Burnout Isn’t Just Unpleasant–It Can Damage Your Brain. Here’s How to Avoid It

sourced from inc.com


Are you feeling burned out at work? You should take that feeling seriously. Research shows that not only does burnout affect your mood and productivity–it actually affects your brain function. Participants in burnout studies showed enlarged amygdalae, and thinning of the frontal cortex. The frontal cortex thins naturally with aging, but subjects with work-related burnout showed accelerated thinning–in effect, burnout was making their brains old before their time.

Not surprisingly, research shows a correlation between burnout and reduced cognitive function. Even more frightening, it also shows a correlation between burnout and coronary heart disease. Yup, burnout can literally kill you.

All this should be enough to convince you that you should take burnout seriously, and if you’re feeling burned out at your job, now is the time to do something about it. But the solution may not be to shorten your workday. In fact, if you enjoy your job and feel that your efforts are valued, you may be able to work very long hours without encountering burnout.


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Matthew Fritz is a leader and mentor in the field of complex organizational change, emotional intelligence, and organization strategy. A successful DoD senior-acquisition program manager and test leader, Matt has earned documented success in the areas of test and evaluation, assessment, technology development and flight operations. He has specialized experience in cost, schedule and performance management and is an active duty Field-Grade Officer with command-experience in the United States Air Force. Matt is also a certified acquisition professional, as well as a certified Emotional Intelligence Trainer/Practitioner. He is the Author of an instructional book entitled, “Leveraging Your LinkedIn Profile for Success” and actively blogs with other military leaders at GeneralLeadership.com, as well as his personal blog at AdvancedVectors.com. He and his wife, Stacy, enjoy life with their daughter and son in New Mexico.

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