What is burn out?
As per WHO- World Health Organisation, burn out is an occupational phenomenon and is defined as “A syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”.
Burn out is becoming more and more visible these days as more people have started experiencing – no enthusiasm, low energy, negativity, cynicism at the workplace.
Burn out stories–
“Sam has been working on a project which demands high attention. The project will continue for one more year. These days, Sam feels lazy, sad & lethargic throughout the day. Coffees also do not help to bring the energy back“.
“Alex is having difficulty in paying attention to his work. Errors have become a regular thing in his work. He has been receiving feedback from his manager, but Alex is still finding it difficult to achieve the required accuracy in his work.”
“Emma is finding everyone around her to be selfish and non-cooperative. She is doing her best to mix up with the rest of the team but she is finding it difficult. She feels the company culture is really negative and toxic. She has started hating her job and prefers to be alone.”
All the above stories point towards a potential burn out.
Reasons for burn out-
As per WHO – “Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.” There could be many reasons for burn out ranging from work pressure to organization culture. Another most important aspect which can contribute to the burn out is how you react to all those situations which can cause burn out at the workplace.
How to avoid burn out-
While external factors causing burn out at the workplace may not be in control, how you react to those situations can minimize the impact of those factors in a big way.
Reducing and managing stress is an effective way to avoid burn out. Human being always seeks change and is capable of finding negative aspects of everything in life. Learning how to reduce negativity also helps to avoid burn out.
Mindfulness is an effective way to manage stress. In the 1970s, John Kabat- Zinn, a Molecular biologist developed a program called “Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) which assists people to manage stress, anxiety, depression, and pain.
What is mindfulness?
Let’s assume that you have put your car in reverse gear and moving backward. What would you do to change the direction and move forward? You need to slow down, change the gear, bring it to neutral before putting the forward gear and then move forward. Burn out is like moving backward, having negative effects on mind & body. To change the direction of your emotions and feelings, first, you need to slow down, be neutral to feeling and emotions and then move towards positivity, enthusiasm by changing the mental gears. Mindfulness helps you to do that by slowing down and making your mind free from unwanted emotions. Once the mind becomes neutral, that’s the time you would be able to take mind towards positivity. Mindfulness is a wonderful way to become neutral.
“Being mindful is paying attention to what our senses are telling us. It’s all about to be in the present moment”
How to learn mindfulness?
Children are the best at mindfulness. If you observe children they get engrossed in the present moment. They are curious about the things they do. Having a childlike curiosity helps to be in the present moment. Paying attention to all the details experienced by all the senses will help you to be mindful.
Once you start practicing mindfulness, you will realize that happiness and positivity have become your habit. The human brain can change in both structure and activity based on how we use our brain. Research (2003- Richard Davidson, John Kabat-zinn and their colleagues) has proved that when we practice mindfulness, it brings changes to the brain. Positive changes in brain help to maintain happiness and positivity.
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