How can travel and hiking help to cure “workaholism”?

13/05/2020 5:56 pm

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In these modern times where consumerism, competitiveness and the desire to stand out reign, it is common at work to find situations of stress, rivalries between office colleagues, differences with the boss, work overloads and especially company personnel that suffer of “work addiction”, which will result in unnecessary wear. This is a setting where it may seem impossible to remain calm and peaceful, while being efficient at work.

In this context, participating in outdoor leisure and relaxation activities, especially traveling to nature destinations, represents a great opportunity to combat work problems. These trips prove to be very useful to relax and increase efficiency at work. Especially those trips that include hiking in the mountains because they help to combat work addiction.

“Work addiction” is defined as the excessive involvement of a person in the work activity, an irresistible urge to work constantly and the almost complete abandonment of family activities, health, self-improvement, friendships and leisure. Who is addicted to work? Wayne Oates proposed the term “workaholic” to designate the person with work dependency. According to Oates, this person´s own relationship with work was like that of alcoholics with drinking: a continuous and uncontrollable need to work that ends up affecting this person´s health, well-being and relationships with the environment.

Some signs that a person is addicted to work or “workaholic”:

Is always in a hurry to do everything, feels anxiety when is not working, denies that you has a problem when someone tells so, you has health problems (caused by the lack of sleep, exercise, or proper diet), is unable to relax during vacations or spending time with the family due to work, is irritable and intolerant when the result of the work is not favorable, spends all the time working instead of being with family or friends, thinks that is the only one who can do the work in the “correct” way, works more than what is reasonably expected despite the negative consequences, has persistent and frequent thoughts about work when not working, and feels compelled to work due to internal pressures without external evidence to support this compulsion.

In general, work addiction or “workaholism” affects men and women equally, does not distinguish social class, and is not related to the level of education, marital status or part-time compared to full-time employment. In addition, people who are achievement-oriented, perfectionists, or with compulsive trends, may also be at risk to show this workaholic profile.

Many investigations have indicated that overwork causes consequences that make us less productive in general, the main impact is on the state of health and, in fact, more mistakes are made due to the large number of mental slopes (hesitations) that result in not prioritizing any activity.

According to scientists, mountaineering can achieve psychological changes such as the elimination of narcissistic needs, the release of aggressiveness, facilitate better social integration and feel in our body sensations as old as those when we were children.

Walking regularly helps lower cholesterol and blood glucose. A long walk in the mountains over a weekend will undoubtedly contribute to improve your health.

In the mountains you can breathe pure air that is not contaminated by pollution. Breathing clean air is a source of detoxification of all the gases of the city.

According to studies, the exposure to the sun and ultraviolet rays contributes to lowering the blood pressure in healthy individuals. Today this is essential if we take into account the high percentage of cardiovascular problems in the general population.

Now that you have reflected on all this, it is important that you analyze your life, recognizing what produces well-being and what does not. One of the fundamental skills that we must develop is “self-motivation”: remember that the strength, the drive and the kinetics to succeed emanates from within us. A change in attitude aimed at taking better control of our lives thinking about our well-being will allow us to achieve our goal of avoiding work stress and work addiction. We have to be creative in each activity of our daily routine and encourage activities other than work, so to learn to enjoy life more and improve our health.

In conclusion, practice outdoor activities including traveling to nature destinations and participating in hiking in the mountains represents a successful solution to alleviate tensions and combat work addiction. Both, these trips and mountaineering, can bring many benefits to your life. By being more relaxed and healthy thanks to these activities, you will be able to find a better balance between your dedication to work and the dedication that you should give to your personal life. It has been proved that in this way it is possible to increase work performance and the efficiency of people at their jobs, while at the same time fighting “workaholism”.

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