6 ways to prevent burn-out and stress related complaints


Do you want to quit your job or are you afraid you cannot keep this pace up for much longer? Then you probably have stress related complains and you may even be on your way to a burn-out. However, you don’t need to let this just happen. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce these stress related complaints. Research indicates there are 6 causes for burn-out and we can act to take away some of the causes. You can always quit your job, which is a very difficult decision only you can make. However, before you quit your job or run the risk of burning out, try out the tips I will mention in this article. Hopefully it will help you.

6 causes of burn-out and stress related complaints

As mentioned above, research mentions 6 causes of burn-out and unhealthy stress. Be aware that unhealthy stress and burn-out can have many facets, so if we are in a bad situation, we probably need to address more than one cause. An advantage however, is that we can probably handle if one or two of these causes remain. In the end, no job will be completely perfect. And in my opinion, some tension and challenge needs to be there to keep things interesting. We do need to make sure though, to not work in a toxic situation. The causes of burn-out mentioned in the paper are:

  1. Too much workload
  2. Perceived lack of control
  3. When we’re not sufficiently rewarded
  4. Unsupportive colleagues and too few trusting relationships
  5. Being treated unfairly
  6. You have different values than those of the company

I will discuss these 6 causes of burn-out in the sections below, including ways to prevent some of them.

1. Too much workload

If the workload is too high, this can make us feel overwhelmed. Moreover, it can take away some of your valuable time in which you can re-energize. Workload can be about perception, but it can also be about objectively having too much work on your plate. Management will not always recognize this fact.

One thing you can do, is to bring this up to your manager in an open conversation. Maybe he or she is not aware of this fact and is willing to help you out straight away. Another way is to make suggestions that are beneficial to both of you, such as improving certain work processes.

2. Perceived lack of control

When you don’t feel that you have sufficient control of your work and that priorities constantly shift, this can seriously increase your stress levels. This should also be something you should be able to discuss with your manager. Moreover, an option is to look at our workday to see if we apply our energy efficiently. For instance, when you’re more of a morning person, it’s best to come in early and finish the more challenging work straight away. And then leave early sometimes – I know this can be difficult sometimes (at least for me).

3. When you’re not sufficiently rewarded

Rewards are also an important part of our jobs. This can be both extrinsically (such as a bonus) or intrinsically, such as a compliment from your manager of colleague.

If so, you could try to find ways to increase your paycheck. Moreover, something that’s probably more in your direct span of control, is to increase the intrinsic rewards you find in your job. This does not necessarily mean that you ask for more compliments, but doing more of the stuff we like to do most. Give yourself some time to answer the following question: What activities give you energy? Do more of those.

4. Unsupportive colleagues or too few trusting relationships

A work environment in which you don’t trust your colleagues can be very toxic and is an important cause for burn-out and stress related complaints. However, ask yourself: is this really the case? Or are there colleagues you maybe would be able to trust? My advice is: reach out to those colleagues.  And you don’t have to tell them everything. You can start out with something small, such as having regular lunch with those colleagues.

5. Being treated unfairly

When other colleagues are treated better than you are for comparable (or worse) contributions, this can worsen your stress levels / burn-out. Therefore, it is important to address this with your manager. It is smart to make this as specific as possible. Moreover, you can also work on ways how to take more credit for the work you’re already doing. It’s not being arrogant, but you do need to repeat your accomplishments before it really sticks and higher management recognizes this. Here’s more reading on the topic of success and getting what you deserve.

6. You have different values than those of the company

When the company has fundamentally different values, this can also be a source of tension. When you work for a big company that’s listed on the stock exchange and your main goal in life is to help other people and the environment, there may be a conflict. However, you can be creative about this. Also within these bigger companies, there’s more drive to operate in a sustainable way. Probably still to satisfy the interest of the shareholder, but that’s a different topic ;).  It will create more jobs where you can work towards a better world, such as making the production process more lean with less waste (and thus polluting the environment less).

Those were the 6 causes of burn-out and stress related complaints. I sincerely hope you can use some of the tips I gave you here, so you’re happier in your job. When you liked this article, please give it a thumbs up and share it! Also, I’ll see you next week for another new article.

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