Emotional and Mental Exhaustion From Stress

Emotional and mental fatigue from stress. People who are under a lot of stress feel extremely lethargic and tired. This is because they have been under too much stress for a long time. It is like a glass on which you put a stone. At first that goes fine. If you place several stones on it you will see that cracks appear in the glass. If you keep adding stones to it, you will get to the point where the glass breaks. You cannot experience an infinite amount of pressure without showing cracks or even breaking ‘.

What is Emotional Exhaustion?

If you keep getting more and more on your plate and can never really charge properly, it may happen that you are no longer comfortable in your own skin. If such a situation continues for a long time, you may start to feel constantly empty, tired and exhausted. All kinds of complaints arise, both physical and mental, which are not necessarily easy to recognize. Being tired now and then is normal and so is having an occasional ache. In the case of emotional exhaustion, this continues and the complaints no longer go away on their own. You actually feel constantly tired and exhausted and you always have an ache or discomfort somewhere. You feel empty, negative and everything becomes too much for you.

The main symptoms of emotional exhaustion are: 

  • Insomnia: This may sound contradictory since you are tired enough to sleep. Still, many people with emotional exhaustion have problems falling asleep and / or staying asleep.
  • Decreased appetite: Emotional fatigue can also make you less hungry and skip meals.
  • Forgetfulness: Because of fatigue, people can sometimes have trouble remembering things.
  • Physical complaints: Examples are chest pain, palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath and headache.
  • More often seen: The immune system generally works less well in emotional exhaustion, which makes you sick more quickly.

Research shows that being emotionally exhausted is strongly linked to the development of other symptoms of burnout : conscious or unconscious distance from other people. If you feel very tired and frustrated, you often have less room for others. The smallest request can be too much. Because of this, people who are emotionally tired can be irritable and irritable, which does not ease contact with other people.

How do you become emotionally exhausted?

With mental complaints, it is difficult to find out what the cause is. You are always subject to all kinds of processes and thoughts in your head. That is why it is a bit more difficult to find out exactly why you are so burned out. Often it is an accumulation of all kinds of factors that have caused the problem. The two most common factors involved in feeling emotional exhaustion are your work and your social life.

A number of causes can be:

  • Work pressure: If your work demands a lot from you and you often have to deal with stressful moments, it can be very demanding. Still, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the main cause of emotional exhaustion. For example, we are more likely to become emotionally exhausted if we are not appreciated for our work. Constant criticism or people who take everything you do for granted creates a situation that makes you feel less and less inclined to work. In case of too much work pressure, it can feel like you are only busy with your work and everything revolves around it. Whether you bring work home or you start again at the weekend, it just keeps coming. This is absolutely not good for your own peace and stability.
  • Don’t keep work and private life separate: When the line between work and home disappears, you can become too emotionally involved in your work.
  • Tensions at work: Tensions between colleagues or a boss can also contribute to overload. Also feeling that your work has little impact and that you are doing little useful can be exhausting.
  • Your social life: The people you surround yourself with (friends, family) can cause emotional exhaustion. If you don’t get enough support from those around you or don’t allow yourself moments to unwind, you can feel lonely. Even if your environment or yourself have unrealistic expectations, you can get the feeling that you always have to arrange or solve everything.
  • Care tasks: If you have a busy family or take care of someone else, it is sometimes difficult to keep on guarding your own boundaries. You want to help and you pass yourself by. This will make you more tired and you push yourself more and more into the background. As long as the other person is doing well, you will be fine too. However, this is not true. You can only take good care of others if you take good care of yourself in the first instance. You cannot fill someone’s glass when you have an empty glass.

Physical complaints due to emotional exhaustion

When you experience emotional exhaustion, your body responds to it. It is as if the brake is constantly being pulled, to indicate that you should slow down. This is often not done, you just keep going and it is extra stressful to do all the work if you are not feeling well. You may suffer from some vague complaints that you would not think to belong to. However, take the symptoms below seriously, especially if you experience them more often. The complaints can also be part of a bigger problem.

  • Lack of appetite
  • Constant feeling exhausted
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach ache
  • Palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Shaking/trembling
  • Nausea
  • Flu

Mental complaints due to emotional exhaustion

How is your mental health deteriorating rapidly? By not thinking about yourself, not taking time to do something fun, not relaxing and constantly overloading yourself with all kinds of things. It is normal to feel a bit more negative or less cheerful from time to time, but here too, if you experience this more often, there is a reason to seek help. Not only is it unpleasant to feel that way, but the cause can also be more complex than you think. Pay close attention to yourself with the complaints below.

  • Forgetfulness
  • Concentration problems
  • No more creativity/imagination
  • Boredom
  • No more patience to listen to people
  • You don’t care anymore
  • Hopelessness
  • Feelings that everything fails or makes no difference
  • A negative self-image
  • It is no longer possible to make real contact with others

More likely to experience emotional exhaustion

Every person is unique and has a different structure. One can cope with the most stressful situations, while the other becomes disorganized much more quickly. Whatever type you are, it is important that you know what is important to you. If you no longer know what you can charge from, you will quickly find yourself on the wrong path. Some traits increase the risk of emotional exhaustion. Think of perfectionism, where you have to do everything perfectly. Pessimism also makes you exhausted more quickly. If you constantly have to do things in a way that does not suit you in your daily life, it quickly leads to exhaustion. Finally, it is also dangerous to constantly want to please everyone. By constantly dealing with what others need, you sometimes pass yourself by.

Take care of yourself

In a busy world, it is difficult to take good care of yourself and guard your limits. When is ‘often tired’ actually ‘too often tired’? How many bad days in a row can you have before you start to worry? Often times, emotional exhaustion is sort of a slide. A full and busy life in which everything goes well and you are happy can start to feel like a steep slide downhill, where you will only feel worse. We all have difficult times in our lives, and with support around us we can often handle that quite well. However, if you feel like life is exhausting and you are no longer having fun, it is time to seek help. Often, going through with complaints of fatigue does not ensure that it all disappears by itself. If your battery runs out and you no longer charge it, the complaints will get worse over time. Do you want to find out to what extent you experience emotional exhaustion and stress complaints? click on the green button ‘stress test’ below and find out immediately.

Felix Tammi

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