Is Your Hectic Life Diminishing Your Mental Fitness?
Our daily life can be quite exhaustive.
Whether you’re a stockbroker, a boxer, or a stay at home mom life can get stressful really quickly. Often times we are unaware of how our daily activities can impact our mental health.
While some activities like walking and painting can aid in cognitive functionality, the hectic nature of our busy lives can often damage mental fitness diminishing cognitive ability. In fact, stress kills! It also accounts for more than 80% of doctor’s visits (Harvard Health). Stress is implicated in many medical conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even obesity and belly fat.
For the mind, stress is like a time bomb, as the clock ticks away, the explosion draws closer, leading to burnout, brain fog, and even complete mental collapse. In today’s hectic world, this is more common than you might think. It is crucial for your mental health to take the time and assess your stress levels, and how it is affecting your mind, and quality of life.
Taking a few deep breathes can go a long way, but for a truly stress-free life some precautions need to be taken.
Overworking and Sleeplessness
We get it, you need to pay the rent, or you’re at the brink of launching a new tech startup, sometimes you need to go that extra mile. It’s perfectly fine to stay up a few times and get a bunch of work done, we’ve all done it, no shame, but when all-nighters and consistently exhaustive work becomes a routine there is a problem.
You may think it’s beneficial to whatever it is you’re trying to achieve, but overworking can have both a short and long-term negative impact on your mental fitness.
Overworking yourself can often lead to sleepless nights, which over a long period of time is extremely bad for you. Sleeplessness and insomnia in general not only leads to physical damages to the health, leading to obesity and cardiovascular issues due to the increased stress, but it can also significantly impact brain functionality.
One consequence of not getting enough sleep from overworking is impaired hippocampus growth and development.
The hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory accumulation. As overworking leads to staring at a computer screen all day, which leads to an improper sleep cycle, the hippocampus’s natural functions are impaired.
Therefore, your short-term sleeplessness and stress will lead to poor information storage and worse memory, which means that all that hard work will go down the drain. Less than three percent of people can actually function on five hours of sleep, so try to get in those z’s and clock in anywhere from seven to nine hours of sleep a night.
Alcoholism and Addiction
Your hectic lifestyle and stressful atmosphere can actually lead you to adapt some nasty habits and addictions namely over drinking and alcoholism. At first, it may seem that a glass of wine or scotch will take the edge off, but this may soon lead to alcohol becoming your temporary escape from a tough lifestyle. Alcoholism is a serious psychological issue that is indicative of a bad lifestyle and poor mental health.
In the biggest study of its kind, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health looked at 330,000 workers 14 countries, observing the correlation between overworking and alcoholism. The study found that those who worked on average more were 11% more prone to become heavy drinkers. Furthermore, workers who worked over 48 hours a week were likely to engage in dangerously high amounts of alcohol use.
The Illusion Of Productivity
In reality, your supposed productivity soon becomes an illusion and has horrible long-term effects. It may seem like you’re getting a lot done when in reality your stressful lifestyle may be the cause of memory loss, alcoholism, and an increase in the mistakes you make whether academically or work-wise. Get some sleep, stop working yourself too much, your brain depends on it.
Get your stress under control and slow down.
There are many great stress management techniques, not the least of which is turning off the “hectic” whenever possible and calming your life down.