How Stress Can Lead to Burnout Syndrome and How It Affects Your Well-Being
In a recent survey, over 23 percent of participants reported having experienced burnout syndrome. The phenomenon of stress leading to burnout is not uncommon. Yet, most of us do little to alleviate the stress we feel every day.
Perhaps it is because we believe that it could never happen to us. Maybe we enjoy the idea of feeling in control too much to admit that we need to take a break.
Whatever your reasons are, it’s time to change.
Today we outline the major symptoms of stress and take a look at how chronic stress can lead to burnout syndrome. Let’s start with the basics!
What Is Stress?
Stress refers to the emotional tension we feel. The objects or situations that trigger this tension vary for all of us, but none of us are alien to stress.
Now, stress is not all bad. In fact, in small doses, and in certain situations stress is necessary for us to perform well, or even survive. However, when the stress we feel is consistent and prolonged, it begins to take a toll on our mental and physical health.
The Impact of Stress
Work or career-related problems happen to be one of the most common stressors for us all. In addition to this, there is also relationship-induced stress, financial stress, and school-related stress.
Here are a few of the immediate effects of stress that we experience.
Poor Time Management
Feeling the pressure of achievement can cause us to take on more than we are able to accomplish given the time that we have. We may take on additional tasks in the hopes of doing more, but what really happens is the quality of our work begins to decline over time.
Neglecting Your Needs
As you try to accommodate more tasks within the limited time that you have, you begin to neglect your physical and emotional needs. You compromise on your health, develop poor sleeping habits, and neglect your overall well-being in the hopes of making yourself more productive in school, work or even in your relationship.
Decline in Productivity
While feeling a little bit of stress might motivate us to meet deadlines or exercise caution, an excess of stress can hinder our progress. Additionally, the neglect of our physical and emotional needs, causes us to feel exhausted. We may feel so overwhelmed by the pressure of perfection or success that it may in turn inhibit our ability to be productive.
Loss of Focus
Stress can take a toll on your cognitive abilities by hampering your ability to concentrate and focus on a specific task. An excess of stress can often build up to anxiety causing you to be distracted by the worry of not doing your task the right way, rather than actually focusing on your task.
The Long-Term Consequence of Leaving Stress Unaddressed
It is common to be in denial of what we are experiencing. We may be unable to admit to ourselves that we are tired, or taking on more than we can chew. However, the refusal to address and manage our stress is the very thing that leads to burnout syndrome.
So, what really happens to us when we’re experiencing burnout?
A person experiencing burnout feels emotionally and physically exhausted. In this state, we lose our drive, motivation, and ability to deal with any kind of stress. Our body is numb to the stress, and we feel drained out of any energy.
This state is often accompanied by feelings of loneliness, isolation, depression, cynicism, and irritability.
If you or someone you know is experiencing burnout, it is best to seek out a therapist or psychiatrist to get the help you need. Know that there is no shame in asking for help.
What You Can Do to Prevent Burnout
If you feel like you or someone you know is on the path to a burnout, it is better to address this sooner than later. Here are a few things you can do to relieve yourself of some of the stress you are experiencing.
Finding Enjoyment in Other Things
Do you feel excessive stress about your job? Are you unable to focus on anything besides your schoolwork?
Sometimes we hyperfocus on a few things, and neglect the other enjoyable aspects of our life. The truth is, it’s all about balance. If your work is stressing you out, do try and dedicate some time to focus on other relationships, hobbies, and interests that you have.
Taking your focus off the stressor can be helpful in reducing the associated pressure.
Setting Realistic Goals
It’s time to try and go easy on yourself and the expectations you have. While it’s great to have big dreams, we must also make sure to set realistic and achievable targets for ourselves.
This does not mean that you have to forego the big dreams that you have, rather, it means that you must break your dream up into smaller milestones that you can accomplish over a realistic period of time.
Finally, make sure you’re taking care of yourself. Take time out of your day to just take a few deep breaths and focus on the simple things.
Learning to be present with yourself, focusing on your breathing, and just appreciating the little joys of existing within a particular moment are great ways to ground yourself and forget about life’s pressures for a while.
Self Care Starts With You
It all begins with you! Simply being aware of the idea that burnout syndrome is a real possibility can be a real game-changer for the way you live your life.
Make a change today and begin by taking small steps towards addressing your stress and leading a better life.
With Lactium, we help promote the idea of a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Learn more about what we do and what we can do for you right here.