In the past few years, mental health of employees, especially of the executives, is the major concern of most of the employers. This is because, mental breakdown is common these days due to tension and work pressure, which may result in low productivity and profits, and even high employee turnover.
At a particular point in our career, we all encounter stress or burnout, which is associated with the corporate world. Stress refers to a mental or emotional state, caused by adverse conditions. On the contrary, Burnout is a condition; which results from prolonged exposure to stress. This article is created to help you out in understanding the differences between stress and burnout.
Content: Stress Vs Burnout
|Basis for Comparison||Stress||Burnout|
|Meaning||Stress implies an adaptive response to any kind of demand caused due to adverse circumstances.||Burnout refers to a state of mental or emotional tiredness, occurs out of continuous exposure to stress.|
|Feeling||Anxiety, mood swings, guilt.||Hypertension, mental depression, impatient, irritable.|
|Loss of||Motivation and hope||Physical energy|
|Work||Dissatisfaction with work||Bored and cynical about work.|
|Job commitment||Dropped off||Virtually zero|
|Results in||Lack of concentration, tends to forget things.||Forgetfulness is frequent.|
|Undergoes||Physiological changes||Psychosomatic complaints|
Definition of Stress
The term ‘stress’ is defined as a person’s response to a disturbing factor in the environment, leading to physical, psychological or behavioural divergence for organisational participants. It is an important part of work life, which encompasses the interaction of individual and the environment. The factors from the environment which causes stress are called ‘stressors’. The intensity of stress is not same for all individuals, i.e. some get highly stressed as they overreact to stressors while some have the stamina to cope with stressors.
In general, stress is seemed as negative, but it has a positive dimension also. When stress is positive, it is known as ‘eustress’ which is often viewed as a motivator. Eustress provides an opportunity to an individual to gain something. The stress is said to be negative when, it is related to a heart ailment, marital breakdown, drug abuse, alcoholism, etc.
There are some businesses which are more exposed to stress than others, like banks, shipping, construction, retail outlets, BPO, IT, etc. are some business which is on the top of stress-prone businesses.
Definition of Burnout
Burnout refers to a mental, emotional, or physical condition, of chronic exhaustion occurs due to prolonged stress. It is a state of mind caused by excessive exposure to intense emotional stress, displayed through emotional exhaustion and negative attitudes. An individual who is burnout is hypertensive, faces mental depression and is cynical about everything. It is when you feel overwhelmed and unable to fulfil demands constantly.
There are three stages of burnout, i.e. emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and feeling of ineffectiveness and lack of personal accomplishment. The additive impact of these three stages is a host of negative attitudinal and behavioural consequences.
Key Differences Between Stress and Burnout
The following points are noteworthy so far as the difference between stress and burnout is concerned:
- An individual’s response to an external situation caused due to adverse circumstances is called stress. The state of mental or emotional tiredness occurs out of continuous exposure to stress is called burnout.
- In stress, the person feels anxious, moody, guilty, etc. On the other hand, in burnout, the person feels hypertensive, mentally depressed, impatient, irritable etc.
- In stress, the individual encounters fatigue whereas in burnout the person faces chronic exhaustion.
- The individual loses hope and motivation in stress. As opposed to burnout, in which the person loses physical energy.
- Stress results in dissatisfaction with work but burnout may lead to boredom and cynicism towards work.
- Job commitment is dropped in stress. Unlike burnout, wherein the person feels mentally detached from the organisation.
- In stress, the person might find it difficult to concentrate and tend to forget things easily. Conversely, forgetfulness is the sign of burnout.
- The person goes through physiological changes in stress, like increased blood pressure or heartbeat. On the contrary, psychosomatic complaints are encountered in burnout.
Therefore, stress and burnout are common in modern time in the corporate world, and so both employee and employers should take necessary steps to overcome these conditions. The steps which an individual should take to overcome stress and burnout are muscle relaxation, meditation, cognitive restructuring and so on. The organisational strategies to cope with it are an improvement in the physical work environment, employee assistance programme, fitness programme, etc.