Emotional well-being in the 21st century is affected by stress, especially work-related stress, that can last a long time and is also known as burnout. Burnout has been proved to seriously affect health, increasing the risk of cardiac problems, back pain, depression, tiredness and constant lack of energy, autoimmune problems, work injuries and family problems as well as causing other negative effects into every area of life.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) officially recognised work-related stress as an illness in 2019. There are three dimensions for identifying this syndrome:
- Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
- Increased mental distance from one’s job, feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
- Reduced professional efficacy
The reactions of people with burnout, or work-related stress, may include emotional, behavioural, cognitive and physiological responses:
- Emotional: anxiety, fear, irritability, moodiness, frustration, exhaustion, helplessness, insecurity, demotivation, intolerance.
- Behavioural: decreased productivity levels, making mistakes, increased sickness absences, speech difficulties, nervous laughter, interpersonal aggression in social relationships, crying, pressure on the jaws, increase in the consumption of tobacco, alcohol and other substances.
- Cognitive: concentration difficulties, confusion, forgetfulness, less effective thinking, reduction in the capacity of problem-solving and learning capacity.
- Physiological: muscle contraction, headaches, back or neck problems, stomach problems, fatigue, infections, palpitations, agitated breathing, increase in blood pressure, exhaustion, increase in the risk of obesity and cardiovascular problems, memory impairment or sleeping problems.
The pandemic, instead of avoiding the burnout impact on the emotional well-being of the population that was believed at first
At first, it was believed that the pandemic was going to avoid the burnout impact on the emotional well-being of the population, but instead, it’s helping to increase it. The increase of teleworking has made it difficult to disconnect from work outside working hours.
Managing or preventing work-related stress can help us maintain optimal physical health and emotional well-being.