Life is the furthest thing from being easy. Filled with ups and downs, highs and lows, you never know what to expect.
But sometimes life can be a little too tough for us to bear. For whatever reason, life has a way of kicking us while we’re down—when it rains, it pours.
When we suffer too much, we become emotionally and mentally drained. The effects of the stress evolve beyond the mental, and start manifesting in ways that we can see.
We become sapped of our energy to the point of physical exhaustion, and in some cases, all we can do is break down.
It’s important to recognize when life has put you through too much, instead of confusing these symptoms with everyday life.
Here are 8 obvious signs that you’ve gone through too much:
You’ve pushed and pulled and fought and clawed through the storm, but no matter what, it just doesn’t seem to end.
All your energy has been sapped—you wanted to overcome your obstacles, but they seem to be bigger than any you’ve ever come across. Eventually you start to ask yourself: why even bother?
This point is known as hopelessness, and it is incredibly dangerous. Once you reach this point, your pain and struggle might start to become permanent, because you’ve accepted that this is your life. If you feel this way, it’s time to ask for help.
2) Quick to Anger
The strangest thing you can see is the transformation of a nice, happy-go-lucky individual into someone who is short-tempered and quick to anger.
You wonder what could have happened to that person to cause such a massive change.
The most common explanation here is that they’re under way too much stress. No matter how nice you might be, if you’re going through something that is taking away all your emotional and mental reserves, then you will no longer have the tolerance for even the smallest annoyances in your life.
Everything from squeaky shoes to loud chewing can piss you off.
3) Crying More Often
For many of us, crying is something that we left behind in our teen years, and crying as an adult is a rare occurrence for only the most somber or joyous occasions.
As we grow older, we learn to control our emotions, and we can only be brought to the point of crying when something huge happens in our life.
But for those who have been pushed to the limit, crying might be a weekly or even a daily occurrence. A sad movie might make you cry, or even an apology from an old friend or colleague for something they did wrong.
The smallest emotional push could bring you to tears, and this might be a sign of your emotional sensitivity in your time of struggle.
Having trouble sleeping? It might have something to do with your emotions.
Being sapped emotionally and mentally oftentimes leads to insomnia, as counterintuitive as this might seem.
You might think that it would naturally be easier to fall asleep when you are feeling sad or depressed, and while that might be the case, insomnia occurs when so much is going on in our thoughts that you can’t sleep at all.
Many who are struggling with demons in their head have trouble getting a good night’s rest.
5) No Motivation or Desire
You wake up at 2pm. You fall asleep when the sun comes up. You can’t be bothered to take a shower or brush your teeth.
You don’t even care about putting on new clothes every day, and you’re starting to smell terrible.
You are either eating way too much or eating nothing at all, because you have no desire to maintain a proper weight.
You might be suffering through an emotional hell. Dealing with too many negative emotions can cause you to lose your will and desire to keep operating at your regular pace.
Your work gets neglected, causing your tasks to only accumulate. And the greater your pile of tasks, the less likely you become to ever do it at all.
You’ve been pushed, beaten, kicked, and punched by life one time too many.
And your mistake is that you had the fire and the courage to fight back, every single time you fell.
Now when you try to do anything about your current situation, the only pain you feel is a sense of detachment. Numbness—you feel nothing anymore, and all the pain has gone.
The absence of pain occurs when you’ve gone through way too much, and this detachment from reality is common amongst those who have been pushed to their limits too often.
This is also known as Anhedonia, where your ability to experience any kind of joy vanishes completely.
7) Physical Symptoms
Depression in the form of mental or emotional exhaustion won’t always show itself it the mind.
In some cases, your body will become physically ill, simply because you are dealing with too much emotionally.
These physical symptoms might include joint pain, migraines, vomiting, heart palpitations, and more.
Stress can exist in your muscles, your belly, and in your mind, and can cause real, physical distress to you if not dealt with.
8) Never Ending Fatigue
Have you ever gone through a period in your life where, no matter how much you slept and no matter how little you worked, you just never seemed to have the energy to get anything done?
You might confuse fatigue with a kind of extreme tiredness, but the two are very different.
Tiredness is something that happens when you’ve done too much exercise or had a long productive day at work. This wears off when you’ve had a nice, long sleep.
But fatigue sticks with you. Fatigue can’t be shaken off with sleep or coffee, because it’s completely related to your mental state. The heavier your soul feels, the more fatigued you will be.
7 Things You Can You Do If You’re Experiencing Emotional Exhaustion
So, if you’re experience emotional exhuastion, how can you get yourself out of this funk?
It’s a tough question and what works for some people might not work for others. But the good news is, there are many different strategies you can try.
We’re going to go over 7 of them here:
When you’re exhausted, the last thing that you’d think would work would be exercise. After all, exercise is a form of physical stress.
However, research suggests that physical stress can relieve mental stress.
Harvard Health says that aerobic exercise is key for your head, just as it is for your heart:
“Regular aerobic exercise will bring remarkable changes to your body, your metabolism, your heart, and your spirits. It has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress. It’s a common experience among endurance athletes and has been verified in clinical trials that have successfully used exercise to treat anxiety disorders and clinical depression. If athletes and patients can derive psychological benefits from exercise, so can you.”
According to Harvard Health, exercise works because it reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol.
It also stimulates the production of endorphins, which are natural painkillers and mood elevators.
2) Progressive muscular relaxation
When you’re stressed, your muscles tend to tighten and tense up.
But by learning to relax your muscles, you will be able to use your body to get rid of stress.
So, how does progressive muscular relaxation work?
It’s best to be in a quiet place where you can comfortably stretch out on a firm mattress.
What you’re meant to do in progressive muscular relaxation is to tighten each muscle and maintain the contraction 20 seconds before slowly releasing it.
As the muscle relaxes, you’re meant to really concentrate on the release of tension and the sensation of relaxation.
Here’s an example of how to go about it:
4) Breathing exercises
Simple breathing exercises can also help to reduce stress and increase relaxation.
Rapid, erratic breathing is a common result of stress. But slow, deep, regular breathing is a sign of relaxation.
If you learn to control your breathing to mimic relaxation, the effect will be relaxing.
Here’s how to do deep breathing:
1) Breathe in slowly an deeply, while focusing on your stomach going up and down.
2) Hold your breathe for 4 seconds.
3) Exhale, thinking about how relaxing it is, for 6 seconds.
4) Repeat this sequence 5 to 10 times, focusing on breathing slowly and deeply.
This a great way to reduce stress, and you can do it for as long as you like. The other benefit to is that you can do it wherever you like.
Meditation has long been known to reduce stress and achieve a calm state of mind.
Meditation can reduce your heart rate and blood pressure, which are known physiological signs of stress.
The good news is, anyone can practice meditation.
Here are 4 steps to get you started:
1) Select a time and place that will be free of distractions and interruption.
2) Get comfortable.
Find a body position that makes you relaxed and comfortable.
3) Try to get into a relaxed, passive mental attitude. Let you your mind go blank.
If thoughts and worries appear, just acknowledge them then go back to trying to be relaxed and thoughtless.
4) Concentrate on a mental device.
You could use a mantra, or a simple word, that is repeated over and over. Or you could stare at a fixed object. Whatever it is, the goal is to focus on something so you block out thoughts and distractions.
Once you get good at doing this, you’ll look forward to each day devoting 20 minutes to it each day.
Journaling isn’t just for professional writers. People of all ages have found benefits from journaling for their mental health.
Why? Because journaling allows you to write down your deepest emotions, thoughts and fears. It’s a great way to understand them and release them.
In fact, research has found that journaling can reduce anxiety, improve your memory, help you sleep better, make you kinder, and can lessen depression.
7) See a therapist
It takes courage to see a therapist, but it can really help to talk about your problems with a professional.
Not only is great to express your emotions and thoughts, but they can help you see where you’re thinking is misguided or not helpful.
They can also offer you solutions that will help you create a better life.
When we suffer too much, we become emotionally and mentally drained. This can cause us to feel hopeless, angry, sad and with no motivation to improve the situation.
But once you’re able to accept that you’re suffering from emotional exhaustion, you’ll lift a huge weight from your shoulders and you can begin the path to recovery.
The path to recovery can be made easier with techniques like exercise, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation.
Remember, the first step is acknowledging that you are in fact emotionally fatigued. Once you’re able to do that, you’ll pave the path for you to recover back to your best.
A quick message from Lachlan Brown, the founder of Hack Spirit
In 2018, the third year of Hack Spirit, I poured thousands of hours and considerable resources into creating these articles. It's a labor of love and remains free thanks to your patronage. If you found any value in these articles, please consider supporting what I do with a donation. Your support is what helps me to continue creating more Hack Spirits articles. To make a donation, click the "donate" button below and choose between a single donation or monthly.
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