An alarming number of my patients, friends, and colleagues tell me that they are are experiencing heavy stress symptoms – mentally exhausted, beyond caring at times, and that they are just going through the motions. If that’s you, then there’s a good chance that you’ve gone beyond “stressed out.” You have entered the dangerous burned-out zone.
Your First Clue: Stress Symptoms
When people think of being stressed-out, they often associate it with mental and emotional issues like:
- Lack of interest in… well, anything
- Constant and pervasive low-grade sense of panic
- Increased negativity and cynicism
- Feelings of incompetence and helplessness
- Ongoing and sometime irrational irritation
- Trouble focusing and higher levels of forgetfulness
- Shutting down with alcohol, drugs, sugar, and other comforts
But chronic stress always manifests itself in some hefty physical stress symptoms too.
We come from a culture of stronger, faster, and better when the truth is that this culture of overworking gets us in trouble every single time. The Harvard Business Review reports that we log too many hours because of a mix of inner drivers, like ambition, machismo, greed, anxiety, guilt, enjoyment, pride, the pull of short-term rewards, a desire to prove we’re important, or an overdeveloped sense of duty. Source: The Research is Clear: Long Hours Backfire for People and Companies
All of this, and more, sends us into that endless loop of self-criticism that tells us we always need to earn more, be more, do more, and succeed more. Even worse, we accept the physical signs—headaches, tension, brain fog, anxiety, and indigestion—as inevitable side effects of being a high achiever.
What has happened to us that we publicly wear “being so busy” as a badge of honor, while suffering silently and privately, afraid to look like the weak link who can’t handle the demands of the job or life?
“We need to learn to underdo it versus overdoing it. Our bodies are not meant to sustain stress and the resulting burnout – adrenal fall-out and eventually failure from high levels of cortisol and adrenaline day-in-and-day-out. Basically, this attitude and lifestyle is going to catch up with you and the outcome can be devastating.”
Let me be clear, stress in and of itself isn’t the villain. And avoiding stress isn’t the solution to our health problems. In fact, attempting to avoid stress actually causes more stress. Our stress response system is what helps us survive dangers and accomplish our goals.
The solution is understanding and supporting the careful balance of stress and anti-stress. Source: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
But let’s go back to the beginning. Which of the following symptoms of burn-out are you currently experiencing?
Checklist of Burnout and Stress Symptoms
Mentally check all that apply.
- Chronic Headaches | Migraines
- Chronic Pain
- Fertility Issues
- Food Sensitivities
- Frequent | Chronic Infections
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Low Sex Drive
- Menstrual-related Symptoms
- Skin Rashes
- Stomach Ulcers
- Thyroid Conditions
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Weight Gain
How did you do? Are you convinced that your stress levels are out of control yet? The good news is that resilience to stress is ultimately the name of the game. What you need is the knowledge and tools to bounce back from any stress that comes your way. And the ability to choose which challenges and stresses you’d like to invite into your life.
The important thing to know is that you can master your stress. I should know. I battled the burn-out beast and won.
My Own Stress Crisis
After more than 20 years of severe headaches, I discovered that my body was forcing me to slow down by flipping on the migraine switch so that I had no choice by to stop and take care of myself. Instead of giving up and giving in to a life of pain meds, I knew I had to do something to figure this out, and I did.
Migraines aren’t the only signs of burnout that are now in my past. I used to have allergies, sensitivities to many foods, fatigue, menstrual cramps, and depression. Now those issues are all gone, too.
I then took what I had learned through research, genetic testing, lifestyle changes, and a significant mental shift about stress and brought them into my practice to help my patients understand to beat debilitating burnout but showing them how to use their body’s own recovery system.
- I’ve helped women with abnormal pap smears rebalance their hormones and get back to healthy pap smears without procedures that could damage their cervix.
- I’ve helped men and women who no longer knew how they could get through another day due to fatigue, anxiety, and/or pain live their passions and feel good doing it.
- I’ve helped adults and children who’ve been told that their immune systems are attacking their own bodies to reverse autoimmunity without the risks of immunosuppressive medications.
This all led to my first book The Stress Remedy and now to my second book, Master Your Stress, Reset Your Health. This new book is my way of helping more people calm anxiety, boost their energy, and beat burnout through a personalized program specific to your stress type.
To learn more about your stress type and what the role or hormesis in telling us how our bodies respond to change, listen to, and watch How Humans Heal (Episode #102), Mastering Stress and Hormesis.
OK, I’m Burned Out. Where Do I Go from Here?
My research and experience with patients have shown me that everyone has a unique stress type and a unique way to master their stress. So, how does your body signal burnout? Do any of the stress symptoms from the checklist above apply to you? Is it pain, fatigue, bloating, weight gain, anxiety, sleeplessness, infertility, infections, lack of muscle, low sex drive, or auto immunity?
Instead of brushing it under the rug or giving up, the information in Master Your Stress, Reset Your Health will teach you about a hidden factor that is causing you to feel awful.
Perhaps you feel like you’ve tried everything, and nothing worked. That’s because you haven’t addressed adrenal distress. This book will show you that you have the power to give your body the support it needs to feel better, no matter how busy or stressed-out you are, and no matter how your distress manifests.
We will start with a self-assessment quiz that is included in the book and is available on my website here. From there you’ll be able to better identify your stress type. The types are important because treatment and management look different for each stress type.
Then we’ll move onto the foundation of stress recovery, that I call self C.A.R.E: Clean eating, Adequate sleep, Reduce stress, and Exercise. What’s even more important for treating burn-out effectively is to implement self C.A.R.E. based on your Stress Type.
It’s important that we choose the right activity, at the best time of day and duration to help address your stress type and not make it worse. Yoga, for example, may be the best option for one person, and a HIIT workout is best for another person.
Finally, I’ll introduce you to the phases of the Stress Recovery Protocol, which will help you know where to start and which supplements (herbs and nutrients) to take to address your stress type. The goal is not just to function under stress, but to THRIVE and become resilient to stress, so you can prevent burnout from happening again.
It’s all in my new book, Master Your Stress, Reset Your Health. Pick up your copy today.
I also want to introduce you to my Stress Warrior – Stress Resiliency Facebook Group. Join me there for Live Facebook events, a sneak peek at new products, and more information about mastering your stress. https://facebook.com/groups/stresswarrior
28th April 2022
Disclaimer: This specific article and all other Content, Products, and Services of this Website are NOT intended as, and must not be understood or construed as, medical care or advice, naturopathic medical care or advice, the practice of medicine, or the practice of counseling care, nor can it be understood or construed as providing any form of medical diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease.