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When Your Body Says No: Avoiding ‘Burnout’

Is your stressful life pushing you toward a breakdown? Learn the signs so you can feel good every day.

"Burn Out" by Jan Verest
When Your Body Says No: Avoiding Burnout

We live in a society where the motto is "more, more, more!" We want more success, more money, more “things.” Family and friends rely on us. Businesses rely on us. And sometimes we just forget ourselves.

The continuous state of stress we push ourselves into, to prove to others that we are great and we can achieve amazing things, is not that great for our bodies. Our bodies can deal with a bit of stress once in a while, but the fact is, most of us deal with this every day of our lives.

We love perfection, and we love to work hard for it.

We have stress in our jobs. We want to do our best and maybe even get a raise or a promotion. We need to make more money because we have too many financial responsibilities: credit card bills, mortgage, a new car, school for the kids. We want to shop for new clothes and shoes every week, go on vacation a few times a year and go out to eat at fancy restaurants a lot. Those are big responsibilities.

QUIZ: How Stressed Are You?

If you live like that, your body could be stressed, whether you notice it or not. Then your body produces a lot of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol does many bad things to your body, and one of the worst is that it causes weight gain.

But there is another reason to really take time each day to unwind: Your body needs it to release the stress and avoid “burnout.” In this society, we need to keep going, there is more work to do each day and there is not much room for error or sickness on our part. There is just no time for it, and we need to keep going on and on.

Burnout sounds serious, and it is. Burnout is a disease of our modern times. It is around the corner for a lot of people and they don’t even know it. Some get it and they call it a “midlife crisis,” but young people in their 20s or 30s can have it, too. It can happen to anyone.

It is important to recognize the signs of an overstressed body. A lot of times there are small signs from your body that tell you, “Hey, you need to slow down, because I am not feeling well.”

MORE: Release the Built-Up Stress in Your Body

It can start with aches. Headache in the morning, difficulty sleeping, joint pain, stomach pain, difficult digestion, swollen glands, ringing ear, dizziness, feeling of vibrations throughout the body… it can even become panic attacks. When every sound or other sensations from outside are just too much and you want to get away from them, or when you feel overwhelmed a lot and feel like you can’t handle everything in a day. It is just too much. Maybe you are making mistakes or forgetting things.

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