Is Your Love for Work Harming You? Find Out with This Quick Quiz!

Are you a workaholic? It may be hard to admit, but if you have trouble relaxing and detaching yourself from work, it’s time to take stock of your circumstances and determine whether your health may be suffering as a result. According to researcher Cecilie Schou Andreassen at the Department of Psychosocial Science at the University of Bergen in Norway, if at least four out of seven statements describe your relationship with work, you may be addicted to it.

The Seven-Question Quiz

  1. You frequently scheme to work more hours.
  2. You spend a lot more time working than you mean to.
  3. You have to work to feel less guilty, anxious, depressed, or helpless.
  4. Other people have told you to work less, but you refuse.
  5. When you can’t work, you feel stressed.
  6. You cut back on your hobbies, leisure time, or exercise because you have to work.
  7. You work so many hours that your health has suffered.

If you replied ‘often’ or ‘always’ to at least four of these seven criteria, there are indications that you may be a workaholic. Andreassen’s research is the first scale to use core symptoms of addiction found in other more traditional addictions. Her studies have shown that more than 8 percent of people in her native Norway are work addicts, with equal proportions of both women and men falling prey to this condition. While workaholism seems unrelated to gender, education level, marital status, or part-time versus full-time employment, it does appear to affect younger adults to a greater extent than their older counterparts.

Workaholism and its impact on mental and physical health

Workaholism, like any other addiction, can eventually take a toll on your mental and physical health. Researchers at the University of Georgia found that work addicts tend to feel more anxious, and this anxiety is exacerbated by the demands of their jobs. Over time, this constant state of stress can lead to burnout, which can manifest in a variety of ways, including emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced personal accomplishment. If left unchecked, burnout can lead to depression and other mental health problems.

In addition to the mental health consequences, workaholism can also have detrimental effects on physical health. The Mayo Clinic states that job burnout, resulting from workaholism, can lead to fatigue, insomnia, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and a weakened immune system. Furthermore, workaholics often neglect their personal lives, leading to relationship problems and a lack of work-life balance.

Breaking the cycle

Breaking free from workaholism is essential for your mental and physical well-being. It’s crucial to recognize the warning signs and take steps towards a healthier lifestyle. Here are a few tips to help you regain control over your work habits:

Set boundaries:

Establish clear work hours, and stick to them as much as possible. Communicate with coworkers and family members about your boundaries, and do your best not to let work spill over into your personal life.

Prioritize self-care:

Make time for hobbies, exercise, and other activities that can help you unwind and decompress. Taking care of yourself is vital for preventing burnout and maintaining overall well-being.

Seek support:

Discuss your work habits and concerns with friends, family, or a trusted coworker. They might have insight or advice that can help you break the cycle of workaholism. Alternatively, consider seeking professional help, such as therapy or counseling, to address your addiction to work.

Learn to delegate:

Understanding that you can’t do everything is an essential step in overcoming workaholism. Delegate tasks to coworkers or team members and trust them to handle their responsibilities.

Set realistic goals:

When setting work goals, make sure they are achievable and not overly ambitious. Setting goals that push you too hard can contribute to workaholic tendencies and ultimately lead to burnout.

Practice mindfulness:

Incorporating mindfulness techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing, can help alleviate stress and anxiety related to workaholism. Engaging in regular mindfulness practice can also improve focus, productivity, and overall mental health.

Addressing workaholism is essential for protecting both your mental and physical health. If you recognize yourself in any of the seven criteria listed above, it may be time to take action and break the cycle of addiction to work. Remember that seeking help, whether from loved ones or professionals, is a crucial step towards recovery and achieving a healthy work-life balance.