trusted with important tasks. It means that the big bosses believe in what you can do. It means that you are a valued employee.
This is understandable. Anyone who dreams of going up the corporate ladder would want to have the spotlight on him. But at what expense?
Being busy adversely affects your productivity. Whenever you are busy, your attention and focus narrow, which result intunneling. So you try to do many things and cover all the bases. At the end of the day, you are not only exhausted, but you find that you haven’t even finished half of the important things that you need to do. So you end up working late and getting stressed in the process.
The Link Between Being Busy And Stress
Busyness as a normal state of life is, unsurprisingly, not good. It is not good for your physical, mental, and even your emotional well-being. You get overwhelmed with the tasks in front of you. Sooner or later, it results in burnout.
Being too busy can lead to stress. You try to catch up with everything that is going on around you that you get stressed when you fall short. Technology provided you with so many tools that you feel guilty when you don’t get everything done. So you work and work and work, sacrificing food, rest, and sleep.
Symptoms of stress include feeling overwhelmed, anxiety, irritability, feelings of worthlessness, low energy, indigestion, constant headaches, insomnia, forgetfulness, appetite change, and lack of focus, among many others. Stress can be managed if identified on its onset. If you feel that the anxiety that you are feeling is beyond normal and is affecting your life, talk to your doctor. Physical activity, sleep, and a healthy diet can also help.
Effects Of Stress
Stress, if left untreated, can result in a variety of illnesses, both physical and mental. It can contribute to physical problems such as heart disease and high blood pressure. When you are stressed, your breathing, heartbeat, as well as your blood pressure increase.
Stress is also shown to affect patients who are undergoing chronic fatigue syndrome treatment. When under stress, patients who have chronic fatigue syndrome exhibit more intense fight or flight mechanism, adding to their fatigue. They also experience higher levels of anxiety and distress.
Untreated stress can be harmful to your relationships. When you dismiss your stress as nothing and keep your anxieties bottled inside, it can result in misunderstandings. The people around you will have no idea of what you are going through and how they can help you. Stress is contagious and can make others anxious and agitated as well.
It can also affect your career, productivity, and creativity. Stress can result in loss of motivation and difficulty concentrating. When you start to feel stress symptoms, it is best to take a step back and relax.
How To Stop Being Busy
What you need to understand is almost every adult is busy. Parents who stay at home are busy. Even students are busy. The point is, everyone has tasks that occupy most of their day. Being busy does not set you apart and make you better than others.
It is important to have moments of calm and rest. You did not live to toll for more than 12 hours a day. Review your to-do list. More often than not, you have an excessively long to-do list. Plan your activities for the day realistically. Cut some slack for more significant tasks. The bigger the task, the more time that you should allot to it. Never underestimate the time that you need for each job that you need to accomplish.
Ease up on yourself. Treat your to-do list as a list where you dump the things you need to do to free your mind from remembering your tasks. If you cannot finish everything, write the remaining tasks on your next day’s list. And do not forget to consider breaks and downtimes in your daily schedule.