Have you ever hit the low point in your life or work where you have no excitement about your day’s activities, much less the energy to carry them out? And when you consider the future you have no hope, everything looks flat? Not only does it look bleak, it even looks black. And you can’t even muster up a feeling about something significant shared with you?
If that’s you or has been you at some point in your life, you are not alone! This is classic burnout and that can affect any of us. And unfortunately burnout can affect our heart condition.
For example, a study highlighted in Fortune Magazine suggests that Americans work longer hours, take fewer vacations, and retire later than employees in most other industrialized countries. So it figures that many of us are prime candidates for job burnout. The study defines that as the physical and cognitive exhaustion resulting from too much stress at work over a long period of time.
Even so, when researchers at the business and medical schools at Tel Aviv University teamed up to see if they could find a link between job burnout and heart disease, they got a surprise: The most disenchanted employees developed heart problems at a 79% higher rate than their less-stressed peers.
“This is alarming and much more extreme than we expected,” says Sharon Toker, who led the study, which was published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. The findings suggest that job burnout is “a stronger predictor of coronary heart disease than many other known risk factors, including blood lipid levels, physical activity, and smoking.”
“Some of the factors that contribute to burnout are common experiences in the workplace, including . . .
- high stress,
- a heavy workload,
- a lack of control over job situations,
- a lack of emotional support, and long work hours.
She adds, “These things lead to wear and tear, which will eventually weaken the body making it susceptible to heart disease.”
Question: What are the implications for us as Caregivers bringing care services to Christian Workers? Please “weigh in” on this to help the rest of us, if any come to mind.