- Hustle culture is a work culture that prioritizes a person’s career over other aspects of life.
- Research shows hustle culture to be detrimental to both physical and mental health.
Work, in general, is heavily associated with a sense of purpose and self-fulfillment. Hard work, moreover, is linked to professional satisfaction, personal gratification, goal achievement, and material gains.
This perception of work has given rise to a number of industries, institutions, and organizations in society that situates work and helps to harness the physical and mental efforts of many communities. However, every silver lining has a dark cloud and, in the case of work, it’s hustle culture.
What Is Hustle Culture
Hustle culture popularly means a work culture that glorifies overwork, excessive productivity, and workaholism. It is also known as “burnout culture” or “grind culture”. People who are addicted to hustling are characterized by their:
- Excessive devotion toward their work
- Exclusion of every other aspect of one’s life
- Unhealthy work-life balance
The Toxicity Of The Hustle Mentality
Hustle culture majorly operates on the dictum: “The grind should never stop”. Other sayings include “Hustle culture doesn’t take breaks”, “Hustle culture doesn’t sleep,” “Hustle culture works day in and day out,” or “Go hard or go home”.
While these may come across as motivating mantras at work, these are too far-fetched for real life. Research, in fact, affirms that hustle culture is toxic because it:
- Creates perceptions of self-esteem and self-worth based on one’s productivity capability than humanity
- Fuels cognitive dissonance
- Creates a toxic environment steeped in negative competitiveness
- Is detrimental to employee well-being and productivity
- Enhances work-family conflicts
- Causes mental health issues linked to reduced work enjoyment, job burnout, negative work, etc.
How Does Hustle Culture Affect Mental Health?
While working hard and achieving our goals is important, the consequences of a persistent and prolonged hustle mentality are negative and harmful to our well-being. Specifically, the physical and mental health effects of hustle culture are enduring and these include:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Chronic fatigue
- Body pain
- Premature aging
- Work addiction
- Stress disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Mood disorders
- Depressive disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Eating disorders
- Substance use disorders
How To Get Rid Of The Hustle Mindset
Hustle culture and mental health (or physical health, for that matter) have a negative relationship and that’s why we need to address hustle culture. Consider the following tips to effectively regulate your hustle mentality:
- Start by accepting and acknowledging that hustle culture is toxic in the long run.
- Balance your work, rest, and social life.
- Try to be intentional and strategic about your work habits. Prioritize your goals and work on fulfilling them.
- Try setting deadlines at work and communicating openly with your colleagues.
- Try spending quality time with your family and friends.
- Try practicing exercise, yoga, meditation, etc. for mindfulness and mental well-being.
- Try maintaining healthy eating and sleeping schedules.
- Try engaging in hobbies or activities that make you happy.
- Avail therapy, medication, interventions, and recovery programs, if needed.
Despite being aware of its drawbacks, hustle culture is idolized across the globe. It accompanies occupational stress, workaholism, and physical and mental exhaustion—health conditions that have long-term implications.
If one’s hustle mentality is left unaddressed, it can lead to poor mental health and severe physical restrictions. It can also disrupt his/her interpersonal relationships as well as other aspects of personal life.