Addiction to Productivity & Your Hormones

Addiction is a psychological and physical inability to stop consuming a chemical, drug, activity, or substance, even though it is causing psychological and physical harm.”

Note: addiction is not limited to drugs.

You can be addicted to your work, or feel the compulsive need to be productive. Also, referred to as being a “workaholic”. While this term is often thrown around lightly it can create some serious adverse effects in someones life and health.

When you are in work mode that typically means you are in a sympathetic state vs. parasympathetic state. Sympathetic state is more of that GO mode and where fight or flight operates from. Parasympathetic state is where rest and digest occur.

Humans are meant to only be in sympathetic state 20% of the time and parasympathetic state the remaining 80%.

Perhaps this is the backbone of many chronic illnesses? You cannot digest in sympathetic state which leads to poor gut health, and gut dysfunction is the root of 90%+ chronic illnesses. See where I’m going here?

This can cause imbalances in overall health, particularly with hormones.

Being in sympathetic state activates the adrenals.

If you’ve been following my content for a while you know that the adrenals are in charge of your stress hormones, sex hormones, and mineral balance.

Here’s where things get messy….

Addiction to productivity= in GO mode= activating the adrenals= adrenals prioritize stress hormones= sex hormones get put on the back burner= imbalance in hormones.

The imbalance in hormones can lead to symptoms like: fatigue, weight gain, PMS, irregular cycles, absence of periods, acne, insulin resistance, and burnout (to name a few).

There also becomes a shift in energy. Masculine energy dominates while feminine energy is cast aside. Creativity cannot be cultivated from forceful masculine energy, but instead requires the flow of feminine energy. Being stuck in one dominant energy that is not your natural state can also lead to burnout.

How do you know if you’re in this productivity trap?

  • You find yourself always working late even when you know it’s not a necessity
  • You feel drained and exhausted most of the time
  • You catch yourself constantly saying you are too busy for things
  • By the time the weekend hits you want to hide in your room and completely isolate from the world

The key to getting off this rollercoaster?

Get to the root of WHY you feel the need to be productive all the time.

Okay, time to get deep here…

Often addiction to productivity stems from childhood. Did your parents always give you praise for doing work, did you only get attention when you accomplished something?

It can also be from a scarcity mindset regarding money. The thought could be “if I don’t work then I won’t have money.”… which, is a legitimate thought. BUT you can still make money without running yourself to the ground. It can be helpful to find people that are evidence of this to help prove yourself wrong on that thought!

Explore that.

I know for me, my addiction to productivity is rooted in my belief that I have to be productive in order to be worthy. Comment below if you relate. This is something that I interpreted at a young age (as most of our limiting beliefs stem from). Often as a kiddo you get praise and recognition for the things you do, the achievements you have, and grades that you get.

This can translate into adulthood by getting praise from a boss by the project you completed, receiving gifts for the tasks you accomplish, and having friends and family congratulating you on what you have.

Thankfully, after uncovering this belief, I know that this simply isn’t true. I don’t need to run marathons, work 50+ hours, juggle being an incredible fur baby mom, girlfriend, daughter, friend, business owner, employee, plus still somehow have time to take care of myself to put on this false image that I’ve got it all under control.

When I was able to realize this I was able to actually take care of myself.

That looked like:

Slowing down, cutting back on excessive workouts, taking time for ME and being okay with not DOING all of the time.

What that meant for my hormones?

I went from constantly being in fight or flight, having irregular periods, feeling bloated all the time, and experiencing adverse effects from poor gut health to relaxing, eliminating PMS, and improving my digestion.

I’ll admit, it’s not always easy.

I still fall into the productivity trap and have to crawl my way out of it. (In fact, as I’m putting the final edits of this I am coming off of a day where I accidentally overbooked myself for 7 hours straight…. whoops).

Here are some tips to help you overcome your addiction to productivity:

  • Explore the WHY behind the need to be productive all the time
  • Shift your perspective & count those self care/ health tasks as a productive part of your day (because it is)
  • Carve out space on your calendar and plug those moments to breathe and relax in your schedule. Again, it’s vital and should be treated as a productive piece to the puzzle
  • Set yourself up with a mantra to remind you that you are loved as you are! This is best to do after you explore the root of your productivity so you can connect and feel the truth behind the words you are saying.

Just like any healing journey this will take time to heal from. It will most likely be messy, uncomfortable, and going against every bone in your body to unwire these thoughts and habits. However, in order to unlock freedom, energy, and balance it is vital.

For support on your journey make sure to shoot me an email (shannon@healthwithshannon.com).

A photo taken over the weekend when I allowed myself a break to go play with some elephants šŸ™‚

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