Do you recognize any of the following symptoms? You are exhausted but you cannot sleep at night, you are overly emotional, you are unable to relax, you have palpitations, you suffer from a flu-like pain in your muscles or lymph nodes, you suffer from hair loss, burning eyes, trembling, headaches, sudden hot flashes, RSI complaints and you find it difficult to concentrate. If you recognize yourself (partly) you might be suffering from burnout or you might be at risk of a burnout. For people who burn out it often comes as a total shock because those people are often very active, hardworking perfectionists who do not stop until something is perfect. You do not see a burnout coming, it will take you by surprise. Your fuel reserve is empty and you didn’t even know you were driving on your reserve fuel.
Why are we running around and rushing so much?
Burnout is a modern stress disease and happens to people who are always ‘running around’. This race seems like a positive thing at first sight. After all, you are running towards something right? You're living life to the fullest, working very hard? So you keep running and doing your utmost. But the truth is that you are running away from something. As a child, you (unconsciously) have fallen into a defense mechanism of working very hard, of doing things the right way, of doing even better ... because if you did, then they would see you and pay attention to you. This excessive and ongoing ‘doing your utmost’ is the behavior a lot of small children (unconsciously) adopt in response to them not getting what they needed. We are unable to process the pain of not getting what we needed as a child. This pain had to be repressed. For example, by working hard and avoiding the old pain.
In PRI we call this defense mechanism the False Hope defense. This is one of the five defense mechanisms. As an adult, we regularly, unknowingly, become hostage of the mechanism of False Hope. And so we work hard (sports, eat, sleep, study, etc.) to (unconsciously) obtain something that we used to need. To potentially burn out as a result. The good news is, it does not have to be that way, because the past is over and done.
PRI gives you the tools to recover from a burnout, to address the real cause so that you will not burn out ever again.
The key to recovery
Firstly, it is important to accept that you are burned out and that the recovery is going to take a while. After all, it took you a long time to wear yourself out. You couldn’t help it since you were driven by an ancient defense mechanism. Now give yourself a chance to recover.
Besides taking the inevitable break from work, resting and daily walks, PRI can help you to understand the underlying reason for all that arduous work. A PRI therapist can help you understand your False Hope and understand the cause of it. Over time, body and mind will come back into balance and you will feel less dependent on always working so hard to make things right, better or perfect. What a peaceful and pleasant feeling that will be!