Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Are you burned out?

How's your energy level these days? Are you maintaining a positive attitude? And do you see yourself as in control (insofar as it's possible, that is) of your life—at least in control of your responses to what comes your way?

If you answer all of those in a positive way, good for you!

However, if you feel emotionally exhausted, helpless and negative, you just might be experiencing burnout. Burnout can occur for many reasons, and it's not because of one's job or career. It isn't caused by stress, says Joan Borysenko in her book, Fried: Why You Burn Out and How to Revive. She says it results from "learned helplessness."

Borysenko has first-hand experience with burnout and not only gives concrete examples of its effect but  gives practical help in dealing with it—help gleaned from her own experience and that of a community of nearly 5,000 Facebook friends. She says burnout is "a disorder of hope and will that sucks the life out of competent, idealistic, hardworking people" and what's needed is to take back your power.

I highly recommend this book if you think what you're experiencing might be burnout. It can look like depression, Borysenko says, but it cannot be treated with medication or stress management. As she says, "Revival from burnout is always about the recovery of lost authenticity. It's waking up to who we really are and realizing that heaven is not a destination, but a state of mind. If being fried can bring us to the point where we reconnect to our own true nature, then it's worth every moment of separation to rediscover the heaven that has been inside of us all along."

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