If you’re feeling emotional burnout and emotional exhaustion, you’re not alone. These feelings are common and understandable in today’s world. A difficult relationship or emotional neglect can lead to feeling burnt out, and this is never something to not take seriously. Just remember that you should always consult a medical professional if symptoms appear unusual.
Today we’re going to learn about ten signs that you are emotionally burnt-out. Now, let’s begin. What does it mean to feel burnt out? Well generally, you’d say you’re burnt out after a long day of work or after studying for your final exams. However, emotional burnout isn’t just a phrase people throw around when they’re tired. It’s actually a real psychological syndrome.
A few decades ago a group of psychologists published a book that not only defined burnout but also taught people how to recognize the signs. If someone is experiencing burnout they’re almost always facing a combination of these three things- emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment.
In other words, they have trouble giving a hundred percent at work or in their relationships. They start acting like a different person and they struggle with motivation and self-perception. As you can see it’s more than just feeling tired. This condition can cause damage to your mental and your physical health if you’re not careful.
Obviously in the workplace burnout is detrimental to confidence and productivity that’s the biggest reason why people started taking emotional burnout seriously. This psychological syndrome prevents people from doing their jobs and handling their responsibilities. This new attention led to a significant increase in studies conducted on emotional burnout.
Thanks to that research, psychologists have identified many reliable indicators of emotional burnout. They even put together a 22 item scale which has been used by researchers around the world. These studies also revealed that many people demonstrate the symptoms of burnout without realizing that there’s anything wrong.
When left unattended, these symptoms can worsen until they start negatively impacting your choices, relationships, and lifestyle. So, to help you get ahead of your symptoms here are 10 signs that you may be emotionally burnout.
If you’re feeling overworked and exhausted, patience is usually the first thing to go. Patience is your ability to tolerate inconvenient, annoying or difficult things without getting upset. Now, normally when something goes wrong it isn’t that hard to stay calm and try again but what happens when you have zero patience?
Well, let’s just say you’re writing up a few pages for work. You just spent the last half hour grinding away when suddenly your computer crashes and you realize you didn’t save any of it. You try desperately to recover what you lost but you’re going to have to start over. This will always be frustrating no matter what mental state you’re in. However, when your patience is abnormally low it isn’t just frustrating it’s completely heartbreaking. You might feel angry, you might feel sad or even hopeless. It might feel impossible to get back to where you were even if you only lost a half-hour of work.If every inconvenient thing seems like a huge roadblock in your life well you may be experiencing emotional burnout. Click To Tweet
Burnout has a major impact on attention. It creates significant fogginess which diminishes both your concentration and your attention span. You’ll notice yourself having trouble staying focused on your work and during conversations. To make matters worse you’re especially prone to common distractors like TV and social media and that’s because you’re exhausted brain is searching for ways to relax and just zone out since you aren’t paying as much attention.
You might have trouble remembering details. You’ll make clumsy mistakes simply because your mind isn’t nearly as sharp as it usually is. Your work becomes sloppy and absent-minded even if most days you’re extremely productive in the workplace. Employers often mistake this decrease in performance for carelessness but that’s not actually what’s happening. If your focus is uncharacteristically low, it may be time to give your mind a break.
Do you feel like everything you do seems pointless?People experiencing burnout may lose sight of the purpose behind the things that they do and not just their work but their habits, routines, and relationships too. Click To Tweet
When you’re consistently exhausted, long-term gratification is an incredibly challenging idea to wrap your head around. You don’t spend as much time maintaining self-discipline. Your goals start to slip and your dreams feel further and further away. If everything you do feels hopeless, burnout is something you should seriously consider.
Also read: 7 habits that are destroying your motivation
Sudden bursts of anger are often a direct product of emotional burnout because it lessens patients and heightens negative emotions. Your temper tends to get shorter. You might notice yourself yelling and screaming over things that would never normally bother you. That’s because you’re holding in all this pent-up anger.
Unfortunately, that anger often gets displaced on friends and family. It can have a detrimental effect on your relationships but it doesn’t have to. By reducing the amount of stress in your life you can relieve burnouts and keep your anger under control.
You might recognize burnout in the way you organize your life. When you’re feeling productive, it’s rewarding to keep your life in order. You feel on top of your work and you know how to manage your time. However, emotional burnout takes away that sense of control your responsibilities start to pile up. You get so overwhelmed that you either forget or you just don’t feel motivated to stay organized.
Something as benign as a messy room can be a symptom of burnout, but only if it’s out of the ordinary. If you almost always keep your room clean then suddenly stop caring what it looks like well there’s something wrong. Don’t just roll your eyes and pretend like it’s no big deal. Organizational changes even the small ones can signal that you’re emotionally exhausted.
Sometimes burnout appears through physical symptoms. Unexplained headaches are one of the most common. Though they’re almost always ignored, people will just take an aspirin and get on with their day but you should listen to your body.
If you’re experiencing pain, it means your body is trying to tell you something. High levels of emotional stress can make you susceptible to both tension headaches and migraines. When you’re stressed out, your brain releases emergency fight-or-flight hormones. Your heart rate increases and your muscles begin to tense up.
All of these reactions take a toll on your body and your brain. This inevitably leads to inflammation and pain. Now, at first, these stress headaches may only last a few minutes but they can become chronic over time. So, try to identify this physical symptom as early as you can.
Burnout can make your emotions strong and volatile. Your brain may be stressed out so often that it begins overreacting to everything. The tiniest trigger can make you jump from one emotional extreme to the next.
If you’re experiencing these strange mood shifts, well it may mean you’re overwhelmed at work or at home. Something in your life may be creating a huge amount of tension and pressure. Unfortunately, if you continue to ignore it, this symptom can evolve into more severe mood disorders like depression.
Attention isn’t the only cognitive function that suffers during burnout. You might notice you just can’t perform as well as you did before. Your work takes longer, you get confused by simple problems and you aren’t as creative as you used to be.
Hey, don’t worry you’re not somehow worse at your job. Emotional burnout triggers significant deficits and several executive functions. The most important ones are planning, problem-solving and information processing. When you overuse your brain, these normal everyday functions require a lot more energy and it only gets worse when you factor in all the pressure of your demanding lifestyle.
So, don’t let your cognition decline any more than it has to recognize this symptom of emotional burnout and take steps to get yourself back on track.
The best way to avoid burnout is to strike a balance between work and your personal life. It’s important to care about your job and be committed to your success. But, not all the time. It’s just as critical that you explore personal passions and connect with friends and family.
Individuals who live an unbalanced life usually because of an extremely demanding job are prone to emotional burnout. Doctors and nurses, for example, have taxing schedules and an overwhelming number of responsibilities. They have very little time to focus on themselves because they’re spending it all on other people.
That’s why medicine has one of the highest rates of burnout in any field. Even if you’re not a doctor or a nurse, your job can still take over your life. Whenever you’re struggling to make time for yourself, the emotional burnout may be just around the corner.
Do you find yourself struggling to care about your work? Are you getting sloppy and disorganized because you just don’t feel like trying anymore? Emotional extremes are a reliable sign of burnout but total apathy is nearly as common.
A lack of emotional connection can lead to significant personal dysfunction. You might stop showing up for work, and all your good habits might go down the drain. Now keep in mind that people aren’t usually apathetic on purpose. They want to care but they just can’t.
It’s often because they’ve invested too much time and effort into one particular thing. No matter how much you love it, you’re to get drained eventually. Hey don’t worry, it’s very possible to rediscover your passion but working yourself into the ground is never the answer.
Also read: 7 Psychology Tricks to Build Unstoppable Confidence
The Maslach Burnout Inventory Manual
Emotional Exhaustion: What It Is and How to Treat It
5 Signs You’re Headed for Burnout at Work, and What You Can Do to Fix It
Burnout and engagement at work as a function of demands and control.
Burnout and satisfaction with work-life balance among US physicians relative to the general US population.
How to recognize and cope with emotional exhaustion
Emotional exhaustion and burnout among medical professors; a nationwide survey