Many professionals have reported epidemic levels of burnout due to an abundance of stress-inducing activities that are not productive or necessary.
Chronic stress and burnout also result in errors, accidents, disability and even death.
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A moderate amount of stress is beneficial for us but chronic, and toxic stress has the opposite effect of deteriorating our well-being.
Our current lifestyles provide us with above-average levels of psychological stress, which slowly drains us of our willpower and resilience, and makes us feeling hollow and unfulfilled.
We have a word for it: Burnout.
The long-term effect of chronic stress is described as allostatic load. This is a fairly common form of chronic stress response of the body if it isn’t completely destroyed.
Prolonged stress makes the mind and body function in a different, sub-optimal way called maladaptation.
Research in positive psychology shows that setting and pursuing a variety of goals that are meaningful to us is associated with less stress.
This includes being present in the moment and self-reflection activities like writing a journal.
This is about concentrating on your internal motivation, and perceived capability to attain a certain goal. It makes us achieve small goals, as we are motivated towards taking the small steps which eventually lead to our larger goals.
Remember that we are not machines, and we cannot sacrifice our well-being for someone else’s bottom line, or any artificial target.
Effective goal-setting underlies the fundamental aspect of your motivation and keeps stressful situations at bay.
If you don’t set goals in positive, attainable ways, you may fall into a cycle of stress and negative emotions, hindering your decision-making, breeding a lack of creativity, and eventually making you feel mentally exhausted and burnt out.