Burnout is the impact of too much stress over a long period. Working excessive overtime also increases the risk of burnout.
The symptoms are irritability, fatigue, mood swings, and decreased work performance. The psychological and physical problems associated with burned-out employees cost an estimated USD 125 to 190 billion a year in healthcare spending in the United States (Garton, 2017).
Burnout can include the following behaviors:
Chronic stress is one of the most common health issues in the workplace. Stress leads to physical consequences such as digestive troubles, hypertension, chronic aches and pains, and heart problems. Chronic stress negatively impacts mental health and is linked to a higher risk of depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
A recent survey of 3,000 employees in eight countries, including the United States, Britain, and Germany, found that nearly half thought they could efficiently finish their tasks in five hours a day if they weren’t interrupted. In reality, many workers work more than 40 hours a week, with the United States leading the way, where 49 percent of survey respondents worked overtime (World Economic Forum, 2016).
Technology has also introduced work creep by making it easier for work to creep into our leisure and family time. But employees are now starting to step back from a 24-hour digital life and becoming more aware of the mental health impacts of always being connected to work.
People react to stress in many different ways, but the ways stress can manifest are threefold, impacting on the mind, the body, and general wellbeing. Get to know your stress signals by looking for the symptoms listed below.
How stress affects you mentally:
How stress impacts you physically:
How stress affects your wellbeing:
Stress impacts your health in the following ways:
We all feel stress at one time or another. Many of us feel stress on an all too regular basis, and some even feel stress constantly.
Learning to manage stress better can help you live a happier, healthier, and longer life.
What causes stress is different for everyone, but there are some common triggers. These include:
Other significant causes of stress may include:
The reality is that all of us are exposed to some level of stress throughout our lives. Like death and taxes, stress is unavoidable.
Having a level of stress that you can manage helps you perform and keeps you motivated. This is an optimal amount of stress.
Either too little or too much stress may be counterproductive. Too low stress leaves you unmotivated. Too much stress makes you feel overwhelmed, lowers your performance, and hinders your cognitive and emotional abilities.
The next time you feel stressed, follow these five tips to help manage the feeling.
Stress and burnout can be overcome, and there are many effective strategies for managing and reducing your level of stress. I'll dig deeper into this topic in future posts.