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Lifestyle modification involves altering long-term habits, typically of eating or physical activity, and maintaining the new behaviour for months or years. Lifestyle modification can be used to treat a range of diseases.
Lifestyle modifications that decrease stress or improve stress coping may prove effective in preventing and managing work addiction. They may improve overall health and reduce negative consequences of work addiction or overworking. These include proper sleep habits improving quality of sleep and preventing sleep disorders, exercising, mindfulness practice, good quality networks of social support, or gratitude journaling. For example, World Health Organization provides a guide on dealing with stress which is grounded in mindfulness practices.
Lifestyle changes are first line of defense against work addiction and its negative consequences. They are highly recommended for preventing development of work addiction and improving functioning of those who suffer from it.
In some cases, particularly mild and moderate, they may prove sufficient to decrease work addiction symptoms or prevent progression into a full-blown addictive disorder.
In more severe cases, they may help with recovery alongside treatments and interventions designed to help with addictive problems.
Stress management solutions
PROPER SLEEP HABITS
Sleep is essential for physical and mental health. Lack of sleep is associated with numerous diseases and disorders. Most importantly, lack of sleep causes stress, and stress causes sleep problems. Because of this mutual relationship, sleep dysregulation may lead to a spiral of self-reinforcing events (stress-sleep problems-more stress-more sleep problems-and so on) and progressive problems with functioning and health. For this reason, it is crucial to take care of good sleep, and manage your stress properly.
Work addiction is consistently related to poor sleep quality and sleep disorders. More and more research is conducted to understand how work addiction is related to poor sleep, to what extent and how workaholic behaviors may cause sleep problems and how poor sleep may contribute further to work addiction and its negative consequences for health, productivity and social relationships. Most of these studies are cross-sectional so they need to be treated as preliminary with little to no evidence of causal relationships (it does not mean that there are no such causal relationships but that they are not confirmed so far).
A prospective study with 7 month follow up showed that work addiction is associated with longer sleep latency (longer time to fall asleep after turning the lights out) and more daytime dysfunction. A study showed that stress at work may increase work addiction which in turn may cause insomnia. Another study showed that work addiction may cause daytime sleepiness because it is related to intensive smartphone use and poor sleep quality. Work addiction may lead to sleep problems which in turn may increase cardiovascular risk.
If you are interested in improving your sleep quality then there are numerous reliable resources on sleep, its role in health and proper sleep habits, such as Harvard School of Public Health or John Hopkins Medicine web pages.
You may also want to contact a professional who may provide you with sleep recommendations suitable to your individual needs.
A case study followed by a controlled trial (not randomized) provided initial evidence of the effectiveness of meditation awareness training (MAT) in reducing work addiction symptoms and psychological distress. Moreover, MAT participants demonstrated better job satisfaction, work engagement, and fewer hours spent working but without a decline in job performance. These interventions may also be used at a population level for the prevention of work addiction. Mindfulness training can be effectively used in schools from early education, as well as in the workplace (Bartlett et al. 2019).
Nowadays, mindfulness based stress reduction programs (MBSR) provided in a standard 8-week format are available globally. You may find locally available options in your city or region.
Search for: mindfulness based stress reduction program (MBSR) or mindfulness training.
Also, some organizations and institutions may offer mindfulness programs for addictive problems.
Free MBSR resources are also available online.
World Health Organization provides a guide on dealing with stress which is grounded in mindfulness practices.
SOCIAL SUPPORT NETWORKS
GRATITUTDE JOURNALING AND EXERCISES
Currently, it is well-evidenced with high quality research that feeling and expressing gratitude improves well-being and provides numerous associated benefits. It means that if you start practicing gratitude, you will feel better.
Other health-related behaviors
EATING HABITS AND DIET