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Physiology is the Missing Link in Our Battle with Burnout

Conventionally we assume that we have the freedom of choice over our actions, feelings, and our thoughts. But we don’t. There have been numerous enlightening discussions over underlying psychological factors for our behaviors and feelings while physiological aspects have been in shade.

There are psychological and physiological aspects of our engagement with the world and with ourselves. The portfolio of what we can think, feel, and do at any given time depends on our physiological state.

Because of that, I believe, it is important to regulate our physiological state in order to increase our freedom to choose our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

When it comes to burnout, most people treat it as if it’s a purely psychological phenomenon. It is not. It’s a psycho-physiological phenomenon. I believe we experience burnout when we exceed our nervous systems capacity to deal with threats over an extended period of time. This leaves our nervous system unable to deal with even the smallest stressors as we lose our ability to optimally respond to our environment. We cannot snap out of it without shifting our physiology first.

We need to approach this phenomenon with both perspectives: physiological and psychological.

We need to understand the state of our nervous system and learn to regulate it physically.

We need to notice the physiological signs of our nervous system’s cry for help.

At the same time, we need to look at the psychological components of the situation and intervene at that level. Leaving any of these perspectives out we will fail to help people to prevent/recover from Burnout.

In my upcoming posts, I’ll talk about both physiological and psychological interventions we can use against Burnout. Let me know if you have any questions or comments on this topic.

Written by

Leadership Psychologist // Executive Coach // SuperHumanist


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