Can a Person Be Addicted to Work? Overcoming Work Addiction
Jun 6th, 2010 by Patrick

Many people have asked me if a person can become addicted to work, and if so, is there a good way to overcome work addiction.  My answer to that is that yes, people can definitely become addicted to work, and yes, there are ways to overcome this addiction and live a healthier life.There are several reasons that people become work addicts.  One is that they are escaping from something in their lives.   Maybe they have a bad relationship at home, or they might be addicted to spending.  Sometimes spending addiction can fuel a work addiction.  This can also be the case with compulsive buyers and compulsive shoppers.  They may need to work a lot more hours in order to support their spending habits.  Whatever the reason, being addicted to work is not healthy and should be corrected if possible.


 photo credit: infomatique

So what are the steps to overcome this type of addiction?  Well you might start with a two pronged approach:

1) Identify the reason for the work addiction, and address that reason directly.

2) Strive for balance in your life and schedule mandatory leisure time.

These two things, when combined, can be very effective at restoring balance to your life and making you happier in the long run.

For example, say that you are a compulsive buyer or shopper.  This needs to be addressed immediately in order to stop the constant flow of money out of your life.  The compulsive shopper believes that they can buy lasting happiness with every new purchase that they make.  However, this rush of happiness that they get only lasts for a day or two, maybe a week at the most.  Then they have to buy something else.  They just move from one shiny object to the next, always thinking that the next purchase will be the thing that brings them lasting happiness forever.  Obviously this is no way to live, and they need to get a grip on their reckless spending before it totally consumes them.

You can do this in a number of ways, cutting up your credit cards, not going to the mall, not going into certain stores, and so on.  Basically you have to have a budget and stick to it.  No frivolous spending for at least 30 days.  You will find that the first few days will be miserable, but as you go along, you will find that you are just as happy as you were when you were spending every day.

So anyway, once you have the root cause of your work addiction under control, now you must restore balance to your life.  You can do this by forcing yourself to take leisure time.  Schedule the time just as if you were making out your work schedule.  Force yourself to do it.  At first, this may seem uncomfortable, but if you persist in taking some leisure time in your life, then you will get used to the balance eventually and be a happier person for it.

Another good thing to do is to work in a daily exercise routine.  This is a health benefit that goes beyond just getting into shape, and will help to bring balance to your life as well.  If you have exercise, leisure time, and work in your life, then you are already on your way to being very well rounded.  Add in friends and relationships and you have a very full life that now has a very smooth balance to it.

When you focus on just your work then you push all of these other aspects out of your life.  The key to restoring balance is to slowly bring them all back into your life, and consistently practice them on a regular basis.

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