Hyperstress, the last warning before burnout

It affects one in four employees. Hyperstress is an emotional state that marks the last step before sinking into burnout.

Dr. Patrick Légeron, psychiatrist of the university department of the Sainte-Anne hospital in Paris and founder of the Stimulus * studio, sheds light on the signs to watch out for and gives some tips for taking care of yourself.

To explain hyperstress, Dr. Légeron draws the analogy with hypertension. “When our blood pressure is normal, that’s okay. But too much elevation can lead to serious complications. Well, hyperstress is kind of the same thing. In traffic jams, after a computer bug, we” We are all stressing. Mild stress can have certain virtues. But when it becomes too intense and chronic, it becomes harmful ».

Between stress and burnout

For the psychiatrist, hyperstress is the missing link “between stress and burnout”. And if the figures for the general population are still lacking, the specialist estimates that 22 to 25% of employees in France (most often women) suffer from this hyperstress. It is therefore essential to identify it before falling victim to burnout. Four areas can, when combined, reveal a state of hyperstress:

  • Physicist (marked by palpitations, digestive disorders, sexual exhaustion, etc.);
  • Psychological and emotional (irritability, anger …);
  • cognitive (forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, etc.);
  • behavioral (consumption of alcohol, tobacco, eating disorders, etc.).

“Take care of yourself … and of others”

“When something is wrong, go to the doctor. For hyperstress, it’s the same, you shouldn’t take its manifestations lightly,” warns Patrick Légeron. So how to react? “Don’t deny it. Pay attention to the slightest sign to not let the stress set in in the long term,” he continues.

“Take care of yourself. Think about the sources of stress. Is it possible to remove them? Simple methods of meditation or breathing can help you. Don’t overlook the value of digital disconnection either. Take care of your body. Activity has been proven time and time again. Physics contributes to stress reduction. Like sleep quality. And don’t forget it, maintain good social relationships. Finally, pay attention to others too. Prevention is also collective. If you feel a change in behavior in a loved one or in a colleague, do not hesitate to talk to them about it “.

And, of course, discuss the matter with your doctor, occupational physician or seek the help of a specialist such as a psychologist.

* Consultancy firm on well-being and psychological health at work

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