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What is emotional burnout and how to cope with it

The open diary reminds you of hundreds of important tasks, the blinking screen of the phone signals a multitude of unread letters, and the calendar helpfully reminds you of the upcoming deadline. And in this “workflow” you are simply not able to budge. Favorite lesson is not fun. It happens. This is a special state of fatigue, which psychologists have called emotional burnout.

A bit of theory
Burnout syndrome refers to the state of psychological exhaustion. It can lead to personal changes in communication with people. The syndrome manifests itself in the form of increasing indifference to work, to the environment. A person faced with emotional burnout feels his professional failure. This leads to job dissatisfaction. In the future, significantly deteriorates the quality of life.

The most susceptible to such burnout are people whose professional activities require high commitment. We are talking about doctors, teachers, employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, social workers, psychologists.

The modern world with its consumer attitude towards man and the desire to “have time for everything” has led to the fact that the likelihood of encountering emotional burnout threatens almost everyone. Even the housewife is not immune from the syndrome.
The concept of “burnout syndrome” appeared in 1974 thanks to the American psychiatrist Herbert Freudenberger. He observed in health workers and people whose professions are related to rendering assistance, the appearance of severe fatigue, high irritability. Against the background of such manifestations, disappointment developed in work and then in life.

Causes of burnout
A person experiences many emotions. He is happy or angry, sympathetic or indignant, laughing or sad. Negative emotions, if there is no “discharge,” can accumulate in the body. Energy resources are being depleted. Emotional dissatisfaction develops. Such a person begins to burn out. He loses relationship with the outside world, goes into himself. The patient ceases to perceive positive emotions.

Inflated targets can negatively affect a person’s emotions.
Burnout usually occurs in response to the following factors:

monotonous, monotonous work;
randomness, uncertainty in the work;
too high requirements and the desire to meet them;
insecurity and the absence of any guarantees at work;
challenging tasks and short deadlines;
excessive liability;
unconstructive, public criticism;
high competition;
low wages;
frequent conflicts;
regular processing;
unfair fines.
Risk group
Psychologists believe that the causes of emotional burnout are associated not only with professional activities, but also with the person’s personality. So, some people are more prone to pathological syndrome.

The risk group includes the following categories of people:

lonely people;
idealists constantly experiencing feelings of injustice or inequality;
devaluing themselves;
young professionals building unrealistic career plans;
emotionally unstable people;
personality with high or excessively low self-esteem;
socially unprotected;
people setting unattainable goals;
individuals who have experienced many crises in their personal lives, work;
people who are constantly sacrificing themselves and seeking to please everyone.
Single people are more unstable in expressing emotions
Symptoms of burnout
Each person, faced with an unpleasant syndrome, emotional burnout occurs individually. Some people have a lot of negative symptoms affecting their mental, physical condition. For others, only certain signs of the syndrome can be observed. Therefore, you need to focus mainly on the feeling of internal discomfort.

Psychologists distinguish three groups of symptoms that signal burnout.

Psychophysical signs
The following symptoms indicate emotional burnout:

persistent fatigue (it appears immediately after waking up);
lack of response to external factors (they do not attract new activities, there is no curiosity, sometimes the feeling of fear is lost);
growing weakness, fatigue;
unexplained headaches;
change in body weight (possible sudden weight gain or rapid weight loss);
regular gastrointestinal disorders;
high drowsiness, lethargy;
blurred vision;
shortness of breath on the background of emotional stress or after physical activity;
loss of smell;
reduced body sensitivity.
Behavioral disturbances
For the syndrome characterized by such signs:

ordinary work becomes a burden;
the volume of tasks that was previously performed with ease now takes more time;
there are difficulties in making decisions;
work is taken at home, but not done;
reduced enthusiasm, indifference to results;
develops a sense of its own uselessness;
important tasks are not solved;
there is a “fixation” on the elementary details;
inadequate self-criticism is developing.

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