Are you addicted to speed?
You may answer in the negative, thinking this refers to a desire to drive over the speed limit.
But many of us are addicted not to going faster in our cars but in our lives, says psychologist Stephanie Brown, an addiction specialist. We're afraid to slow down our busy, chaotic and frenzied lives that have us constantly chasing success, power and the next big thing.
"It's an addiction because people cannot stop," she says. "We want to stop and we need to stop, but we can't. We're in constant motion and action."
That may mean that you're always working, forever connected to your smartphone so you won't miss a text, e-mail or phone call. You feel rushed, out of control and overwhelmed, but you can't seem to stop the crazy hamster wheel that has become your life.
That behavior is just like an alcoholic who cannot say no to a drink, Brown says. This addiction to speed makes us unable to stay away from our jobs even though we may be suffering the physical problems associated with stress and overwork.
Relationships may be deteriorating around us, but we can't get away from our computers or that craving to be on a smartphone.
Of course, some of the problem occurs because of a sluggish economy that has driven many Americans into working longer and harder to retain their jobs. But Brown says that instead of using such difficult times as a way to look at "what we're doing," people "went to the corner to lick their wounds and wait for the next big thing.
"That just fuels this grandiose sense that life is a jackpot and we can have it all," she says.
Researchers at Kansas State University pegged "workaholism" as working 50-hour weeks, and their study showed those toiling such hours can be affected with mental and physical deterioration.
Most common is skipping meals, but such workers also show higher levels of depression.
"Our culture encourages and even demands that we do more, produce more and never stop," Brown says.
So while we would never encourage an alcoholic to be more acceptable by drinking more, we seem to believe that working more — and faster — somehow raises our value in the workplace. We even (read more here)
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