Wednesday, April 22, 2009

chronic stress and burnout

“In dealing with those who are undergoing great suffering, if you feel "burnout" setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself. The point is to have a long-term perspective.” -Dalai Lama
Excessive stress generally leads to burnout. Chronic stress and burnout are more common nowadays. Be aware, unrecognized stress trap a lot of your energy.

Common causes of chronic stress (APA)
• Poverty and financial worries
• Dysfunctional families
• Caring for a chronically ill family members
• Feeling trapped in unhealthy relationship or career choices
• Long – term unemployment
• Personal belief systems (exp-perfectionism)
• Traumatic experiences

Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest or motivation.
Phases of burnout (Freudenberger and Gail)
• a compulsion to prove oneself
• working harder
• neglecting one's own needs
• displacement of conflicts
• revision of values
• denial of emerging problems
• withdrawal
• behavioral changes become obvious to others
• inner emptiness
• depression
• burnout syndrome

Learning how to manage stress can help you regain your balance. Steps to handle your excessive stress are,
1) Know more about cause, signs and symptoms of stress and burnout
2) Confronting denial, false hopes, cynicism or helplessness
3) Reevaluate your values goals and priorities
4) Acquiring and applying skills and knowledge
5) Getting proper and sufficient social support

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