Work pressure, obligations, and excessive stress
The level of stress we are in is not good for us. We can handle a certain amount of tension and pressure and a healthy dose of stress can make us perform better from time to time, but many of us deal with too much stress. We have stress in our work. We do our best and strive for more and better for a salary increase or promotion. We have to earn more and more money for all financial obligations. The mortgage has to be paid, we want a new car and a good education for our children. We prefer to go on holiday a few times a year, shop regularly and eat out.
Long-term stress can make you overwrought, whether you realize it or not. Your body produces the stress hormone cortisol as a result of stress. Cortisol has many negative effects on our body. Among other things, it causes increased blood pressure, decreased immune function and increased susceptibility to infections.
What is important is to recognize the signs of excessive stress. Often it’s little signals from your body that tell you, “You really need to slow down, because I don’t feel well.” It can start with headaches, trouble sleeping, stomachaches, difficulty eating, nausea, and trembling hands. You may become disturbed by sounds and other external stimuli. But they can also be bigger signals such as panic attacks or a feeling of general restlessness. You may also feel that you can no longer handle it all. Maybe you will make mistakes, forget things or it will all become too much for you.
If you ignore your body’s signals for too long, you will wear yourself out. You get burned out, burnout. Exhaustion, burning out and burnout sound serious. And that is it. Unfortunately, burnout is common in the times we live in. It is a silent killer that is lurking for many people and they often don’t even realize it themselves. It can happen to people in their 40s or 50s, but even young people in their 20s and 30s can get it.
It can happen to anyone. Burnout can lead to depression. Things that used to be normal become more difficult. For example, you may have trouble eating, sleeping, driving or leaving the house. Everyone is different and has different symptoms, but basically, it comes down to the same thing. It’s all too much.
Common symptoms of excessive stress and burnout:
- Lifeless feeling
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Dissatisfied with work (and life)
- Depressed feelings
- Quickly irritated
- Concentration problems
- worry a lot
- Beware of social obligations and work
- Difficulty getting up and not being rested after sleeping
- Neck, head and back pain
Prevent burnout and excessive stress
Make sure this doesn’t happen to you! There is no cure for burnout. The best remedy in the first months is rest, sleep and relaxation. If you recognize the physical and mental signals in time, you can prevent burnout. Seek professional help and be careful not to go beyond your limits. Make sure your body can handle the daily stress. You do this by listening carefully to the signals from your body, pampering your body through regular and healthy food, sufficient exercise, healthy outdoor air and relaxation. Taking care of yourself mentally is also important. Be kind to yourself, do things you enjoy and think positively about yourself.
The way (back) to good health
What you can do immediately to reduce stress: stay close to yourself. Check your responsibilities and obligations, prioritize, organize, do things that relax you and bring joy to your life. For example, travel to a beautiful place, spend time with people with whom you feel good, do things that make you happy, ensure relaxation and moments of rest. If you spend a lot of time behind a desk for work, get up regularly to get a cup of tea or water. Don’t stay behind the computer too late at night. Also, do not “hang” behind other screens such as TV, laptop and smartphone until late. This disrupts your sleep rhythm and hormones that are important for a healthy body.
The sooner you realize that you have too much stress in your life, the faster you can work on improvement and prevent burnout. Once you are burned out, it can take a long time to fully recover. It can take months and even years before you are fully functioning again. It’s worth paying attention to yourself every day and making sure you stay healthy. Ultimately, you can prevent burnout and find the way (back) to good health.
What can you do?
- Provide relaxation (massage, meditation, yoga, dance)
- Change the stress inside (coaching, therapy, mindfulness)
- Conscious, calm and deep breathing (‘stay close to yourself’ exercise below)
- Sufficient sleep
- Stop worrying and thinking
- Do 1 thing at a time (here and now)
- Do everything calmly, without haste
- Go for a walk outside regularly
- Have siesta’s
- Only do things you feel like
- Think positive about yourself, bring humor into your life – laughter is healthy!
By starting the day in rest it is easier to maintain a relaxed feeling throughout the day. And when you end the day relaxed, you sleep better. A simple relaxation exercise that you can do to start and end the day is Dance Power Exercise #1 Stay close to yourself. With this exercise I wish you a healthy dose of peace and relaxation in your life! Warm regards, Sacha
Dance power exercise: #1 Stay close to yourself
This relaxation exercise helps you consciously breathe and ground. This keeps you closer to yourself. Sit cross-legged and place your hands on your knees. Keep your buttocks on the floor and slowly rotate your torso in large circles, holding your knees. Inhale as you rotate forward and exhale as you rotate backward. Curve your back as you move backwards. Make your back as long as possible and lift your sternum as you move forward. First turn 20 to the left and then 20x to the right.