The pressures we feel at and about work have always been factors in mental health, and today there are more dimensions to what we’re dealing with than ever before. Forbes highlighted some of these, anxiety, depression and tech addiction, in a recent article that we thought was worth sharing here. An excerpt is below, and you can click through to read the full text. If you’re in the greater Cleveland area and recognize yourself or someone you love in this article, we hope you’ll reach out.
It’s time to talk about mental health in the workplace. Not only are many employees suffering from severe burnout, but they are experiencing a host of other problems, as well.
Mental illness is now the biggest cause of disability worldwide, according to findings from the World Health Organization. The impact of these conditions can be more significant than cancer when it comes to reduced function, susceptibility to illness, and a shorter lifespan…
The Link Between Stress, Burnout And Tech Addiction
Serbinis highlights one element of modern life that may be contributing to negative mental health outcomes: what he calls “tech addiction.”
Essentially, this deals with constant distractions, the feeling of always needing to be “on,” and the impacts of certain technology uses on the brain.
“There’s a bunch of evidence out there that being constantly interrupted triggers a big stress response,” Serbinis explains. I’m talking about that little red bubble above Slack, or email, messenger — whatever you happen to be using. What’s happening is that people are getting conditioned to see those signals or numbers and feel like they have to go back and check constantly. And that triggers this fight or flight response. Which jacks up adrenaline, which jacks blood pressure, which can lead to cardiovascular issues, which leads to anxiety…it’s a whole cascade of events that really emanates from this constant interruption.”
This can happen at work, disrupting focus and productivity, or even at home, when people feel obligated to check their work emails or messages after hours. “If people feel like they always have to be on, it’s stressful, and hard to relax and get the downtime and rest your brain needs,” he adds. “Some people struggle with sleep because they keep Slack on all the time.”