Generally, the term fatigue refers to physical exhaustion: It can result from a hard day’s work at the construction site or the office, or a strenuous physical workout at school or the gym. Other types such as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome require medical attention.
Another form of fatigue that is alarmingly commonplace today is the ongoing fatigue and exhaustion resulting from the wear and tear of everyday life. Millions of people in many of today’s societies have become adapted to the rapid pace of their lives and the weariness that comes from juggling multiple and demanding lifestyles. Knowingly or not, they suffer from a fatigue that won’t subside.
Closely related is burnout, which also is marked by long-term exhaustion and is further defined by Webster’s New World Dictionary as “a state of emotional exhaustion caused by the stresses of one’s work or responsibilities.”
Twenty-six percent of workers said they were often or very often burned out or stressed by their work.
Though certain categories of workers – teachers, police officers, doctors and nurses, among them – seem to turn up frequently on those occasional listings of high-stress jobs that can lead to fatigue or burnout, many researchers today instead place greater emphasis on the individual, regardless of the line of work. The most important factor is how each individual responds physically, mentally and emotionally to the unique pressures and working conditions of his or her job.
HeartMath Institute researchers who’ve conducted extensive studies over many years say stress is a key contributor to many debilitating conditions, including fatigue and burnout.
Regardless of the various social, occupational and medical nuances used to define extended fatigue and burnout, it is certain one truth applies: these are very modern maladies.
HeartMath founder Doc Childre and others recognized the debilitating effects of stress on our lives many years ago, around the time a national stress alarm began ringing in earnest. Since then, IHM researchers have been conducting scientific studies at the institute’s facilities in Boulder Creek, Calif., elsewhere in the United States and overseas to reveal the causes of our stresses and the antidotes to manage them. They’ve made some important discoveries along the way.
It is not our perceptions of events that cause stress, as many have believed until recently, but our emotional response to those perceptions.
The solution to the riddle of stress lies in your heart, as the poets and sages through the ages seemed to know intuitively and researchers and scientists in modern times have established through study.
When you’re stressed – feeling anxiety, anger or other negative emotions – your heart processes that information and sends it to your brain in the form of disordered heart-rhythm patterns, leaving many of your body’s systems out of sync. This is what HeartMath calls a state of heart incoherence, but research shows you can regain and sustain heart coherence by intentionally feeling and focusing on positive emotions such as appreciation and caring. HeartMath’s widely praised Freeze-Frame® Technique has helped many people who are experiencing fatigue and burnout to achieve heart coherence and literally get back on their feet.
Researchers investigated the impact of HeartMath’s Inner Quality Management program on managers and staff within the California Personnel Retirement System’s Information Technology Services Division, which had recently initiated profound changes to meet new realities in the information services marketplace. Learning new technology skills proved quite challenging.
The results suggested that by facilitating increased self-management of the participants’ mental and emotional turmoil, the HeartMath intervention enhanced employees’ capacity to defuse personal and organizational stress. The division’s qualitative reports to researchers indicated these improvements were sustained over time and enabled a more efficient and harmonious change implementation process.
HeartMath tools have had profound and sustained success for many people suffering from or at risk of fatigue and burnout:
emWave®: Regular use of this scientifically validated, stress-relief technology has proven to be a vital tool in reducing anxiety, stress, anger, emotional chaos and boosting energy and vitality. The emWave technology is easy to use and noninvasive. It will help you achieve heart coherence – synchronization between the heart and brain – and reach your optimal physical, mental and emotional balance. When your emotions are in balance, you stop the energy drain and start the energy gain. Then, by practicing the easy-to-learn techniques you’ll receive with your emWave only minutes a day will help you revitalize and re-energize your mind, body and spirit anytime, anywhere.
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emWave® Pro: emWave Pro turns your computer into a self-contained heart-rhythm-coherence monitor and manager. It lets you see how thoughts and emotions affect your heart rhythms – negative ones pulling you down and draining your energy, positive ones lifting you up and allowing your body to perform its normal function of replenishing your energy. Discover how easily you can reduce your stress level and replace those negative emotions with positive ones that, with a little practice, can give you instant energy boosts and gradually help build a more invigorated you. Relying on decades of scientific research, the emWave Pro, in tandem with key HeartMath techniques that you’ll receive and easily learn, will help you increase your energy and start living life more fully.
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Transforming Anxiety: The HeartMath Solution for Overcoming Fear and Worry and Creating Serenity: by Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman. When you consider that most people have some anxiety about themselves, family, future and for other reasons, it helps explain why overweight and obesity are so prevalent. That’s because anxiety is a leading contributor to these conditions: Millions of people try to escape their anxieties through overeating, binge-eating and consumption of comfort foods. Transforming Anxiety provides proven solutions to help you overcome your fears and worries and create more serenity and a sense of well-being in your life. Based on IHM’s 16 years of research into the physiology of emotions, the book includes the scientifically proven Attitude Breathing® tool and Cut-thru® and Heart Lock-In® techniques to help you release your anxieties and replace them with new, positive feelings.
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Transforming Stress: The HeartMath Solution for Relieving Worry, Fatigue and Tension – Childre, Rozman, 2004. Learn more about the warning signs of chronic stress and what you should know about your “intelligent heart” and how it can help you immediately begin reducing the stress in your life. You’ll learn several key HeartMath tools and techniques, including the complete details of the Attitude Breathing® tool and step-by-step instructions on how and when to use it.
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Impact of the Power to Change Performance Program on Stress and Health Risks in Correctional Officers: Read how a group of correctional peace officers, one of the most stressful occupations, responded to interventions in a study investigating the impact of HeartMath’s Power to Change Performance program on physiological and psychological stress and health risk factors.