How to reduce the impact of stress on your body and prevent burnout

The Burnout Epidemic

We are living through an intense time in human history, some say its a perma-crisis.
Our nervous systems are on edge; reacting to changes, without time to integrate and adapt. 

Our nervous systems were pushed by the pandemic, dealing with fear, loss and separation. Then came war, hyper-inflation, the rising cost of living, the advent of AI, climate change. All of which bring uncertainty; one of the greatest sources of stress in life.

Most people are experiencing burnout at work, but who's doing something about it?
"New study finds that 89% of employees have experienced burnout the past year. 70% of them said they would leave their jobs because of it."

Prevent burnout by cultivating
a sustainable inner world

How can we hope to engineer a sustainable way for humans to live on this planet if we, ourselves don't know how to live sustainably? When our nervous system is running on stress we live off our reserves and borrow from tomorrow.

A sustainable life, therefore would keep our energy consumption well within the capacity of our inner natural resources. In this page and the accompanying page on the "Anatomy of Stress" you'll find out more...

The change, as always, begins within. Our bodies and nervous systems are capable of great feats, but need downtime - rest and relaxation - to recover and reset.

- What are the symptoms of burnout?

If you find it difficult to stay engaged at work, everything feels pointless, and you feel out of character, irritable, impatient and lonely then chances are you are suffering from some kind of burnout.

Low energy levels, aches and pains in the body, generally feeling stiff, combined with brain fog, inability to feel satisfied lack of physical and mental agility or unusual clumsiness are also signs of burnout. 

Burnout also makes it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, but also ironically difficult to get to sleep, and stay asleep.
burnout in the office at work
Brain fog, inability to feel satisfied and lack of mental agility are signs of burnout
running away from unresolved childhood traumas
Perhaps, what burns us out are the things we "run away" from, and avoid feeling at all costs.

- What causes burnout?

If you burn the candle at both ends it's going to burn out right? Our bodies were never designed to run on stress. Our nervous system needs downtime to carry out vital functions that keep us healthy to support longevity. 

It's the deeper internal stressors that cause burnout in the long run. When you can’t say NO to requests and consistently neglect your own needs, such as:

- Putting the needs of others above your own; and pushing through when you feel tired because "they need me, they can't cope by themselves".

- Pushing beyond your limits; to succeed, to achieve, to be someone worthy of admiration, and yet feeling unsatisfied with where you are or what your've got.

- Not feeling empowered to steer the course of your own life; feeling powerless and hopeless, like you don't matter in the greater scheme of things.

- How can you fix burnout?

There is no wonder drug to fix burnout. No external cure because it is us, ourselves, who burn ourselves out, the solution is inside us.

An overwhelmed nervous system needs a time out to reset. Doctors of Chinese medicine say it takes at least 10% of the time to heal, as it took to develop to dis-ease. The longer you “burn on” for - the longer it takes to recover.

On the other hand, burnout can be prevented. If you factor in the recovery time your nervous system needs each day and week. Then you won't need to quit your job and take a sabbatical, when you are in your prime.

A balanced diet won't do any good if your nervous system is running on stress, because stress inhibits digestion. Here at Innersense we focus on building resilience in the nervous system so it can bounce back and recover with ease.
burnout mindfulness somatic solutions
If it's us that burn ourselves out, 
then the solution is inside us.
"Cars are made to drive around all day, even so you wouldn't keep the revs in the red.
Our bodies need carry out important vital functions,
to keep us healthy, they can't do them when we are stressed out."
Adam Giles - Innersense

The effects of stress 
on the body and mind

Burnout is caused by chronic stress. It is the body's way of shouting at us to get us to make a change. After a lifetime of overriding our physical and emotional limits, of not knowing how to listen when the body says no, burnout is the ultimate red flag.

But even then we push through, our culture almost demands that we do, you hear common idioms such as: "Mind over matter", "No pain no gain", "Push your limits to succeed". Or in the Dalai Lama's simple and poignant words, when asked what 
he finds strange in the Western world,
“Man, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money,
then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.”
The Dalai Lama

The worst thing about stress is that it stops you from being yourself.

Stress literally hijacks the nervous system and shuts down the higher functions of the brain, we loose access to the parts that make us most human. As soon as we get stressed we start reacting rather than acting. The things we say, do and feel are stress responses rather than conscious actions, when self-defence mechanisms kick in. 

Stress is our body's way to get out of danger and get through challenging situations. Biologically it's supposed to be a rush of adrenaline, followed by a flush cortisol which over 60 - 90 minutes will get metabolised by the body, as we recover. 

To find out more about the way our bodies handle stress, and learn about
the anatomy of stress aka our stress apparatus please click on the button below:
Read on

- How does chronic stress affect our bodies?

Chronic stress inhibits our immune system, those accustomed to "pushing though" will notice that whenever they go on holiday, they catch a cold as the backlog catches up with them.

Stress produces a lot of physical energy in our bodies, the "fight and flight reflex" is supposed to get us out of danger. In the modern world our stress apparatus is constantly activates by mental or emotional threats to our "sense of self". These have no physical solution, so that energy goes nowhere.

Our bodies give us signs that something is amiss, signs that stress is taking its toll such as: an annoying tickly cough that you just can't shake, anxiety rash, digestive complaints, a bad back, a stiff neck. In a more informed world the first question a doctor asked would be about how much stress do you have in daily life? How do you deal with stress?

the effects of stress on the body
Stress primes our bodies to get us out of danger, when we are sat at the office desk that energy goes nowhere, its left unprocessed and accumulates to cause our aches and pains.

stressful life trapped inside
Stress can make us feel powerless, and trapped, unable to meet all the demands placed on us.

- How can you tell if you are too stressed?

The tone and texture of our thoughts are like the tip of the iceberg, the visible part of our nervous system. Our emotions too are related to the functioning of the nervous system. Waves of “negative thinking”, such as: a cynical outlook on life, a sense of disconnect, a lack of belonging, loneliness, self-doubt, hopelessness etc... can all be signs your nervous system is overwhelmed.

Stress causes tension in the body, it accumulates in the place of most resistance, for each of us it'll be a different area, perhaps your neck, chest or hands. If we learn to pay more attention to our bodies, we'll find the tell tale signs of stress are already there. Maybe they are faint or maybe they are screaming for attention. These are signals that the body is stressed and reaching its limits. These are invitations to take a breather, change gears or hit the brakes. What are your tells?

- How does chronic stress affect our mental health?

Stress affects our minds not just our bodies. It can make us feel jumpy or on edge. It can make us "hyper-vigilant" - ready to catch anything that falls and stress ourselves our more trying to prevent all the disasters we foresee. It can make us fixated on problems that need immediate solutions. Or just exhausted and exasperated at our never ending to do list.

Steps makes our thoughts race too fast, we can get scatty and prone to leave tasks unfinished. It can make our emotions run away with themselves, making us volatile, reactive and defensive.

Chronic stress makes our blood boil and our guts churn, you may not be aware of the sensations inside our bodies, often we've trained ourselves not to notice them. But on a subconscious level this information flows up to our brains and minds interpret these sensations and start looking for what is wrong with the world or get bogged down by a sense of doom and gloom.

never ending to do list
Chronic stress can make you feel like you're climbing a mountain and never get to the top.

Stress management with a difference 

We provide education on the inner workings of the nervous system so you can map out the places where your nervous system takes you and how it drives your emotions and moods. 

Armed with self-knowledge we are better able to navigate these stressful times
and listen to our body wisdom. Knowing when its time to stop, to take a break
 or to give it your all, you can stay productive and stay healthy at the same time.

We teach simple tools based on mindfulness, full-body breathing, 
somatic experiencing and self observation.
Take hold of the reigns
of your stress apparatus
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