Signs Your Body Gives You When You’re Overworking Yourself
Most of us are taught from a young age that putting in the hard work is essential to having success later on in life. However, there comes a point in time when working to achieve your goals can begin to negatively effect your body (physically, emotionally, and mentally) if you’re not taking time to recharge from your hard work. Overworking yourself can cause your body to become under a level of extreme stress. The official term for this overwhelming stress on your body is called “burning out”.
Burnout, as defined by Psychology Today, is
“A state of chronic stress that leads to:
- physical and emotional exhaustion
- cynicism and detachment
- feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment”
Burnout isn’t something that just happens suddenly, but instead the symptoms build up over time. There are warning signs your body will give you before this begins happening that are imperative you pay attention to.
This is one of the earlier warning signs. Working longer days and more hours will cause your body to experience fatigue if you’re not giving yourself enough time to rest after working. At work, you’ll probably begin to notice that you’re moving slower or dragging yourself along to make it through your day. After a while, you’ll begin to notice the more hours and days you work, the more exhausted and depleted you’ll
This will first begin due to your need to say up to finish assignments and projects. As time goes on, you’ll begin to notice that even as exhausted as you are, you may have trouble falling and/or staying asleep. This is due to your brain still processing excess information from earlier in the day.
“Brain Fog”/Impaired Concentration
You will begin to notice the longer you overwork yourself, the more your concentration will be affected. In the earlier stages, there will be minor instances forgetfulness. Maybe you’ll forget to do an assignment or you’ll forget about a meeting for work. As time progresses, however, it will become even harder to focus and forgetfulness will become more common. This brain fog occurs due to your brain having to work harder to process and consolidate information as a result of overworking. Decreased productivity and overall performance will occur the longer you continue to overwork yourself.
Higher Risk For Sickness
The longer you overwork yourself, the more at risk you become for catching an illness. Overworking causes stress on the body which can cause physical symptoms: like chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal pain, dizziness, fainting, and/or headaches. However, that increased level of stress can also cause your brain to increase your body’s cortisol levels. As a result, this will cause your immune system to become suppressed, making you more susceptible to colds, flu, and other illnesses!
Loss of Appetite/Weight Loss
This sign is more uncommon but one you should definitely be aware of. Overworking can sometimes cause you to place more emphasis on your work than your health. Due to being busy, people who overwork tend to skip out on meals more often or will rely on snacks to get them through the day. This aspect combined with increased stress/anxiety levels can cause your appetite to decrease over time. As a result, you will also begin to lose weight.
Working hard is important for reaching your goals, however, there is a line that should be drawn between working hard and overworking. These symptoms should not be overlooked if you’re experiencing them. This is your body letting you know you should take a step back. Always remember to allow yourself time to take a break from your work obligations. If you have too many obligations, see if you can have help with completing them or if they can be delegated to someone else. It’s not worth it to let yourself burnout in the process.