Emotional exhaustion – how to recognize it?

It takes approx. 3 minutes to read this article

Excessive responsibilities, big changes in life, personal and professional problems – all these factors can cause emotional exhaustion. How to recognize this condition and how to fight it? We give you a hint!

What is emotional exhaustion?

Stress is one of the main causes of emotional exhaustion. However, it is worth being aware that not all stress leads to it. Emotional exhaustion occurs when our psyche cannot cope with an excess not only of stress, but also of emotions, tension, fears and anxieties.

Often this is led by an excess of responsibilities or big changes in personal or professional life. Thus, stress is one of the main causes of emotional exhaustion, but it is definitely not the only cause. Moreover, for emotional exhaustion to occur, a person must be exposed to long-term stress and tension. 

When can we talk about long-term stress? For each person, this can be a very individual term that is difficult to clearly define. However, it is worth knowing that emotional exhaustion occurs when our body is unable to control the increased amount of stress hormones on its own for a long time.

What are the symptoms of emotional exhaustion?

In order to be able to clearly determine whether the ailments we are facing are due to emotional exhaustion, we need to consider our well-being over the past few months (preferably 5 or even 6). What do you need to analyze? See what symptoms indicate emotional exhaustion:

  • feeling that you are in a situation that is difficult for you and requires a lot of strength and emotion (e.g. becoming a parent, changing jobs),
  • you are hypersensitive, easily upset and it doesn’t take much to bring you out of balance, you have a bad mood,
  • you experience sleep problems (e.g. insomnia, you wake up easily during the night and have trouble falling asleep again),
  • you have trouble focusing, you find it hard to switch to “here and now” mode, you forget important things,
  • you feel a significant drop in motivation and have little energy,
  • you feel that things are overwhelming you, you feel that the effort you have to put into solving them is too much,
  • you have regular physical complaints – more often than twice a week you suffer from abdominal pain, headaches and neck pain,
  • you readily turn to stimulants (alcohol, cigarettes).

Effects of emotional exhaustion

The symptoms of emotional exhaustion are very agonizing for the person who suffers from them. Unfortunately, the effects of this condition are even more severe. Prolonged emotional exhaustion leads to a wide variety of diseases, the most common of which include depressive disorders and anxiety attacks (including panic attacks), stomach ulcers or gastrointestinal problems.

How to cope with emotional exhaustion?

Despite appearances, we are not powerless against emotional exhaustion. The first step to fighting it is, of course, to become aware of the problem. See what you can do to effectively deal with emotional exhaustion:

  • don’t take on too many responsibilities, indulge yourself,
  • rest, relax (breath work gives good results),
  • work on priorities: complete the most important tasks first, get down to less important ones if you have enough time and energy,
  • if you feel you can’t cope, don’t be afraid to get help from specialists. Psychologists and psychiatrists know very well how to help emotionally exhausted patients.

main photo: pixabay.com/StockSnap

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