Why procrastination causes stress

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why stress happens

Before you understand how procrastination causes stress you need to understand why stress happens in the first place. Stress happens when two things strive to get your mental attention in the same time.

Let's suppose that you are working on something but in the same time you suffer from back pain. While you are trying to focus on completing the task you are doing another factor, which is your back pain, will also try to get your mental attention.

Once this conflict of resources happens stress will happen. See What causes stress.

Why procrastination causes stress

Procrastination is delaying important tasks that truly matters to you. Since this task already matters to you then probably your mind will always keep reminding you of it every now and then.

In my previous article Why my mind keeps sending me the same unpleasant thoughts i said that our minds will always keep reminding us of the things that matter until some kind of resolution is reached.

In the case of important tasks the only possible resolution is getting the tasks done on time.
Now here is the trick:

When you delay an important task by procrastinating your mind will keep reminding you of it every now and then and that will cause a lot of stress.

But that's not everything. There are three additional factors that would make this stress much stronger and more intense:

  • 1) The conflict of thoughts will cause stress: When you procrastinate you probably will try to do any other task that could distract you such as playing a game or watching a movie. Now remember how stress happens? While you are trying to do the distracting task your brain will keep reminding you over and over of your important tasks and this will cause a lot of stress. See also How laziness can cause stress
  • 2) The intensity of the reminders will increase: In my previous article Why you get panic attacks out of nowhere i said that once you ignore the reminders sent to you but your mind your mind will have no option but to send you more intense reminders. In other words your levels of stress are going to keep increasing as you keep ignoring your problems
  • 3) The bad emotions will cause stress: Emotions are one of the factors that can cause stress. When you procrastinate you will probably feel guilty, unhappy, uncomfortable and many other bad emotions. Those bad emotions will also add to your stress levels and make you feel worse as you keep procrastinating. See also How to stop procrastination

Procrastination ruins the mood

While you might be thinking that you are avoiding unpleasant tasks you are actually bringing yourself more unpleasant emotions than the ones you would have experienced if you would have done those unpleasant tasks.

Procrastination ruins the mood and your chances of success in life. Get rid of that bad habit today if you truly want to live a good life.

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Want to know more?

Why do i wake up feeling stressed

How your unconscious mind can promote stress

The psychological causes behind procrastination

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