Based on a new study, researchers have concluded that working too much could be the reason people over 40 are feeling more stressed and tired than ever.
The study used participants over 40 years of age. They took a survey as well as completed a series of 3 tests to analyze their cognitive function. The tests challenged their abilities in reading out-loud, reciting number backwards, and matching number and letters under a certain time restriction.
The results of the study concluded that adults who worked between 22-30 weekly achieved higher scores, averaging about 18% higher than the other participants.
Based on these result, professors at Melbourne believe that working too much can add stress and fatigue to the lives of those averaging between 31-40+ hours a week. These effects are becoming a key factor in the declining abilities of adults’ cognitive skills.
For the first time researchers are seeing that there is a pronounced difference between part time and full time workers. The difference is that those working part-time hours are experiencing a better quality of life, with less stress, tension, and more energy to spare. This conclusion is different than many have expressed before. In the past it was thought that those who worked more were happier because not only were they making more money, but their brains were being stimulated for longer periods of time. However, professors who worked on this study are supporting the theory “use it too much and lose it”. This idea refers to the idea that working too much can be a bittersweet activity, the sweet side being the added income and the bitter being that is can potentially damage cognitive function.
This study isn’t trying to prove that working is necessarily bad. The end conclusion is that work should be part of a healthy balanced life. Since work isn’t usually a negotiable thing, try hard to not let it consume your life. Make sure to reward hard work with play.
To avoid getting burnt out try balancing them with these ideas:
- Exercise: Exercising regularly is a great way to reduce mental stress and it will improve the quality of your sleep.
- Essential Oils: There are many essential oils that are proven to reduce stress and help you relax. Try diffuse oils such as lavender, rose, or bergamot.
- Know your Boundaries: Learn your limits, don’t take on more than you can handle. Never let other people dictate your schedule.
- Meditation: Meditation helps to melt away stress and ground you. It can also help reinforce positive thinking. Yoga is a great example of meditation.
- Get Support: Family and friends are great resources for eliminated stress. Sometimes just being able to talk it out can help you feel better.
- Learn to Express Yourself: Learn to communicate your stresses with others. Often times when you let your superiors and peers know how you are feeling you will find them jumping in to help.
- Set Priorities: Organize yourself and your deadlines and to-do’s by priority. And stick to them. Creating a to-do list is a perfect way to make sure your priorities are being taken care of.
- Avoid Procrastination: Once you figure out what your priorities are, get them done. Don’t wait. There is nothing worse than having 10 things to do with only an hour left in the day.
- Spend Time With the Ones You Love: Being around those you love stimulates your brain to release a hormone called oxytocin, which is a natural stress reliever.
Bottom line is, stress doesn’t have to be a big part of life. There are some stressful things that cannot be controlled, like work, but with right tools and preparation, a large portion of stress can be avoided.