3 Ways Meditation Can Heal Burnout

Healing the 3 Pillars of Burnout

What Is Burnout?

Burnout is a prolonged response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stressors on the job, and is defined by three dimensions of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy (1).

The topic of burnout has been growing and frequent in the healthcare industry for several years. Burnout doesn’t impact just doctors and nurses. Burnout is prevalent among teachers, where it can affect student test scores (2).

Any activity that is performed for a vocation can create burnout, particularly work that requires care of other humans. Work that can create burnout tends to be stressful, complex and likely requires specialized training.

3 Pillars of Burnout(1)

  • Exhaustion
  • Cynicism
  • Feelings of Personal Inefficacy

What Causes Burnout?

Burnout is associated with jobs that are emotionally taxing.  This can include health care, educations and first responders. Work that is emotionally draining in combination with being technically difficult increase the risk of burnout.

The ultimate solution for Burnout Syndrome is to repair the systemic issues that lead to the condition. Because this is always possible, those working ins stressful environments should know how to help themselves.

3 Ways Meditation Can Help Burnout.

Meditation to Rest the Mind

Exhaustion is one of the pillars of burnout. This is best relieved with a break when feasible. And fortunately, many of the individuals suffering for burnout don’t have the luxury of taking time away from work.

Meditation and serve as a mini vacation. Even practicing for 5 minutes allows the brain to relax.

Use this video to meditate to release what no longer serves you. Use this for a 3 minute meditation break.

Meditation can allow the brain to take a break from mentally taxing efforts. Although 15-20minute sessions can do wonders, even 3 minutes of deep breathing can allow for the circuitry of the brain to cool off.

Gratitude Meditation to Heal Cynicism

One the most devastating effects burnout can have is that those in a healing profession will lose contact of the heart of what they are doing. These individuals will have trouble with empathy, which can lead to poor outcomes, particularly in patient care.

Gratitude can be used as a form of meditation. Keeping a Gratitude Journal is a way to help focus the attention on the positive aspects of life. Have a listen to teh above podcast to hear fomr of the benefits of a gratitude practice.

Self Compassion for Feeling Ineffective.

If a work environment is making employees ineffective, there’s likely multiple layers that are causing this problem. Unfortunately, any complex system requiring more than a few humans, is likely to be complex and fraught with error.

Mindfulness meditation reminds us to bring ourselves to the here and now. We were reminded to focus on what we have in the moment, which is the breath. Forming a real life meditation can help heal the feelings of being ineffective and unworthy.

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References

1.Maslach, C., Schaufeli, W. B., & Leiter, M. P. (2001). Job burnout. Annual review of psychology, 52, 397–422. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.52.1.397

2.

Daniel J. Madigan, Lisa E. Kim, Does teacher burnout affect students? A systematic review of its association with academic achievement and student-reported outcomes,
International Journal of Educational Research, Volume 105, 2021,101714, ISSN 0883-0355, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2020.101714.

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