6 Signs That Prove You Are Burnt Out


1. You’re Dealing With Physical Ailments

Burnout doesn’t have a consistent physical manifestation for everyone. However, there are numerous physical complaints that have been reported with burnout, including insomnia, chest pain, headaches, increased illness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness or even fainting.

Of course, there could be a slew of other explanations for these sorts of aches, pains, and issues as well. But particularly if you’re experiencing them along with the emotional changes discussed above, they might serve as a physical indicator of your burnt out state.

2. You’ve Lost Your Motivation

A 2011 Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans aren’t engaged at work. Seventy-one percent of people in the workforce reported being “not engaged” or “actively disengaged.” In other words, they felt “emotionally disconnected” from their job which led to a lack of productivity.

Laurie Erdman, creator of the “Burnt Out To Balanced System,” described this as the most common form of burn out for HuffPost. If you don’t feel motivated or engaged at work, Erdman writes, “Recognise that you are not broken, you simply got off track.” She adds, “Maybe you’ve lost your resilience to constant change. Maybe you’re depressed. No matter what, get help. Whether you hire a coach or a therapist (or both), start to take care of yourself from the inside out. Everyone deserves to love their work.”

3. Cognitive Problems

Getting burnout and having chronic stress may interfere with your ability to pay attention or concentrate, according to research. When we’re stressed, our attention typically narrows to focus on the negative element that we perceive as a threat in our life. In the short term, this helps us deal with the problem at hand. According to doctors, our bodies and brains are designed to handle this in short bursts and then return to normal functioning. When stress becomes chronic, this narrow focus continues for a long time and we have difficulty paying attention to other things.

This “fight or flight” tunnel vision can negatively affect your ability to solve problems or make decisions. You might find that you’re more forgetful and have a harder time remembering things.

4. You’re Overly Self Critical

Regardless of what field you work in, feeling a lack of creative inspiration can affect your overall work productivity. When it comes to creative burn out, perfectionism and being overly self-critical can be a signal that your brain needs a creative break or just a break from work in general.

Not only is being overly self-critical bad for your work, “toxic perfectionism” is bad for your mental health.

5. You Begin To Experience Overwhelming Dread

While burnout is often associated with being overworked, a lot of other factors are involved. For example, if you’re spending your life doing things you don’t want to do, and you greet each day with an overwhelming feeling of dread and sadness, and you could be headed for burnout in the long run. According to the Mayo Clinic, things like feeling a lack of control, work-life imbalance, lack of social support, and doing things that don’t align with your values are major contributors to burnout.

6. You Develop Insomnia

One of the worst parts of burnout is not being able to sleep because you’re dreading everything you have to do the next day, feeling anxious that you won’t do it well, and generally beat yourself up for not being good enough.

A study published in the journal BMJ Open found that burnout-related insomnia is associated with chronic hyper arousal, which happens when your amygdala (aka the part of your brain that senses danger) is in a constant state of fight or flight. The longer you remain in this state, the harder it becomes to power down at night.


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