March 2004

Avoiding burnout | Essentials

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Avoiding burnout

by Krista Berns
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A little healthy stress in a workplace can be positive and teach you how to handle stressful situations. However, many people allow stress to go beyond a healthy level and reach a point where it negatively affects their lives and causes burnout.

Burnout is a response to high levels of negative stress that results in exhaustion and unhappiness. The symptoms of burnout vary. Often, people feel no satisfaction from the work they do. They are visibly unhappy and seem to worry more than usual. Sometimes, burnout affects people's physical health. It is important to identify these symptoms and alleviate them before they affect you.

Gerald Corey lists some causes of burnout in his book Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy, including a lack of positive feedback; tension with employees; the pressure to meet unrealistic deadlines; monotonous workload; not having the opportunity to progress or advance in the workplace; and personal problems beyond the job sphere.

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