occupational burnout | professional burnout | wellbeing blog
|

From Exhaustion to Empowerment: Benefits of Burnout Therapy

Burnout has become an all too common problem in today’s fast-paced and demanding world, affecting people from all walks of life. However, with the proper support and guidance, it’s possible to not just recover from burnout but to emerge more resilient than ever before.

As a hypnotherapist and coach, I have worked extensively with clients who were on the verge of burnout, already in burnout, or struggling with its long-term effects.

Understanding the causes and symptoms of burnout, prevention strategies, recovery methods, and the role of burnout therapy, such as hypnotherapy, is crucial in addressing this issue effectively.

Don’t let burnout hold you back. Discover the power of effective burnout therapy and start your journey toward empowerment.

Introduction

Finding Purpose Amidst Burnout: My Journey from Researcher to Holistic Health Advocate

A few years ago, I was in a deep inner conflict. Although I had a challenging, secure, and well-paid job in research and development, I have been passionate about holistic health and personal development since early adulthood.

At that time, I had already finished my first hypnotherapy training and experienced an even deeper misalignment between my job and my genuine interests. I felt anxious and exhausted and had daily headaches.

It wasn’t easy to make a decision to leave my job and have an entirely new start. I’ve experienced many challenges, but my journey has been exciting, and my family had my back. So, I have not regretted my decision even for a second. Helping clients, including those with burnout, was profoundly satisfying and fulfilling.

Understanding Burnout

What is burnout, and why is it a common issue?

Burnout is a common issue in today’s society for various reasons, including the constant pressure to achieve and excel, the expectation of being available 24/7 due to technology, and the blurred boundaries between work and personal life.

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies burnout not as an illness or health condition but as an occupational phenomenon.

It explicitly refers to phenomena in the occupational context and not other areas of life.

Nevertheless, the occupation does not explicitly mean a paid job. One of the burnout high-risk groups is unpaid work like caring for sick, handicapped, or elderly family members.

Despite burnout being a purely occupational challenge, additional private life challenges, like parenting young kids, illness, or the loss of a family member, can aggravate the situation at work.

Client success story:

Rita felt on the edge of the second burnout. Being a mom of her little baby and stepchildren, she experienced intense anxiety and frequent panic attacks.
From the first session, she started experiencing a positive shift. By the end of the program, not only did the threat of the new burnout disappear, but she felt secure, energized, living in the moment, and happy.
With such empowerment, she continued making fantastic lifestyle changes even after our program, like quitting smoking.


One key benefit of burnout therapy is gaining a deeper understanding of burnout and how it manifests in one’s life. A skilled therapist can help you identify burnout’s signs and symptoms and provide validation and support. By recognizing and acknowledging the presence of burnout, you can take the first step toward recovery and empowerment.

Signs and Symptoms of Burnout

How to identify if you or someone you care about is experiencing burnout?

Recognizing burnout symptoms is crucial for early intervention and prevention. While everyone may experience burnout differently, there are common warning signs to watch out for:

According to WHO, burnout is characterized by three dimensions:

  • energy depletion or exhaustion;
  • increased demotivation, negativism, or cynicism related to one’s job; and
  • reduced professional efficacy.

Working with my clients, I encountered also the following symptoms:

  • Long-lasting tension and stress
  • Low self-esteem and confidence
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling depressed (studies have shown that depression symptoms are closely related to burnout)1
  • Sleep issues related to stress
  • Emotional eating

If you resonate with these symptoms, it is essential to take them seriously and seek help to prevent further deterioration of your well-being.

Client success story:

Anna is a young lady who moved abroad for her career purposes. She sought my help for weight loss, but her mental state showed all the signs of burnout: she experienced stress and anxiety related to work and her managers, was demotivated, fatigued, and had no focus but brain fog.
We worked on the root causes of the weight gain and also developed new strategies regarding food, exercise, and her professional and social life.
As a result, by the end of our one-month work together, Anna’s relationship with food, exercise, and herself had transformed. At the same time, all burnout symptoms were minimized, and her focus and motivation were boosted.


Don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A therapist can guide you on your journey to recovery and help you develop the necessary skills to prevent burnout in the future.

Burnout Consequences

The effects of burnout extend beyond the realm of work and can have significant consequences on both physical and mental health. The experience of my clients taught me that if the root causes of burnout are not addressed by burnout therapy:

  • Burnout symptoms like exhaustion persist for months and even years. This was the case even when clients went through regular burnout therapy.
  • Relapse into burnout may happen if the meds were taken after stopping such treatment.
  • Burnouts can happen repeatedly.

Client success story:

Valerie had burnout two years ago, but despite regular therapy, she still felt exhausted and lacked energy and motivation in all areas of her life. After addressing the root causes and transforming her feelings and behaviors in just one month, she regained her energy and motivation, improved vital relationships, and gained clarity regarding her professional life.


Understanding the potential consequences of burnout underscores the importance of addressing it promptly through effective therapy.

What Causes Burnout

ICD by WHO defines burnout as a syndrome that results from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.

According to this definition, the countries with the highest risk of burnout in Europe should be countries with low average incomes, high weekly work hours, and low World Happiness Indexes, like Portugal or Latvia.

Countries with high average incomes, low weekly work hours, and correspondingly high World Happiness Indexes, like Finland, Denmark, or the Netherlands, should have the lowest risk of burnout.

Mentality matters

Interestingly, countries reporting the most work-related mental issues are not those at the highest risk of burnout.

Even the Netherlands, which ranks as the best country for work-life balance with an average of 29.3 hours worked in a week and is among the top 10 happiest countries, is also among the top 10 countries reporting the most workplace-related mental health issues.

This illustrates that high workload and low salaries are not the only indicators for proneness to work-related issues and burnout.

Personal mental vulnerability or resilience plays a vital role in workplace satisfaction and resistance to burnout. Anxious (or neurotic) people are especially prone to burnout2.

High Professional Demands

High-demanding jobs can lead to physical and mental exhaustion.

medical professional burnout | physician burnout | burnout therapy | wellbeing blog

For example, medical care professionals have highly varying and long working hours and are exposed to human suffering. They can be sleep-deprived and feel underappreciated. These conditions put them at high risk of burnout.

Also, unpaid care for chronically sick or elderly family members can lead to exhaustion.

Other high-demanding professions at high risk of burnout are social workers, teachers, police officers, and lawyers.

As you can see from this list, both well- and low-paid jobs can lead to burnout.

On the contrary, one of the happiest professions is hairdressing. Hairdressers work long hours, are relatively low-paid, and have a significant additional administrative workload. However, their work feels meaningful and gratifying. They experience abundant connection and communication with their clients. Besides that, in a short time, they create a tangible result that makes their clients happy.

stress | occupational burnout | burnout therapy | wellbeing blog

Low Professional Demands

Not just high professional demands but also low-demanding jobs cause burnout.

The sources of stress can be low pay, stressful work relationships, and absence of control in the job situation. Those combined with the feeling of meaningless preoccupation, low self-esteem, and being stuck in such a situation can cause dissatisfaction in a low-demanding job and lead to burnout.

Client success story:

Philline felt stuck in a tedious job and did not dare to change her life. As her inner conflict grew, she found herself in burnout.
Philline was still on burnout sick leave when she realized that she wanted more than a regular burnout therapy promised but a transformation and decided to work with me.
Raising her self-esteem helped her heal. By the end of the one-month program, burnout symptoms were gone, her relationships improved, and she started working again. Feline gained confidence and courage. And soon after the program, she quit her tedious job, took a leap into the unknown, and leveled up her professional life.


Meaning in Life

Multiple studies were conducted with various groups and consistently showed that awareness of meaning in life reduces stress and the probability of burnout 3 4 5 6. Participants of these studies with a greater sense of meaning demonstrated reduced reactivity in response to stress (lower heart rate variability).

It is easy to lose sight of meaning when facing a high and uncontrollable workload or any of life’s adversities, like severe illness or high-age challenges. A combination of preventive self-care measures and interventions that can be easily incorporated into a busy day helps to stay in control.

An effective preventive intervention can be a short but regular 1-2-minute pause to reflect on what is meaningful to you. Even such a short intervention will shift your perspective and help you cope with your daily challenges, reducing stress and preventing burnout.

Sometimes you need to make a bigger change to find the meaning in your work, like Philline, who had to leave her job to start using her talents and potential, or like me, who aligned my life with my calling. But often, the only thing you need is an internal shift: to start believing in yourself and see the chances and opportunities in your professional path and career.

Self-care to prevent burnout

In addition to therapy, practicing self-care is crucial in preventing burnout and maintaining overall well-being. Here are some self-care strategies to incorporate into your daily life:

A comprehensive self-care reduces stress, supports your health and wellbeing, and prevents burnout. Here are some primary self-care strategies to incorporate into your daily life:

Remember, self-care is an essential investment in your well-being and serves as a preventive measure against burnout.

Different types of burnout therapy

When it comes to burnout therapy, there are various evidence-based approaches that can be tailored to individual needs and preferences. Here are some commonly used therapeutic methods:

1. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT helps individuals identify and modify negative thought patterns and behaviors contributing to burnout. It emphasizes developing healthier coping strategies.

2. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR): MBSR combines mindfulness meditation, body awareness, and yoga to help individuals reduce stress, enhance self-awareness, and cultivate present-moment awareness.

3. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT): ACT focuses on accepting negative thoughts and emotions while committing to actions aligned with personal values. It helps individuals build psychological flexibility and resilience.

Ideally, burnout therapy should offer a holistic approach that focuses on restoring overall well-being and empowering individuals to lead fulfilling lives.

It’s essential to consult with a qualified therapist who can assess your specific needs, provide guidance, and accompany you on your journey toward recovery.

Hypnotherapy for Burnout

Hypnotherapy is a powerful method for dealing with burnout.

My personal approach has two stages.

I start by working with my clients on the beliefs formed at an early stage in their lives and driving them now. At this stage, we often deal with adverse childhood events in our lives, like parental conflicts, divorce, parental dependencies, and lack of love and attention. Those are the root causes of the current life issues like low confidence and resilience leading to burnout.

From there, we move on to working on habitual emotions, thinking, and behaviors that create and support the issues and the burned-out state. We develop new strategies that support mental wellbeing and a meaningful and effective professional life.

In contrast to regular therapy, hypnotherapy allows clients to communicate with their subconscious, the seat of their beliefs and habitual behavioral patterns. This results in a fast and significant transformation in the client’s health, feelings, thinking, and behaviors, restoring their sense of meaning, agency, and focus. Moreover, the powerful changes feel easy and natural.

The power of burnout therapy is best illustrated through real-life success stories. These stories serve as inspiration and proof that not only recovery from burnout but an up-leveling of your personal and professional life is possible. Here is another example:

Client success story:

Renate sought my help being on sick leave because of burnout. Though she had been receiving professional help for a while, she still experienced intense anxiety, her health was not improving, and her relationships had been affected as well.

Renate experienced a transformation in her self-esteem and positivity during the program with me. Her energy levels grew, and she started regular exercise. Towards the end of the one-month program, she already started working parttime and felt confident about her abilities.


The success stories in this blog post demonstrate that burnout therapy can lead to transformative change and empower individuals to create meaningful, fulfilling, and balanced lives.

Conclusions

  • A work-related phenomenon: Burnout isn’t just feeling tired at work; it’s being exhausted, demotivated, and feeling like you’re not as good at your job as you used to be.
  • Lots of work-related things can make you more likely to get burnt out, like having too much work to do or not getting on with your colleagues. But your personality and how you deal with stress are essential, too.
  • Challenges in personal life: When life outside work gets tough, like when someone in your family is really sick, it can make it harder to cope with work stress.
  • Burnout can have long-term repercussions on your health and wellbeing.
  • A combination of adequate regular self-care and competent professional support facilitates burnout recovery. Selecting the appropriate therapy depends on individual needs.
  • Hypnotherapy offers an excellent approach to dealing with burnout because it gets to the root of the problem, helps you bounce back, and raises your sense of meaning in a relatively short time. It can prevent burnout and help you overcome burnout or its long-term consequences.

References

  1. Bauernhofer K, Bassa D, Canazei M, Jiménez P, Paechter M, Papousek I, Fink A, Weiss EM. Subtypes in clinical burnout patients enrolled in an employee rehabilitation program: differences in burnout profiles, depression, and recovery/resources-stress balance. BMC Psychiatry. 2018 Jan 17;18(1):10. doi: 10.1186/s12888-018-1589-y. PMID: 29343237; PMCID: PMC5773035. ↩︎
  2. Golonka K, Mojsa-Kaja J, Blukacz M, Gawłowska M, Marek T. Occupational burnout and its overlapping effect with depression and anxiety. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2019 Apr 3;32(2):229-244. doi: 10.13075/ijomeh.1896.01323. Epub 2019 Mar 8. PMID: 30855601. ↩︎
  3. Low G, Molzahn AE. Predictors of quality of life in old age: a cross-validation study. Res Nurs Health. 2007;30(2):141-150. https://doi.org/10.1002/nur.20178 ↩︎
  4. Thompson P. The relationship of fatigue and meaning in life in breast cancer survivors. Onc Nurs Forum 2007;34(3):653-660. https://doi.org/10.1188/07.ONF.653-660 ↩︎
  5. Krok D. Can meaning buffer work pressure? An exploratory study on styles of meaning in life and burnout in firefighters. Arch Psychiatry Psychother. 2016;1(1):31-42. https://doi.org/10.12740/APP/62154 ↩︎
  6. Hooker SA, Post RE, Sherman MD. Awareness of meaning in life is protective against burnout among family physicians: a CERA study. Fam Med. 2019;52(1):11-16. ↩︎

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *