Procrastination can lead to poor mental health: Study
Procrastination is the voluntary delay of a course of action, whilst knowing it will cause further problems in the future. Many people engage in procrastinating activities with more prevalence being observed in young adults. Procrastination usually occurs due to task aversion, which is how much someone does not want to do a certain task. Reasons such as too much freedom, lower attention spans, and quick escape from the mundanity of everyday life also result in procrastinating activities. Newer technology advancements such as video gaming, social media, and streaming service are putting more fire to the flame.
Students need a mechanism to self-regulate themselves while studying and many of them are not able to do so effectively. This not only causes problems in their work but impacts their psychological well-being as well. This creates frustration and students seem to get stuck in a loop. This needs to be broken, and students must learn to take care of the stress in a more healthy manner.
A study conducted on 3,525 Swedish university students analyzed the participants over a period of 9 months to assess whether procrastination casts a problem to poor mental and physical health. Even though there was no direct link between procrastination and poor health outcomes, the study does predict that people who engage in regular procrastinating behaviors did have poor mental, physical and financial problems later on.
Many factors are involved if we try to understand why someone habitually procrastinates, but the major reason for such is also personality factors. Students with personality traits like impulsiveness, distractibility, and low conscientiousness are at a higher risk to develop a habit of such behaviors. Students also have an increased risk of tobacco, cannabis and alcohol use. It was also noted that the participants faced more psychosocial issues such as loneliness later on. The lifestyle of the participants was also observed and it was revealed that they face sleep disturbance issues, and are more physically inactive than non-participants. Back pain and pain in other areas such as the neck or lower back were also high among the participants. All of this contributes to poor psychological well-being as well as symptoms of depression and anxiety. It was strongly observed that procrastination leads to stress among the participants which impacts their health.
Interventions to procrastination can be really helpful as they might help students find healthier ways to cope with work stress which will improve their overall health and general well-being. This study was really helpful in understanding the health of students and how universities can help build sufficient mechanisms so they can perform better.
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