The 21st century is the age of information. The flow of data doesn't let up for a second—it surrounds us wherever we go. Our brains can't be turned off. They keep processing information whether we're at work, at home, on vacation, or even sleeping. The flurry of mental and emotional activity at work can sometimes lead to stress, mental health problems, illness, and burnout. That's what we want to talk about now.
Burnout could be described as the greatest occupational hazard facing us today. Apathy, cynicism, unprovoked irritability, lack of motivation to do work, and a constant sense of helplessness and futility are sure signs of burnout.
Nobody is immune to burnout. Managers, executives, and businesspeople are, naturally, the most prone to it. As a rule, office workers are the first to seek outside assistance to deal with it. Others try to cope on their own, but that doesn't always help.
Even though we all know the causes of burnout, we still fall prey to them. Researchers have studied the consequences of being overwhelmed at work for a long time. The roots of burnout and the ways it can be avoided are well known, but people continue to ignore the experts' recommendations time and time again and end up in the same emotional trap.
What can we do about that?
First, we have to figure out what triggers this mental malaise. The brain focuses on and processes tons of information every second, but it must put emotions on the back burner to do so. As our emotions get pent up, they transform into negativity and get wound up like a spring, which leads to an outburst in the form of stress, squabbling, or an unpleasant scene. In addition, pressurized emotions can escape through small cracks in the immune system, resulting in lethargy, heart conditions, headaches, gastrointestinal illnesses, and much more.
Are there effective ways to avoid burnout? We're happy to report: yes, there are!
1. Take a walk in someone else's shoes
You can avoid conflicts and stressful situations by putting yourself in your colleague's place. Try listening more and talking less—especially when it comes to yelling or arguing. Without a doubt, an attentive attitude, conscientious questions, and clearly defined needs will help you avoid problems with deadlines, nerves, and stress.
2. Reevaluate the problem
Assess the situation. Is the problem as big a deal as it seems at first glance? Will its outcome significantly impact your life? Is it really a major issue, or is it just another tricky challenge that needs to be addressed? Don't give in to your emotions. Keep a cool head, and you'll stay out of hot water.
3. Observe your breath and emotions
If you sense that your emotions taking over and your body isn't listening to you, remember your breath. If you've noticed that your breath has quickened, chill out. Force yourself to breathe a little slower and deeper. By exerting physical control over your body, you can rein in your emotions and reduce stress.
4. Keep calm and work out
Perfectionism, incessant doubts, and anxiety are catalysts for burnout when it comes to work. Find a way to reduce anxiety, divert your heightened emotions, and relieve stress. Exercise helps, especially running. Physical activity enables you to reset your emotions, allowing you to calm down and do better work.
We don't mean take a vacation, commune with nature, or party at a bar. You should let yourself take a breather during the workday. Switch your brain out of normal work mode and allow it to digest any new information.
These are just a few recommendations to help you preserve your mental well-being and prevent burnout. But, if you're still feeling uneasy, don't hesitate to seek the help of an expert, like a counselor, psychologist, or life coach. Professional assistance will help you hang onto your job and avoid spreading your stress to others.