Who Gets Burnout? Are You at Risk?

6/27/20244 min read

Who Gets Burnout? Are You at Risk?

You may not be suffering from any chronic stress right now. You experience stress but assume it's at the same level as most people, and you handle it easily. What you need to ask yourself is this.

Are the problems in your life putting you at risk of going from a normal stress level to full-blown burnout?

Burnout and stress are related. Chronic stress, always having to deal with stressful situations and problems, can lead to burnout. On the other hand, regular doses of stress are actually good for you.

It's a way your body protects you. The stress response is tied to your fight-or-flight instinct. All your senses become fully aware if you must battle a threat or run in the opposite direction very quickly.

Burnout results from experiencing that situation constantly. Your mind, body, and/or emotions are relentlessly being hammered to the point that they give up.

They simply can't take anymore. Even the strongest-willed person can suffer seriously from an endless barrage of stress to the point that some part of you shuts down.

Am I a Candidate for Burnout?

First, you need to ask yourself if you love your job. If you do, you likely don't have an issue. When you wake each morning and can't wait to get to work, your stress isn't unbearable. It's a sign that no chronic stress awaits you to clock in and get to work.

What do you do most of the time if you don't work? Does that cause you a lot of stress? Again, if stress isn't a constant companion, you probably don't have to worry.

Burnout comes from a consistent and relentless delivery of stress.

Whether it's on the job, at home, or anywhere else, it's stress that you can't escape. It's right in your face and gets you to the point where you feel like you will explode.

Some jobs are more stressful than others. Yahoo Finance reports that the following occupations are more likely to lead to burnout than others.

· Retail

· Surgeon

· Fast food worker

· Social worker

· Air traffic controller

· Construction worker

· Teacher

· Nurse

· Certified public accountant

· Firefighter

· Emergency medical technician

If you don't work any of those jobs, that doesn't mean you're immune to burnout.

Frequently experiencing stress is never a good thing.

Consult a mental health professional if you feel stress is too big of a part of your life.

Stress Awareness Checklist

Why Stress is Bad

In order to control stress you have to understand the nature and purpose of stress and what the effects of stress are on the body

The flight or flee reaction is an evolutionary adaption that arose out of the dangers our ancestors faced in the natural world:

o The purpose of the stress caused by the flight or flee reaction is to help us survive

o The chemicals released into the body during the flight and flee reaction, while damaging in the short-term, allow for long-term benefits

o The flight or flee reaction is a serious bodily reaction to what is perceived to be a serious event

A problem arises when the stress from the flight or flee reaction is not brought about by an acute event but by a long term event:

o Acute stress is brought about by a single, one-time, life threatening event

o Long-term stress is brought about by repeating non-life threatening events that can’t be fought or controlled

o Acute stress is “good” stress because it results in a benefit – survival

o Long-term stress is “bad” stress because it results in a detriment – impaired physical and mental health

There is an important difference between pressure and stress:

o Pressure is caused by a unique, performance based situation that can be controlled;

o Stress is caused by a non-unique, non-performance-based situation that cannot be controlled.

Common Causes and Symptoms of Stress

The only real difference between acute stress and long-term stress is the duration of the event causing the stress

Some of the more common causes of acute stress include:

o Noise

o Crowds

o Hunger

o Danger

Long-term stress is more dangerous than acute stress because of its potential to cause serious health problems;

Some of the more common causes of long-term stress include:

o Work pressure

o Relationship problems

o Loneliness

o Financial worries

Long-term stress taxes the entire body and increases the risk for the following:

o Heart disease

o Stroke

o Immune system disorders

o Gastrointestinal disorders

o Sleep disorders

o Death

Some General Tips on Dealing with Stress

In order to effectively deal with stress you have to add enjoyable, stress relieving activities into your everyday routine

Some of the more common stress relieving activities include:

o Listening to music or playing music on an instrument

o Owning and caring for a pet

o Regular and vigorous exercise

Simple Stress Relieving Exercises

Stress relieving exercise are an excellent way to reduce stress on a regular basis

Most stress relieving exercises are easy to learn and simple to perform, including:

o Breathing techniques that send a clear message to the body that the stressor event has passed

o Stretching techniques that reduce muscle tension caused by stress thereby stopping the body’s production of stress inducing hormones.

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