Top seven Signs of Emotional Burnout

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Ever since the term was first coined by American psychologist Herbert Freuden berger back in the 1970s, burnout has been a popular topic of interest for many scholars in the field of psychology. Based on a study by Leiter and others, emotional burnout is defined as a negative psychological state, that may manifest physical, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms that impair our normal functioning, and cause us severe distress. No matter what you do, or how you do it, stress is an inevitable part of life. Everyone has to deal with it from time to time.

However, when stress gets out of hand and becomes too much for you to cope with, you will put your mental health at risk. Here are seven signs that can help you tell if you're emotionally burnt out:

1. You're chronically fatigued There's a difference between being tired and fatigued. Both are responses to stressors, but tiredness goes away with the right amount of rest and recuperation, while fatigue is more enduring. When you're emotionally burnt out, it can feel like no amount of food, sleep or relaxation can make you feel better. You're exhausted all the time.

2. You're not taking care of yourself Are there any concerning changes in your eating and sleeping patterns? These changes are often the first and most prominent signs of emotional burnout. When you stop eating or sleeping right, it negatively impacts both your physical and mental health. According to researchers Pallavi and Herman, people who feel emotionally exhausted often experience loss of appetite and lack of restful sleep. In severe cases, some people even feel so drained that they stop showering, exercising, brushing their teeth and dressing presentable altogether. Before we jump to the next point, we also want to let you know that we previously released a video on types of highly sensitive people. If you haven't gotten a chance to watch it do check it out later. Basically, HSPs are also more likely to get emotionally burnt out. So if you find yourself easily being drained emotionally, then you might be an HSP.

3. Your performance is declining Have you noticed the quality of your work go down lately? Are you less productive at what you do? Try comparing your performance from a few months or years ago to how it is today, and see if there's a significant difference. Emotional burnout is a gradual process that takes place over an extended period of time. So it can be difficult to pinpoint when exactly your performance started to worsen. Looking at it from a long-term perspective can help you figure out whether or not you've just hit a temporary rough patch or if you're already suffering emotional exhaustion.

4. You're emotionally volatile Do you often throw temper tantrums at the slightest provocation? When you neglect your mental health and fail to satisfy your emotional needs, it's harder for your mind to function as well as it used to. This may manifest as difficulty controlling and maintaining your emotions. If you're suffering from emotional exhaustion, your feelings are likely all over the place. You become more sensitive and irritable. Frustration, pessimism, guilt and anger are common, as well as feelings of emptiness and dread. All of these are telltale signs that your mind is already crying for help.

5. You feel down most of the time According to a study by Bianchi and others in 2015, lack of energy and motivation are to be expected in the early stages of burnout. But symptoms of anxiety and depression may develop over time if the problem is left untreated. If you're feeling down more than not, it's time for you to start taking better care of yourself, mentally and emotionally.

6. Your social life is going downhill Being emotionally burnt out may cause you to have no energy or desire to spend time with your loved ones. Do you tend to push away your friends and family without meaning to? Do you find yourself neglecting your social roles and duties as a sibling, partner or friend? Do you experience more interpersonal conflicts? Emotional burnout is a very ugly and painful experience that often affects not just our mental health, but our social functioning as well. In fact, studies have shown that social withdrawal and isolation is one of the worst consequences of poor mental health, causing a lot of people to suffer alone in silence. Lastly,

7. You feel hopeless Emotional burnout usually gives way to feelings of despair, emptiness and detachment. You spend all of your time and energy mulling over all the things you need to do, and end up leaving none of it for yourself and your well-being. You start to feel unfulfilled by the things that used to give your life meaning, and you find it hard to feel any sort of pleasure at all anymore, because you fear that nothing you do will matter in the end. You don't see the point of it all anymore, so you give up. In a culture that values achievement, success and productivity, it's easy to lose yourself in your work or your school.

A lot of us have been brought up to believe that we must always push ourselves to excel and do our very best all the time. However, it's important to know when to draw the line, and find the time to care for ourselves and put our emotional needs first. Emotional burnout is an easy trap to fall into, but difficult to climb out of.

Fortunately though, it doesn't just happen overnight. Self-awareness is key! Once you've recognized the signs of emotional burnout, try to find out what could be the root cause of it! Do all these sound familiar to you? How many signs do you relate to? What do you think might be the cause of it? And what do you plan to do next? Let us know in the comments below! Share this with someone you think might benefit from these as well! for more psychology content! And as always, stay tunned.

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