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Procrastination and the Impact of Stress on the Human Mind and Body

It’s midnight and once again you’re working on a project that's due the next day even though you had a week to work on it. This postponement is the well-known bane of every procrastinator. Unfortunately, procrastination is a major issue in our modern lives that gives way to stress and is causing this generation to wait until the last minute to begin their work, which leads to negative long-term effects that could be fixed if rewards were offered for finishing work early rather than giving a punishment for turning in work late.


Procrastination, according to Dictionary, is the intentional action of putting something off or delaying it. If one is not careful, this can lead to chronic procrastination, or the constant habit of procrastinating. According to a research study by professor Rice and doctor Ferrari that targeted college students, they found that students who procrastinated on their work generally started off with lower levels of stress than those who started on their work right away. But as the deadline loomed closer, those who had procrastinated showed more signs of stress altogether than those who started early. The reason people get into the habit of procrastination is because putting off work for more pleasurable activities releases the chemical dopamine in the brain that ends up “addicting” the person into procrastinating.


Although procrastinators may start off with lower stress levels, they end up with more stress and guilt than if they had started earlier. This spike in stress can lead to sleep loss, anxiety, depression and a lack of motivation or focus. Some studies have shown that if a person is under stress for a long-period of time, It can lead to heart failure, hypertension, or can increase your susceptibility to get sick. Stress will also affect the mind along with the body, causing extreme fatigue and in some extreme cases, it might cause you to throw up or give you delusions. It can also lead to the abuse of substances like drugs or alcohol.


You might not be the only one suffering from chronic procrastination. According to a study by Dr. Ferrari, about 20% of American men and women are chronic procrastinators. His research has also shown that procrastinators seem to unconsciously try to undermine their best efforts and can't seem to pull themselves out of the loop, whereas a normal person would learn from their mistakes and try to fix it next time.


Luckily there is a way to fix the habit of procrastinating. Some studies show that the people who forgave themselves for procrastinating were less likely to procrastinate again on a similar activity. Dr. Ferrari also suggests to plan ahead and stick to it and to offer yourself rewards for finishing early rather than punishing yourself for turning in things late that way your brain will associate work with good things.


In our modern lives, procrastination has become a huge issue that is leading our generation to wait until the last minute to start their work which causes anxiety and other long-term effects. In order to fix this, we should offer rewards for finishing early rather than giving ourselves punishments for being late. If you get into the routine of starting early you can end your procrastination. Although the habit of procrastination seems impossible to stop it is likely to fix the habit.






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