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Causes of burnout

Speaking about the reasons, in general, three areas are distinguished. This is an individual psychological area when a person has a strong desire to surrender to this stress. The second sphere – socio-psychological or social – is pressure from the outside: various fashion trends, some kind of social norms, requirements at work, the spirit of the times. For example, it is believed that every year you need to go on a trip and if I can’t do this, then I don’t correspond to the people living at this time with their lifestyle. This pressure can be carried out in a latent form, and it can result in burnout.

More dramatic requirements are, for example, the requirements of extended working hours. Today, a person processes and does not receive payment for this, and if he does not, he is fired. Permanent refining is the inherent cost of the capitalist era in which Austria, Germany and, probably, Russia also live.

So, we have identified two groups of reasons. From the first, we can work in a psychological aspect, within the framework of counseling, and in the second case, we need to change something at the political level, at the level of trade unions.

But there is also a third reason that is associated with the organization of systems. If the system provides an individual with too little freedom, too little responsibility, if mobbing (bullying) occurs, then people are very stressed. And then, of course, a restructuring of the system is needed. It is necessary to develop the organization in a different way, introduce coaching.

Meaning can not buy

We restrict ourselves to considering a group of psychological causes. In an existential analysis, we have empirically determined that the cause of emotional burnout is an existential vacuum. Burnout can be understood as a special form of existential vacuum. Victor Frankl described the existential vacuum as suffering from a sense of emptiness and lack of meaning.

A study in Austria, during which 271 doctors were tested, showed the following results. It was found that those doctors who led a life full of meaning and did not suffer from an existential vacuum, almost did not burn out, even if they worked for many hours. Those same doctors who showed a relatively high level of existential vacuum in their work showed high burnup rates, even if they worked less hours.

From this we can conclude: meaning cannot be bought. Making money does nothing if I suffer from emptiness and lack of meaning at my work. We cannot compensate for this.

Burnout syndrome puts us before the question: do I really get the point in what I’m doing? The meaning depends on whether we feel personal value in what we do or not. If we follow the apparent meaning: career, social recognition, the love of others, then this is a false or apparent meaning. It costs us great strength and causes stress. And, as a result, we have a lack of fulfillment. Then we experience devastation – even when we relax.

At the other extreme is a way of life where we experience fulfillment, even if we get tired. Performance, despite fatigue, does not lead to burnout.

Summarizing, we can say the following: burnout is the final state that occurs due to the ongoing creation of something without experiencing in the aspect of fulfillment. That is, if what I am doing is experiencing meaning, if I feel that what I am doing is good, interesting and important, if I am happy about it and want to do it, then it will not burn out. But these feelings should not be confused with enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is not necessarily related to performance – it is more hidden from others, more modest.

What am I giving myself to

Another aspect that the topic of burnout brings us to is motivation. Why am I doing something? And how much do I address this? If I can’t give my heart to what I do, if I don’t care, I do it for some other reason, then we are in a sense lying.

It is as if I were listening to someone, but thinking of something else. That is, then I am not present. But if I am not present at work, in my life, then I cannot receive a reward for it in the same place. It’s not about money. Yes, of course I can make money, but I personally do not receive remuneration. If I am not present in my heart in some business, but use what I do as a means to an end, then I abuse the situation.

For example, I can start some project because it promises me a lot of money. And I almost can’t refuse and somehow resist this. Thus, we may be tempted by some choice, which then leads us to burnout. If this happens only once, then maybe it’s not so bad. But if this continues for many years, then I just walk past my life. What am I giving myself to?

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