How Does Procrastination Affect Your Mental Health?

The inclination to postpone the unpleasant or stressful activities that are often very essential and replace them with less important ones or none at all is the essence of procrastination.

Procrastination is the habit of putting off things you should be doing; like homework, cleaning your room, or taking out the trash.

Procrastination can have a negative effect on your mental health.

When you procrastinate, you are putting off things that you know you should be doing, leading to feelings of guilt, shame, and low self-esteem.

Procrastination can also make it difficult to get things done, which can lead to stress and anxiety.

If you find that you are procrastinating often, it is important to take action – either by actioning a personal development plan or talking to a qualified professional, such as a doctor or therapist.

They can help you learn how to procrastinate less and manage your mental health.

What Do You Mean By Procrastination?

The word “procrastination” is derived from the Latin word pro crastinus, which means “for tomorrow.”

People have been procrastinating for thousands of years, and the notion of procrastinating is not new.

Many people believe that procrastinators have poor time management skills, when in fact they may have emotional or mental health problems.

While this might not always be the case, there are frequently underlying psychological issues influencing the condition.

According to some studies, people who are used to chronic procrastination may benefit more from stress management and emotional regulation training than time management teaching.

This is due in part to a fear of being unable to cope with unpleasant feelings in the moment or an inability to handle difficult emotions.

When individuals work to overcome procrastination, it is important that they understand how mood management can assist them to address the causes behind their procrastination.

What Causes It?

Everyone procrastinates now and then.

Indeed, it is possible that being able to distract oneself from stress and unpleasant chores might be a useful coping mechanism in a high-stress environment.

In this sense, procrastination has both advantages and disadvantages.

It may be beneficial, but it can also suspend a person’s productivity, with some people procrastinating to the extent that they are unable to perform their required activities of daily living.

Such symptom severity will help someone identify they have a problem, but they might believe they lack the willpower to do stop.

Procrastination is not a mental health condition in and of itself. It can, however, be an element of other psychological issues:

  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Time management and organization are extremely difficult for those with ADHD, who may procrastinate more than other people. When ADHD is accompanied by bipolar disorder, this is somewhat more likely.
  • Depression: Low self-esteem, which has been linked to procrastination, is one of the most frequent depressive symptoms. Individuals who are doubtful about their ability to complete a task properly are often inclined to put it off or avoid starting altogether.
  • Anxiety: Those who have anxiety may be preoccupied with the fear of failure. A lack of confidence in one’s ability to complete a task can lead to procrastination.

Studies on Procrastination

According to certain studies, procrastination is linked to mood.

When people are stressed or overwhelmed, they may postpone in the hopes that the future self will be better prepared to tackle a specific project.

People who have extremely stressful occupations may frequently use procrastination as a coping mechanism.

However, chronic stress, difficulty with school or job or relationship issues are all possible outcomes of long-term delay.

People who postpone may find themselves working late or avoiding time with family and friends to make up for the lost time, creating a vicious cycle of delayed stress and anxiety.

Effects of the Condition

Procrastination has been linked to lowered mental health, increased stress, and decreased well-being in psychological studies.

Continued, lasting procrastination may have the following consequences for an individual:

  • Poor grades or low performance at work or school
  • Financial issues related to putting off important responsibilities
  • The feeling of anxiety, guilt, or shame
  • Poor physical health conditions, if exercise or nutrition are neglected

It is usually obvious to procrastinators that their actions are self-sabotaging.

But overcoming procrastination is not always as simple as “just doing it.”

Before effectively overcoming procrastination, it may be necessary to look deep inside and ensure emotional well-being.

How Can You Stop Procrastinating?

When dealing with persistent procrastination, it is critical to find out what caused the problem in the first place.

The following are some of the most effective methods for avoiding and overcoming procrastination:

  • Describe the reason for your procrastination. Certain factors, such as lack of structure, uncertainty, lack of personal meaning, and task difficulty may be common to activities that are prone to procrastination. Finding a method to make the activity more “fun” if the trigger is boredom might help someone get started on something they have been putting off.
  • Increase accountability. Ask someone to keep track of your progress. Invite a buddy, partner, or loved one to assist you in keeping on track with essential activities. Some individuals benefit from monitoring the advancement of to-do list items that may otherwise be put off.
  • Forgive yourself and trust in your abilities. According to some studies, those who forgave themselves for procrastinating in the past had a decreased risk of doing so again. This forgiveness is frequently linked with confidence in one’s self. Some people find it easier to avoid procrastination by keeping in mind how they can accomplish a task.
  • Start small. While starting anything may be the most difficult aspect of a job, any little method to begin doing something that has been put off might help you resist procrastinating on it. As an example, someone who needs to file their taxes might make an action plan and gather all of the required forms as a first step towards starting.
  • Work with a therapist or counselor if you think a mood problem or mental health issue might be contributing to the problem. Consulting a mental health professional could be an important first step toward reducing procrastination, depending on the nature of the issue.