Stress can be considered as a universal experience. It is considered as a psychological pain because even of we feel the sensation, there is no other way of explaining it in a physical sense. People from all walks of life and every race, gender, country experiences some sort of stress. It can stem from anything traumatic or life-changing that could happen in a person’s lifetime as well as simpler tasks and events. There are many who agree that having stress in your life is actually good. Akin to a video game, you know that you are advancing and gaining a level if everything starts to be difficult. It is said that stress promotes growth and development amongst individuals because this improves the skills and abilities as well as add new ones to the person’s repertoire. This is far evident in the workplace, wherein competition can be tough and rough. Experiencing workplace-related stress is a normal experience, and people should be able to process it in a positive way.
However, what if the stress becomes too much for a person to handle?
Stress is small amounts is good. Once it reaches critical levels, it can affect a person’s thinking, cognition and reasoning. To the extreme, it is said that too much stress is linked with many mental and psychological disorders. There are even researches that support the notion that stress leads to heart problems and even brain damage. In the working environment, we usually ignore the effects of stress in our body as we continue to work and work until we are exhausted. For some who push their bodies and minds to the extreme, it can lead to burnout.
What is burnout? In its name itself (also known as occupational burnout), we can already assume its meaning. This refers to a state wherein a person cannot handle the stress anymore and fades away a.k.a. “burning out”. This is very evident in occupations wherein that there is a lot of risk of losing a life involved like police work or medical staff. It can also be seen in jobs that need the person to be away from their homes like soldiers and sailors. Physically stressing work like construction and mining can also lead to burnout. However, please do note that it does not mean that other kinds of jobs are not prone to burnout or otherwise.
One of the main reason that experts see when they studied about burnout is that it usually develops when the job is becoming too big for the person to handle. It can mean that the person has been given responsibilities during a time when he feels that he or she is not yet ready. It can also refer to job enrichment, that is adding more tasks to the job already existing which can lead to overload. There are also cases wherein the person’s expectation of the job does not meet the reality of it. Sometimes, the work environment itself leads for a person to burn out by all of it. Toxic employee relationships, very high expectations from the higher-ups, downsizing and retrenchment, all of these can contribute to the stress that is already there with the job itself.
There is no definite way to tell if one already has a burnout. Even in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), there is no mention of burnout. In the latest edition International Classification of Diseases (11th ed.) by WHO, it is listed under problems related to life-management difficulty. Although this might be the case, research shows that burnout is related to poor cognition, poor job performance, slow attention spans, and depression. Heart diseases are also linked to burnout. Most people who experience this tend to lose focus, always make excuses to be absent from work and wants to leave the job.
Avoiding burnout always starts with the person. If you are in a job where you enjoy what you are doing with a healthy and productive environment, there is a low chance for you to develop this condition. However, this is easier said than found. Most of us do not have the luxury to jump from job to job just to find what is perfect for us. Some even commit themselves to a job that they never wanted because they need the money to survive. In this economy, having any job is considered a blessing.
If you think that you are already doing more than what you can actually handle, you can try talking to your manager or supervisor about your issue. Maybe he or she can help you in learning a better way for you to handle such responsibilities. It is also recommended for you to find a balance between your working and personal life. Having loved ones who support you every step of the way lessens the burden of what you have right now. Eating and sleeping right along with exercise are also proven to improve mood and lessens stress. It does not help if you will indulge in alcohol, cigarettes or drugs as these can just worsen the situation. You can also take a vacation once in a while to replenish your energy and love for your job.
If you think that you are already experiencing burnout, you can consult a psychologist about it. There are many therapies which can help you in processing the burnout you have. They can also teach you on how to manage your stress levels. However, if you cannot help yourself then going to the psychologist is going to be fruitless. Sometimes, it takes a little bit of effort and time but in the end it is going to be worth it.
Burnout is a very serious issue but many people do not even believe that it even exists. They say that it is just a construct of the mind and we just get over it naturally. However, these issues cannot be resolved just by waiting it out like it’s a common cold. Burnout can lead to serious consequences if not resolved as soon as possible. It is also possible that burnout can be covered by disability benefits. You can visit our website www.hurtatworknyc.com for more information.