Is It Possible to Work Yourself to Death?

The Japanese say yes. They even have a word for it – karoshi, which means death by overwork. Twelve to sixteen hour work days with no vacation or time with family and friends has led to some premature deaths. According to author Lissa Rankin the typical karoshi victims are otherwise healthy men in their 40s or 50s who are middle managers in stressful jobs, but women and younger workers are affected, too.

Americans also have our workaholics who struggle to keep up with the fast pace of the internet and the invasive reach of information. We are never far away from email or cell phones. I believe that we are not wired for so much technology. It can keep us up at night and disrupt social mealtimes. If you are stressed from hours on the computer, try going outside for a few minutes and feel how everything changes. Nature is the antidote to a brain on overdrive, organically slipping us into a restful and peaceful state.

Some jobs leave no time for a break. And juggling raising a family, caring for an elder loved one, climbing a corporate ladder or just trying to make ends meet causes an enormous amount of stress. The purpose of this writing is to remind you that emotional, physical and spiritual stresses do take a toll on our health. Maybe you can’t make a major change, but being creative and finding a small break in a habitual pattern has its merit. It is a good start.

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