To check your level of burnout, answers the following questions.
Do your days seem endless?
Do you find yourself having problems focusing on the tasks at hand?
Does it seem like you’re on a treadmill that just keeps going faster and faster while you’re not getting anywhere?
If you answered yes to these questions, there’s a good chance your level of burnout is high.
What is Burnout?
Burnout is a state of chronic stress.
Read that again, a state of chronic stress. That means it’s always on, draining your energy, leaving you feeling physically and emotionally exhausted.
Left unchecked burnout can cause feelings of ineffectiveness and a lack of accomplishment.
This can leave you feeling detached, frustrated, even depressed.
Have you ever felt this way?
Most people who live in modern society have, and that includes me, as well as many of the clients I’ve worked with over the past 40 years or so.
A High Level of Burnout
Let me tell you about a client who I worked with who had a high level of burnout.
Let’s call her Mary.
Mary was successful by most people’s standards. She was in charge of a division of a major company and earned over $250,00 a year.
She came to me because she was she was tired, to the point of exhaustion. Her eyes had deep circles under them.
She told me she hadn’t slept well in over a month.
Her chronic insomnia was causing here problems at work. She had a hard time remembering, sometimes the simplest things.
Another problem was the slightest infraction could send her flying off the handle at her co-workers. This was also affecting her relationships at home.
On top of that, she had lost her appetite and had a cold she couldn’t get rid of.
She told me she just felt totally down and out.
She said depressed.
Additionally, she told me she was unhappy. In fact, she’d been unhappy for at least six months if not over a year.
What Can You Do About Burnout?
Mary told me she’d tried to take vacations, but she didn’t find them helpful because she couldn’t rest.
She had tried meditation, but she didn’t feel she could get her mind to hold still.
“It just kept running and running”, she told me.
Mary was suffering from extreme burnout.
I asked her to describe a day in her life.
She told me she would often work ten, eleven, even twelve hours a day.
At work she often found herself unable to concentrate because she felt guilty about not spending enough time with her family.
When she was with her family she was mostly thinking about work.
Does this sound familiar?
I could certainly relate to what Mary was going through, and, since you are working in today’s fast paced world, maybe you can too.
Well, after talking a little bit more about what was going on with her life, I taught Mary three Mindful Mind Hacks you can also use, if you would like to lower the level of burnout.
- Belly Breathing
The first was belly breathing, which is usually the first Mindful Mind Hack I teach anyone who comes to me for help. Essentially, its learning, or perhaps a better term would be re-learning, how to breathe properly.
I taught her this first because it’s the easiest way to practice being in the present.
- What Was I Just Thinking?
The second Mindful Mind Hack I taught her was “What was I just thinking?”
“What was I just thinking” is a practice that comes from mindfulness meditation.
As anyone who has had their mind taking them down the anxiety track will tell you, the only way you can get it back on the right track is being aware of how your thinking is affecting you.
“What was I just thinking?” helps by getting you in touch with the many thoughts going through you head every day.
Once you begin to recognize these thoughts and realize how they are affecting, you can do something about them.
One of the biggest reasons Mary was stressed and anxious was because she was constantly thinking of work at home and home at work.
“What was I just thinking” helped her to recognize this.
- Here and Now
The third Mindful Mind Hack I taught her is “Here and Now”.
In essence, “Here and Now” uses belly breathing to concentrate your mind on your breaths.
This practice also comes from mindfulness meditation.
As you take in and release your deep breaths, you try to think only of your breathing.
Then, when another thought comes into your head, as they always do, don’t judge it, don’t think about it, just say “Thank you. Here and now” to yourself and then go back to your breathing.
“Here and Now” is used to discipline your mind to be more in the present.
Mary told me that after a couple of weeks of practicing this, her mind didn’t jump around so much, and she was able to sleep better.
By the way, both “What was I just thinking?” and “Here and Now” are part of my free course, “3 Mindful Mind Hacks to Supercharge your Success” that you can find at my website.
How Your Thinking Affects You
Mindful Mind Hacking was able to help Mary pull out of her burnout slide. It did this by helping her to learn to take charge of her thinking.
That’s because, everything starts with your thinking.
And your thinking controls your actions.
Actions repeated enough times turn into habits and, after a while, your habits turn into your destiny.
But it all starts with your thoughts, and that’s where Mindful Mind Hacking comes in.
It helps you control your thinking by bringing you back into the here and now.
Now, instead of spinning your wheels, thinking about past failures or future worries, you can focus your energy on getting done what needs to be done, right here and now.
This practice will lead you away from burnout and now you’ll be able to move down the path to achieving the great things that you have inside of you.