James Franco Actor reveals how he's taken control of his toxic work addiction

One of the busiest in Hollywood realized he needed to slow down.

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James Franco.

(Press)
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When you feel insecure or depressed, it can be easy to bury yourself in your work as you look for a way out of those negative feelings.

Even the most accomplished members of our society aren't immune to this cycle, either.

In a recent interview with GQ's Australian edition, the famously prolific James Franco explained how his furious working pace has often been a coping mechanism for the mental and emotional problems he was trying to ignore. (And if you're worried you may be a workaholic, take our quiz to see if you're keeping too busy.)

In the revelatory conversation, Franco described the "fear" and "pain" he was hiding from as he sought to build his image as one of the hardest-working men in Hollywood. And it came at a price.

"I thought I was living the life I always wanted to live," he said. "When I finally did wake up, I was completely isolated, emotionally, from everyone around me."

Thankfully, he was able to recognize the changes that needed to be made in his life, no matter how difficult they were to make.

"I had to really adjust my relationship to work," he said. "It’s really hard. I’m sure, like anything you’re addicted to, letting that go is difficult because it’s a coping mechanism to make you feel good.”

Franco also discussed his toxic relationship with work in similar terms during an Out interview published at the beginning of August. Here, he discussed some of the specific hobbies he's taken up to remedy the problem. For instance, he's given himself more time to enjoy leisurely pursuits like tennis and surfing. It's paying off, too.

"I was playing tennis today and if you looked at my life six months ago, you would never have seen me doing anything like that," he said. "What I love about things like playing tennis or learning to surf is I don’t need to be a professional at them. I can just do it because I enjoy it. Wow. What a concept!"

"I’m feeling a lot better, dude,” he added. “I can honestly say I’m really happy.”

It's no surprise that some added exercise has helped turn around his mood. A 2006 review in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience theorized that exercise can have a positive impact on the production of endorphins in our brain.

And a 2014 Swedish study said that the muscular changes that exercise causes in our body can help remove a harmful substance produced by stress from our blood.

So, if you feel that your work-life balance is out-of-whack, don't waste another minute behind your desk. Here's a way you can start to regain control: the Men's Health Metashred workout.

Spend just 30 minutes a day on this exercise program, and you'll see transformative results in as little as three weeks.

Additional reporting by Christa Sgobba.

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