Emotional Exhaustion: Unveiling Strategies to Overcome and Thrive

emotional exhaustion

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Emotional exhaustion It is common for local and world events to cause strong emotions and stress when you turn on the news or open a newspaper. You may also face personal challenges besides social unrest around the world, such as a high-pressure job, financial stress or poverty, being a caregiver, parenting, grieving a loved one or friend’s death, or being ill on a regular basis.

When confronted with persistent challenges, you might experience physical discomfort, irritability, difficulty focusing, and a loss of motivation, leaving you wondering about what lies ahead. It is possible to feel trapped or stuck, and you are emotionally exhausted. You may not even know what is causing these feelings.

Emotional exhaustion: what is it?

It is possible to feel emotionally worn out and drained when adverse or challenging events in life happen consistently. It is called emotional exhaustion. For most people, emotional exhaustion builds up slowly over time. It includes emotional, physical, and performance symptoms.

Symptoms of emotional distress include:



The depression


Trapped or powerless


Forgetfulness or lack of focus

Having trouble motivating yourself

Thinking negatively



Symptoms include:


Symptoms of headaches

Appetite deficit

A feeling of nausea or upset stomach

Sleep deprivation

Muscle tension or soreness

Symptoms of poor performance include:

Completing daily tasks for responsibilities is difficult

Missing deadlines

Absences have increased

Avoidance or isolation

Workplace commitment is lower

Slower performance of work duties

What is the treatment for emotional exhaustion?

Managing emotional exhaustion often involves prioritizing the present moment, especially when facing stressors beyond your control. Recognizing and addressing stressors that you can minimize or eliminate is essential in regaining emotional balance and well-being. In the present, many neutral or positive events are occurring. When you focus on these types of events, it gives perspective about what’s happening around you. It allows you to shift your focus away from the stressors.

A threat to survival is often perceived by your body as stress. When this happens, your brain releases stress hormones throughout your body, further contributing to your feeling of exhaustion. By focusing on small positive or neutral events, your brain learns that the threat isn’t as severe as it initially appears. The amount of stress hormone released is reduced, and you feel more emotionally balanced.

Emotional exhaustion can also be reduced by:

Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet

When possible, eliminate or minimize the stressor


Sleeping enough

Replace unhelpful thoughts with balanced ones by identifying and challenging them

Engaging in the present moment through mindfulness

A qualified mental health expert can assist you in analyzing the underlying causes and manifestations of emotional exhaustion, leading to the development of a personalized plan aimed at restoring your overall well-being.

Find out more about self-care and coping here:

Every phase of life can be filled with joy

Take control of anxiety in five, four, three, two, one

Stress management tips

In the midst of chaos, finding calm

Is it possible to improve your mental and physical health by expressing gratitude?

In Mankato, Minnesota, Jolene Hanson works in Psychiatry & Psychology.


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