With mankind’s ever-evolving needs and aspirations in life, everyone is working themselves harder to bring their dreams into reality. While this drive to succeed is worthy of applause, did you know that pushing yourself too hard could actually shave off years from your life?
Studies have shown that an increased exposure to stress, mostly work-related, decreases your life expectancy. It is not a bad thing to shoot for ambitious goals, but you should be careful that it doesn’t take a toll on you, so much that you won’t be there to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Let’s put things on a more positive perspective. If more work-related stress shortens your lifespan, will having less of it mean that you’ll live longer? Here are some reasons stating that indeed, avoiding unnecessary pressure through work-life balance can add precious years.
1. Better Immunity
It has long been proven that stress can take a hit on your immune system, making you more susceptible to sickness. It can start as a simple, negligible manifestation like a persistent cough, but who knows where it could lead to.
Truly, the phrase we hear people mutter “I am sick of work” gets its meat from this point. People who work in large buildings are more likely to become sick with colds and flu than those who work outdoors.
2. More time with Family and Friends
Maintaining that special time for your loved ones (and pets) can do a lot for your health. Staying happy, which is usually experienced with the people you cherish, has actually been shown to boost your immune system. Moreover, having people to listen to you decreases the stress, so it’s both healing and rejuvenating. Spending time with pets has been known to keep stress levels lower.
3. Less Fatigue
If having friends and family around you continuously boosts you, being bombarded with stress has a similar, negative effect. You can easily get tired with work, causing you to underperform. This can cause your confidence to take a hit and may alter your colleagues’ outlook towards you, creating even more stress.
4. Eating Better
When you don’t see yourself getting piled up with a lot of stress, you are able to recognise what’s important. One of which is eating one time and watching what you eat. This is one of the most basic yet commonly overlooked factors that contribute to a longer life. Skipping meals makes you more hungry and more likely to binge eat the wrong things.
5. Better DNA
Surprisingly, stress has a chemical effect! New research suggests that chronic stress actually damages a person’s DNA, which eventually shortens one’s lifespan. When the genetic makeup is disrupted, it can lead to serious complications such as cancer.
6. Getting enough sleep
Sleep deprivation has multiple effects that can ultimately shave off years off your lifespan. Getting the correct hours of sleep allows you to concentrate better on your job, lessening the stress it gives you. It is also essential in bolstering your immunity, so ample shuteye is important.
7. Lower blood pressure
When you are stressed, it causes physiologic changes which can be detrimental to your health. One of the effects is rising blood pressure. When this happens, it can lead to bigger problems such as heart attack and stroke. Keeping blood pressure within normal parameters is essential to your health.
8. Time on your desk
Working hard is not bad, but letting stress get the best of you is not doing anyone any good. Less stress at work allows you to take it easy so you can go back strong. A less hectic workplace means you can get off the chair every now and then, which can add years to your life.
9. Plan a Vacation
This may sound unrelated at first, but it does have its connection to work-related stress. When you are not thinking too much about deadlines, you are able to think more about where you can go with your loved ones, which cuts your risk of death by 20 percent, studies show.
10. Enjoy a drink or two
Indulging in too much booze is sometimes the result of a stressful environment, and is definitely bad for your health. When you have a workplace with minimal stress, however, the only reason you go to the pub is to socialise and have some casual drinks. Studies show that some wine each day can increase your life expectancy.
Working hard is indeed important in order to relax in the future and perhaps retire early. But that doesn’t mean you should allow the stress to creep into your life. Finding the perfect balance or something like it is all it takes.