Work addiction is just a fragment of who you are. When you isolate that one fragment, you learn that it’s hitched to everything else within you. You don’t have to live as a fragment anymore — half-baked and undeveloped. There’s so much more to explore. Once you’re ready to live more fully and embrace all of yourself, you start to think of work addiction as a fragment separate from you. Then you have the clarity to ask, “Who is the rest of me?” If you don’t have an answer, that’s okay, too. The good news is that you have plenty of time to explore and find out. That exploration is called recovery.

When you consider work addiction as a fragment of your makeup, you can weave together a beautiful pattern that incorporates all the rest of you. And the brilliant completeness has a clearer meaning when you view it in this new light.

It’s likely that you’re more accustomed to chaos than chill. You cringe at the thought of powering down, perhaps even panic when there’s nothing to do. You’re used to your brain working you fast and furious. Living in a daily grind of work and life pressures doesn’t support your slowing down, either.

But if you want to live in optimal balance, you must be in charge of your mind and work, not the other way around. I call this mindful working. A calm state helps you cultivate a peaceful center from which to live your life. When you’re chilling, your heart rate and respiratory rate slow down. Your mind is open and clear, and actions and decisions are reflective, even, and balanced. As worry and fear recede, a blissful serenity makes everything seem right with the world. It’s important to note that you only have bursts of this state. It would be a mistake to think that you can live in a constant state of chill. But the more you practice mindfulness, the more you can access the chill state even in times of upheaval. And the more productive and healthier you become.

Excerpt from #Chill: Turn Off Your Job and Turn On Your Life with permission from the author and publisher.

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  • Bryan Robinson, Ph.D.

    Journalist, psychotherapist, and Author of 40 books.

    Bryan Robinson, Ph.D.

    Bryan Robinson, Ph.D. is a professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, psychotherapist in private practice, and award-winning author of two novels and 40 nonfiction books that have been translated into 15 languages. His latest books are CHAINED TO THE DESK IN A HYBRID WORLD: A GUIDE TO WORK-LIFE BALANCE (New York University Press, 2023)#CHILL: TURN OFF YOUR JOB AND TURN ON YOUR LIFE (William Morrow, 2019), DAILY WRITING RESILIENCE: 365 MEDITATIONS & INSPIRATIONS FOR WRITERS (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2018). He is a regular contributor to, Psychology Today, and Thrive Global. He has appeared on 20/20, Good Morning America, The CBS Early Show, ABC's World News Tonight, NPR’s Marketplace, NBC Nightly News and he hosted the PBS documentary "Overdoing It: How To Slow Down And Take Care Of Yourself." website: