Health & Fitness

10 Signs of Mental Overwork or When It’s Time to Take a Break

When we are working hard on an academic project, the brain is under a lot of pressure. The brain is known to be the most voracious organ, consuming up to 25 percent of the body’s energy despite its comparatively low weight. Of course, thinking activity is extremely tiring, and doing it for a long time without a break is as harmful as overloading yourself with physical exercise.

Look at the signs of mental overwork so you know when to stop and get some rest. 

Signs of mental overwork

Even if the task is very interesting and you want to solve it right now, it does not mean that you don’t feel tired. It is like overeating: the body is already full, but we want to feel the pleasant taste more and more. Another example is computer games. When our eyes are begging for mercy, but we still stare tirelessly at the screen where the colorful action takes place.

Yes, learning, too, can be no less pleasant, interesting, and even exciting event, during which the brain consumes a frantic amount of glucose. So when is the right moment to pause and feed yourself with some candy?


You can’t make sense of something, you can’t decide, you can’t write, and you literally get annoyed because of it. This is exactly where it stops. Irritability is a clear sign that your resources are exhausted and your body needs to stop the activity you’ve been working so hard at.

If you ignore this signal for too long, there will be worse problems. 

Decreased Attention

When we are sufficiently rested, our attention span is characterized by a high level of stability and concentration. But when fatigue sets in, these tend to decrease.

For instance, you may be reading a sentence and suddenly realize your thoughts are not really on the text. It seems that the eyes perceive the letters, but you cannot assemble them into words and sentences; understanding does not come. And no matter how many times you reread the same thing, nothing changes. Information slips away, and attention is automatically shifted to something else.


Even the simplest operations suddenly become two times slower than an hour ago. This is also due to your reduced attention span. Because your thoughts keep going in the wrong direction, you have to spend time getting back on track.

Poor memory

Words and formulas suddenly start falling out of your head. Of course, because there simply isn’t enough room for them anymore: the brain’s resources are great, but not limitless. To assimilate something new, you have to process the used ones.

 You need to transfer information from short-term memory to long-term memory. This process is called consolidation, and it happens during sleep. You may not want to push yourself to study today, but rather go to bed and continue your studies early in the morning.

Ridiculous mistakes

You, a perfectly literate person, suddenly realize that you have misspelled a word. Or multiplying 12 by 3 gives your result is 48. There’s definitely something wrong. You need a pause.

Things fall out of place

A pen falls down, a pencil that was just in front of your eyes gets lost, a book slams shut and you can’t find the page you’re looking for. There’s nothing mystical about it. It’s all about distraction and memory overload at the moment.

Worst of all, this is compounded by the above-mentioned irritability, which is impossible to control.

An unbearable feeling of hunger

When you can’t stand it and urgently need to put something edible in your mouth. You have to, otherwise your stomach will start to eat itself. This is again about the body’s signals that the gluttonous brain has eaten all the available carbohydrates and starts stealing energy from other organs of the body.


Everything is bad, there is no joy in life. Not true. There is joy, you are just tired mentally in the first place, and emotions are the consequence.

If your apathy is due to overwork, it passes in half an hour. But if it has been accompanying you for weeks, it’s a reason to wonder whether you’re depressed. If so, take immediate action.


It could be a symptom of anything, like the onset of a headache. But if you’ve been sitting for five hours straight at a textbook or writing a term paper, it’s a sign of fatigue. In this case, use the essay writing service, as you will be less productive if you have headaches and irritability.


This is not a signal that it’s time for your hundredth cup of coffee, but a clear indicator that your brain is settling down to sleep, and it’s useless to ask it to work hard. If you ignore it, it will show you all the symptoms mentioned above, which will do you significant harm.

We hope that our advice will help you and that you will be able to overcome these unpleasant symptoms with ease.

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