Managing Burnout: 5 Things You Can Do to Thrive in Our Amazing but Maddening World

We live in an amazing but maddening world.

Just think about it.

You can fly from Los Angeles to Sidney Australia in about 15 hours.

You can use your cell phone to communicate to almost anywhere in the world.

That same cell phone can bring you world news, news about your friends or video instructions in how to put that new gadget together just by typing a few characters into your search bar.

When you think about this, and the advances of not just transportation, but medicine, safety and other technologies, you have to admit, we live in an amazing time.

The Problems with Modern Life

But these advantages are also what makes life maddening.

The cell phone that brings you all that news is also an electronic lease that keeps you tethered to work and assessable to anyone at any time. Like your boss or those friends of yours from Sidney who you met on vacation 3 years ago who just landed. Its 10 PM at night and they want you to go out on the town with them.

On top of that, just think about the maddening pace each day brings.

You have work and then soccer practice, and dance recitals and school projects, and friends, and pets. The list of things that occupy you every day can seem endless.

This never-ending treadmill of life, where you are always on and always available takes a toll on your peace of mind.

For many people it also takes a huge toll on their bodies and their health by causing burnout.

The Affects of Our Maddening Pace

Like you, I have been affected by the speed of our modern world. This speed, this tempo, stresses me out and has sometimes has made me feel anxious. Left alone, this anxiety can grow into a force that sucks the energy from mind and body.

Now, instead getting a good night’s sleep, I wake up tired and listless. Then I find it hard to keep up with all the things my schedule tells me I need to do.

Pretty soon I start feeling frustrated and defeated, almost like a loser.

Maybe this has happened to you.

What Can You Do

After a few years of this happening to me, I found that it was good thing.

Now, I don’t mean I was fortunate to have these feelings. I felt fortunate because it focused me on the research I’ve ended up doing most of my adult life.

You see, after leaving the military, I started studying human behavior. This study led me on a quest to find out how people who live in the same kind of environment as us, can seeming get so much more done than most people. And without burning out.

That’s really the origins of Mindful Mind Hacking. And its what I’ve been working on for nearly 40 years.

While I could go on and on with how Mindful Mind Hacking works, today I just want to give you 5 things that you can do to thrive in our amazing but maddening world. Things I’ve learned along the way that I now regularly teach people, just like you.

1. Meditate:

I was first introduced to meditation in my martial arts practice over 40 years ago. Research has found that it is an excellent practice for lessening stress and anxiety. Just practicing meditation for 10 minutes a day you can help you develop the skill of quietening your mind and finding inner peace.

2. Remove the Negative:

Another thing you can do is remove as many of the real negative distractions you have in your life as possible.

First, again, if possible, remove anyone who has a negative effect on you. Second, discipline yourself to pay less attention to the news. Third, stay away from office gossip. These people and activities will just suck the energy from your body and soul.

3. Learn to Say “No!”:

When I work with clients who are dealing with burnout I ask them to write out their schedules. Most of them have a schedule so full that it’s hard to tell how three people could do all of the tasks they have on their lists.

Why are their schedules so full? It’s because they haven’t learned how to say “No!”. So that’s what I teach them.

Here’s what happens. After learning to say “No!”, these clients are able to limit the items on their “to do” list to only those they actually need or want to do.

Look, you’re no good to anyone if you’re burnt out. Learn to drop the guilt and worry that you’re letting people down. Just learn to say “No”.

4. Practice Mindfulness:

Like meditation, I learned the practice of mindfulness through practicing martial arts. While mindfulness is a part of all martial arts training, it is more intensely practiced in “internal” martial arts like Tai Chi and Qigong.

Mindfulness is powerful in that its practice is used to focus your mind on the present. Being in the present helps you slow down and stay in the world of here and now. This allows you to focus on what you are doing and keeps you away from the things that can burn you out like worry about the future and anxiety about the past.

5. Tell Yourself Positive Affirmations:

I found out a long time ago that I was, like everyone else in the world, constantly talking to myself. My research made me ask the question, “Wil, what are you saying to yourself”?

What I found was I was telling myself a lot of negative stuff. Negative stuff like “you’re not good enough” or “you’re not smart enough”.

After I discovered positive affirmations I found I was able to counter this constant negative input. That’s because when you use positive affirmations you are purposely choosing the kind of self-talk you want to tell yourself.

For example, “I can achieve the great things I set my mind to” or “I am calm and relaxed. My mind is at peace. I can create the life I desire.”

When you consistently put positive affirmations into your mind you are choosing the way you think and, ultimately, how you act.

It is easy to write your own positive affirmations. You can find examples online or in books. Simply write out a positive statement in the present tense that expresses how you want to think, feel or behave.

Because of their positive benefit, positive affirmations are one of the many tools I use in Mindful Mind Hacking to help myself and others.

Maddening or Amazing?

By choosing to use these 5 things you can do to thrive, you can let go of the maddening parts of modern life. When you do this, you will have more energy, more focus and what you’ll find is life can be amazing once more.

Author: Wil Dieck:


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