Busyness Addiction: Signs You Are Keeping Busy To Avoid Your Feelings

Busyness Addiction: Signs You Are Keeping Busy To Avoid Your Feelings

9. Seek help

If you think your busyness addiction is getting out of hand, then it can be wise to seek help from a mental health professional. A professional therapist can equip you with the necessary tools to overcome your disease of being busy.

Busyness is a coping mechanism

The more you try to keep yourself busy, the harder you are trying to avoid the present. When we are not happy with our reality or not satisfied internally, we tend to stay busy. This helps us to keep our minds off the things that bother us. Things that cause us stress, anxiety, and emotional pain.

We use busyness as a distraction from painful feelings,writes psychologist Nick Wignall. He adds “When your to-do list is constantly throwing appointment after appointment at you, task after task, meeting after meeting, you don’t have the space to catch your breath much less reflect on seriously painful lingering emotions.”

Busyness Addiction: Signs You Are Keeping Busy To Avoid Your Feelings

Hence, it is nothing but a coping mechanism that we use to avoid our innermost emotions. Although it may seem to be an effective strategy in the short run, this can be seriously mentally and emotionally damaging in the long term.

Brené Brown Ph.D., LMSW, research professor and author, explains “One of the most universal numbing strategies is what I call ‘crazy busy;’ We are a culture of people who’ve bought into the idea that if we stay busy enough, the truth of our lives won’t catch up with us.”

By staying busy, we try to mask some difficult truths in our lives that we are afraid of facing. Our busyness addiction helps to numb our thoughts and emotions so that we can avoid our own reality.

However, this is not the best way to approach a problem in our lives. “Be honest with yourself,” suggests mind-body medicine physician and New York Times bestselling author Lissa Rankin, M.D.  She adds “What might you be hiding behind your “to do” list? How might you care for and feed your spirit more so you’re not so inclined to fill the void with busyness?”

Instead, we must focus on trying to find peace by slowing down.

Related: 20 Signs You’re Experiencing Soul Loss

The busyness problem

Being busy all the time may not appear that much harmful. You are just getting your work done, accomplishing your tasks, and following your schedule. It’s true there is nothing wrong with that. But when you use busyness to run away from something, especially yourself and your emotions, then it can be a huge problem. 

“Research on workaholism and adrenaline addiction suggests that, much like an addictive drug, adrenaline can produce pleasurable somatic sensations and create a dependency in some overworked persons,” explains yoga and mindfulness educator Crystal McCreary. Busyness addiction tends to creep in slowly and sneakily.

At first, it mesmerizes us with the thrill of accomplishments, being valued, and joy. You feel as if you are finally being rewarded for all the hard work you’ve put in through the years. However, the thrill of accomplishment is soon replaced with stress, anxiety, and burnout. 

“When you are not aware of it, busyness can take over in ways that may be similar to how an addiction can and prevent you from being present in your own life with those around you,” writes mental health counselor Kristen Gardenhire, LCSW.

Slow down and live in the moment

When you identify your busyness addiction and work on slowing down, you are not only able to build a happier and healthier lifestyle, you can also build a stronger relationship with yourself and others. 

Make some space for yourself throughout the day, pause for a moment, and just breathe. You will realize what the true human experience feels like.

Here is an interesting video that you may find helpful:


Signs Use Busyness Coping Mechanism Pin
Signs You Use Busyness As A Coping Mechanism (& How To Slow Down)
Signs Busyness Coping Mechanism pin
Signs You Use Busyness As A Coping Mechanism (& How To Slow Down)
Busyness Addiction Pin

3 thoughts on “Busyness Addiction: Signs You Are Keeping Busy To Avoid Your Feelings”

  1. Avatar of Alex Zaman

    I appreciate how it explains this underrated problem but if we aren’t supposed to be using it as a coping mechanism, what would be some healthy alternatives?

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