Burnout & ME. How I recovered: my story…
My Burnout felt real but was it inevitable? Did life have to happen that way? I have burnt out three times… It took me that long to figure out where I was going wrong!
I used to live in the future. I knew what I didn’t have and I knew what I wanted. I would spend endless hours considering how I would make my desires come true. I would set personal goals, then work on overdrive to achieve them.
However, rather than creating the peace and happiness I sought by achieving these goals, what I was actually doing was creating dissatisfaction with my current life by focusing on what I didn’t have.
What made things even worse was that I had to work so hard to achieve the goals that I ended up stressed and exhausted. So of course, I had to come up with another plan for how to fix that, how to feel better, what to try next…I would have thoughts like “I can’t keep doing this. If only things were like this…” Followed by “Why isn’t this working? If I just change this, or if I do it that way, it will be better.” Trying to fix it and getting nowhere created a self-perpetuating and futile thought process which just got bigger and bigger; it actually made me even more exhausted, rather than less, and ultimately removed peace and happiness from my life.
The constant cycle of thinking, thinking, thinking, without ever actually resolving anything sustainably, drove me to burn out.
Looking Without Seeing
Exhausted, I looked for answers to my dilemma. I had tried so many techniques and processes, that in the end I concluded that there was no solution. This was inevitable, my life was a mess and always would be. That was obviously just how it was supposed to be.
Oddly, the whole time I was torturing myself in this way, I was surrounded by the miracle of life, but without realising how it could/should be benefitting me, making my own life better.
I did appreciate the beauty of my children, my grandson, my surroundings, family and friends, but despite all of that, I felt huge degrees of ‘lack’ within every aspect of my life. This was confusing…How could life be so wonderful on one hand, yet dreadful on the other?
What was arguably even odder was that I noticed others having similar experiences. And even odder still, I somehow concluded that this proved life was supposed to be a grossly unfair struggle, and I found a level of reassurance in that, because it wasn’t just me. Crazy, I know!
Yet, during all of this, a part of me which I will call my inner wisdom kept nudging me and quietly hinting to me that somehow I was seeing it all wrong.
Because it’s not that I never had moments of peace and satisfaction. I did. The trouble was, they would never last. In my search for peace and happiness I regularly looked within and found what I sought – a beautiful space. But no sooner did I think – delighted! – that I had finally cracked the problem, then everyday “life” would intrude and (bang!) I was back on the rollercoaster of stress again. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was wrong, but I didn’t know how to make it right. I have an in-depth knowledge of the body and the way we work, but despite this, I felt it was impossible to find real, lasting peace.
I was missing something. Then I learned something about the way our mind influences our whole life.
I think, therefore I am
I have explained how I was constantly thinking, thinking, thinking how to make my life better. Which was not only blinding me to some of the wonderful things in my life, but also causing me intense and constant stress, until I felt I had burnt out.
This happened to me three times at various stages of my life, before I had a key realisation: I was feeling what I was thinking.
Sydney Banks, discoverer of “The Three Principles”, said “Your thoughts create your feelings.” I am convinced this is absolutely true.
If I thought stressed, I felt stressed. If I thought panicky, I felt panicky. My body was simply reacting in accordance with my thinking.
I had learned in the past to trust how I felt, but I now realised this could actually be completely wrong.
I realised that my feelings are generated by my own thinking, not directly by my circumstances. I understood that by reacting to my circumstances, I was creating a life which didn’t align with my desires, and that I was actually creating my own dissatisfaction.
This new way of thinking instantly brought me a level of peace which I had not previously experienced. And it has not gone away. I call it my “Full-Stop” (i.e. stop thinking/worrying about your circumstances).
To my clients, I describe this stopping of thought/worry as the “Optimal Default Setting” for the mind.
The way it worked best for me was simply to remind myself that I, like every other human being on the planet, have a continuous flow of thoughts, and that these thoughts create my feelings. If I don’t like a feeling, I simply remind myself that there are plenty of other thoughts I can focus on. Or simpler still, just pick a nice thought and stop focusing on the thought that created the negative feeling (Full Stop). This also helps us to value and benefit emotionally from the good things in our lives, instead of overlooking or taking them for granted.
If I struggle to reject a thought, I look for something beautiful and focus on that and remember that in just a moment there will be other thoughts that will replace the one I don’t like. This may sound simple, but it truly works!
With my Optimal Default Setting/Full Stop idea firmly in place, I found that right there in the moment, I had clarity and peace. My mind fog, created by an over-drive of thinking, cleared instantly as I realised that I was responsible for myself and my thinking. This allowed me freedom, direction and purposeful, stress-free flowing thought.
Recovering from Extreme Stress & Burnout also know as…Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CSF), ME or Yuppie Flu?
Read “It’s all about ME” it could be just what you are looking for!
When you become embroiled in extreme stress and burnout, one of the biggest difficulties is that is that on the surface you appear to be ‘normal’, healthy and well.
Loaded popular beliefs that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME) does not exist, along with labels such as hypochondriac, attention seeker or lazy, do little to resolve the emotional conflict of this crippling neurological disease.
What I know for sure is that there are things that you can do… I know this to be true because I had to find and do them myself. I wrote this book because I burned out 3 times. Frantically chasing a solution for my problems made things even worse. But after many long years I found a solution which is the exact opposite of frantic…