By Akanksha Sharma
Is Emotional Exhaustion More Common in 2018?
Most, if not all of you, who are reading this article, know what it feels like to be emotionally drained. These days, almost every other person I meet, complains about being emotionally exhausted. As someone who has had her fair share of emotional exhaustion, I was just compelled to share my own take on coping with it. This article has insights from a survey conducted by Indspire Me, as well as from my own experiences and the experiences of people whom I know.
I often wonder if the stress and emotional weariness that people are facing, has increased in 2018. Indeed, we seem to be living in very unstable times when it comes to our mental health and well-being. These days, we can examine the lives of others through a virtual and a digital lens. A side effect of this phenomenon is that people now are much more prone to comparison, and inevitably, comparison with those they deem ‘better’ than themselves. Whatever happened to gratitude, blessings and happiness? Whatever happened to a realistic perspective of society, of both its good and bad?
Now, we are intertwined with the candy coloured kaleidoscope of social media and apps. Perhaps, addicted is the wrong word. We are inter-twined with it. The more we get attached to social media, which inevitably portrays the positive and glamourous side of people’s lives, the less we feel fulfilled and satisfied with our own existence. Despite having our fair share of success, we are crutching and crawling, in the emotional realm.
You Could be Emotionally Exhausted if You are Experiencing These States
A constant state of emotional exhaustion can wreck havoc in our lives. We become debilitated and incapacitated, if we let the cycle of emotional stress continue without stopping. So, it’s very important for us to learn how to prevent this state from occurring, and how to make it better if it has already started. It is also essential that we learn to identify the signs and symptoms of emotional exhaustion. So, here is a list to help you out with identifying them.
Your fragile emotional state can manifest itself through a variety of states, including the following:
- Falling ill often
- Being physically tired all the time
- Feeling frustrated, sad and depressed
- Being irritated
- Being excessively angry
- Feeling alone, lonely and socially isolated
- Encountering a lot of problems in personal and professional relationships
What are some of the most common things People do to overcome Emotional Stress?
Before we dive to some unique insights for solving this problem, I want to share some of the most common things that people do when they are emotionally stressed out. For this article, I surveyed 33 people and asked them the question; ‘What do you do to recharge yourself when you are emotionally drained or exhausted?’. The top 5 ways have been collated in the infographic below:
10 Lasting & Meaningful Ways to keep you from becoming Emotionally Drained
This infographic gives us a good idea of the most popular methods for recovering from emotional exhaustion. However, most of these methods are just putting a band-aid over a deep wound. They may work well at providing short-term relief. But they may not be that beneficial in preventing recurring emotional crises and stress. So, here are some of the most lasting things you can do, to feel better, if you are emotionally drained.
1. Cry: Crying is a purging and healing process; both mentally and physically. Crying helps to release negative emotions from your body. It releases the tensions, toxins, knots and stresses that your body has been holding onto for a long time. Unfortunately, people associate crying with weakness and even shame in some cases. But crying is a very natural and powerful healing process. It is a sign of humanity and vulnerability. In a world that is becoming increasingly robotic, crying is a part of acknowledging our stresses and accepting them. So go ahead and let it out with a good old cry.
2. Meditate your way to emotional relaxation: Are you stressed because of work or because of your professional life? Or is it a combination of both the factors? Knowing the cause of your emotional exhaustion is very important. You will be able to know this by meditating. Go into a deep dive of meditation, for however long it takes you to achieve a state of peace and clarity. This could be as long as four hours or as short as four minutes. I recommend meditating for at least ten minutes everyday. It will give you a lot of peace and your subconscious mind will give you the answers you are seeking.
3. Get in touch with your feelings and accept them: One of the most common causes of emotional exhaustion is the lack of focus that we have on ourselves. We don’t accept or acknowledge our feelings. We suppress them and carry on with our lives. We give and we give to others, without taking care of ourselves first. This isn’t good for us or the people around us. Only when we have a full heart and a full soul ourselves, will we be able to fully and authentically give to others. So we should know ourselves and try not to over-extend ourselves.
4. Express your views, opinions and emotions clearly and authentically: Bad relationships are a constant source of stress in our lives. Many times, relationships worsen due to lack of communication or miscommunication between people. So express your views, opinions and emotions clearly and authentically. This allows you to show up as your real self in all your relationships. It allows people to see who you are and what you stand for. Do not bottle things up. Suppressed feelings are sure to lead to an explosion of emotions at some point.
5. Engage in a physical activity to manage your stress level: Join a dance class or start going for a walk everyday. This will help you, both physically and mentally. Just half an hour of a daily morning walk can reduce the risk of depression and improve the existing cases of depression. Exercise releases feel-good hormones in the body. This leads to mental rejuvenation and relaxation. Of course, the physical benefits of exercise are also immense. You get a fitter and healthier body, and make your body less prone to lifestyle and obesity-related diseases. If you join a class, like dance, yoga etc. you’ll interact with a whole new group of people. You can make new friends and expand your social circle in the process.
6. Enrich your life with meaning: Often, emotional exhaustion stems from a state of restlessness and dis- rootedness. We drift from day to day, like a kite without a string, in a meaningless and comfortable flow. The problem with having no passion, is that there is nothing which makes us feel alive when we wake up in the morning. There is no driving force to buffet us from the obstacles and challenges that life throws our way. We can find meaning in anything: be it work, some social cause or travel. However, we must have that one thing at least, which gives us a sense of happiness and peace, and in which we can get lost for hours on end.
7. Be selective in the relationships you build and maintain: If a relationship makes you feel emotionally drained more than half of the time, then you need to take stock of it again. Unfortunately, not all relationships are meant to be. There are plenty of toxic people in the world; the users and the abusers, the naysayers and the ones plagued by insecurities. Stay away from them. If you are already in a toxic relationship, then cut your losses and move on. I know it’s difficult, but then it’s your sanity and mental well-being at stake.
8. Don’t scatter your precious energy: Don’t direct your energy towards a number of different directions and avenues. This is applicable to both your personal and professional life. Diffusing your energy in many directions can lead to burn out. It also reduces the strength and intensity of your focus. From a professional point of view, the best methodology is to pick a niche area and hyper-focus on doing well in it. From a personal perspective, it is better to spend your energy towards building quality and meaningful relationships that you can depend upon; rather than having a big roster of people on your social media; whom you cannot depend upon.
9. Take life as it comes: Do not worry too much about the future. As Julius Caesar said, “Cowards die many times before their death. The valiant never taste of death but once.” Do plan to the best of your ability, but do not obsess over what may or may not happen in the future. The present moment is a gift. That is why it is called the present. So, learn to enjoy it and to take life as it comes.
10. Laugh at yourself and find humour in the little things: Life is hard, and you need to have a sense of humour to get through the tough times. Do not take yourself or others too seriously. We are all human, and we are flawed. No one is perfect. Learn to laugh at your own idiosyncrasies and at those of other people in your life. Having a sense of humour, even a dark one, helps undercut all the serious baggage of life.
If you liked these suggestions on how to overcome emotional exhaustion, then do share them with the important people in your life. You never know who might be going through a hard time, and could benefit from this information. So don’t hesitate to share and spread the love. Remember, sharing is caring!