If you notice that your body and mind are starting to behave differently, you’re experiencing more anxiety than normal and you’re feeling more down, you’ll start to wonder, ‘do I have chronic stress?’ This article will help you to answer that question.
So: do I have chronic stress?
Chronic stress is a serious condition which is the result of exhausting your energy reserve and exposing yourself for too long to stress. When you have chronic stress, it’s diagnosed based on symptoms. Common symptoms are:
- Feeling anxious
- Feeling depressed/down
- Feeling that you have no more control of your life
- Apathy (nothing matters)
- Aversion to work
- Trouble sleeping
- Negative or cynical perspectives of the world
- Withdrawing socially
- Appointments and meet-ups feeling ‘too much’
- Feelings of ‘danger’ or panic
- Heightened use of alcohol/cigarettes/coffee/drugs
- Possibly (vague) physical symptoms, such as shoulder pain, neck pain, backpain, stomach aches or headaches.
What kind of people get chronic stress?
Chronic stress especially affects people who push their limits too far for too long and therefore often affects:
- Ambitious people
- People who want to be in control
- People who take on (too much) responsibility for things
- People who set (too) high goals for themselves
Chronic stress therefore doesn’t only affect ‘weak’ people. In fact, it’s actually hard workers who push and push themselves who end up getting chronic stress.
How do you get chronic stress?
In almost all cases, chronic stress comes about because people have a ‘negative energy balance’. In that case, you’ve generally used more energy than you’ve taken in over a long period of time and, slowly but surely, have emptied your internal energy reserve. When that energy reserve is in danger of hitting zero, your whole system begins to give you serious warning signals. That’s the moment that you realize that something’s wrong and sooner or later come to the conclusion that you have chronic stress.
Are environmental factors also at play?
Yes, that’s often the case. People who have chronic stress often suffer from one or more major sources of stress. A major source of stress is a structural and almost daily source of stress, worry or frustration. It could be work related, such as having a nasty boss or a project team where you don’t fit in, but it could also be something else. Many common sources of stress include home renovations, worrying about a sick family member, divorce, children, financial problems, or an internal struggle (such as mourning, a trauma or maybe problems with your self-image). Such a major source of stress leads to your energy ‘leaking out’ on an almost daily basis. This quickly results in a negative energy balance and so, slowly but surely, your battery hits zero.
What is the difference between chronic stress and burnout?
Chronic stress and burnout are both found on the same spectrum. You can see it as light flu (chronic stress) versus heavy flu (burnout). Chronic stress is the precursor to burnout and can – if left untreated – just as easily become a burnout. Both chronic stress and burnout require the same recovery process, like the one here at Camp Burnout. The only difference is that the length of time to recover from chronic stress is shorter than that of a burnout. Make sure then that you start immediately with recovery from chronic stress to avoid it developing into a burnout.
Do you want to know more about burnout? Click HERE.
How do I recover from chronic stress?
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as taking a few weeks off, sitting on the sofa, and waiting until you feel better. By doing that, most people won’t meet the Requirements for Recovery enough, which means your body won’t be able to activate the healing processes that lead to your recovery. Camp Burnout has compiled the best and most efficient recovery program with the aim of giving a chronic stress patient a pleasant, stress-free and relaxed life back as quickly as possible. You can find everything about the recovery program HERE.
How long does the recovery from chronic stress take?
The length of time to recover will take you somewhere between four weeks and six months. The eventual length of time is mainly based on these two factors:
- The seriousness of your condition. If you have mild chronic stress, after a relatively short period of stress (less than six months), you’ll be able to work at the same capacity as before your chronic stress within a few weeks. But if have a serious burnout, then recovery will be more likely to take multiple months or even a year. But in both cases: your condition won’t stay as ‘bad’ as it is now. When you make a start with your recovery in a serious way, you’ll see real improvement every two weeks. In short, if you start today with your recovery, today will be your lowest point. After this, it gets better.
- The effectiveness of your recovery. Or put in another way: the more effective you make your recovery, the faster you’ll be done. If you put in little effort, don’t create the right conditions, don’t meet the Requirements of Recovery, and so on, then you’ll need longer than is really needed.
If you want to know more about the length of time to recover, click HERE.
What exactly does Camp Burnout do?
Camp Burnout is the complete step-by-step recovery process for burnout. Here, we point you on the way to a pleasant, relaxed life, shorten the length of time of recovery and ensure that you can do everything that you want to do again as quickly as possible. The only thing that you need is a smartphone and the will to get better. You can find more about Camp Burnout and the recovery program HERE.
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