You have an inner battery.
No, there has been no new anatomical discovery of a lithium ion battery inside of you (that would be quite the feat of evolution!). But you do have a “reserve" of energy.
This inner battery, this reserve of energy, has a name. It is called resilience.
This energy is used to digest your food, move your body, think your thoughts, regulate your emotions…it’s used for pretty much everything in your life.
As you know, if you continue to use from a reserve without renewing it, the reserve runs dry. Therefore, if you continue to use the energy from your inner battery, but fail to add energy back to it, the reserve depletes- your inner battery becomes empty. Then, there is no more energy to draw upon when you need it to complete the multitude of tasks that use the inner battery energy.
When you and your body demand more energy from your inner battery than your inner battery has the capacity to give, you experience burnout.
You feel fatigued, exhausted, and drained. You may suffer health issues. Your mental functions, such as planning, decision making, and attention, all diminish. You lose your positive outlook. You are less able to regulate your emotions, so little things bother you more and more.
So, how do you prevent burnout?
Simple. Increase your resilience. In other words, keep your inner battery charged.
There are 2 strategies to increase resilience:
1- Stop the unnecessary drains on your inner battery. Big, unnecessary drains on your inner battery happen when you experience negative, depleting emotions. While feeling angry, frustrated, worried, fearful, overwhelmed, or anxious may seem justified in a given situation (ie. a traffic jam seems like a legitimate reason to feel frustrated), typically, negative emotion does nothing in way of resolving the situation (ie. feeling frustrated doesn’t move the traffic any faster). Therefore, experiencing negative emotion is unnecessarily draining.
2- Recharge your inner battery. The primary way to recharge your inner battery is with adequate amounts of sleep: 7-8 hours/night. Another way to recharge your inner battery and increase your resilience is to experience positive, renewing emotions more often and for longer periods of time. Experiencing positive emotion not only recharges your inner battery, but it also improves the efficiency of your mental and physical performance, using less energy, thereby leaving more energy in the reserve for later.
Burnout is preventable; it only takes some energy management tools and skills.
Regulate your emotions. Decrease negative emotions and increase positive emotions to keep your inner battery charged. Learn the how-to steps with Short-Term Coaching.
Here’s to conquering stress.
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