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BURNOUT: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle

By Andrea Seydel- The Book Doula- Helping people give birth to books that change lives

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED BURNOUT?

Burnout may be accompanied by a variety of mental and physical health symptoms as well. If left unaddressed, burnout can make it difficult for individuals to function well in their daily lives. Burnout can leave people feeling exhausted, empty, and unable to cope with the demands of life.

Burnout: The Secret to Solving the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski is a groundbreaking book that explains why people experience burnout—and provides a simple, science-based plan to help minimize stress, manage emotions, and live a more joyful life

What’s expected of us and what it’s like in today’s world are two very different things—and we tend to exhaust ourselves trying to close the gap between them.

Sisters Emily Nagoski, Ph.D., and Amelia Nagoski, are here to help end the cycle of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Instead of asking us to ignore the very real obstacles and societal pressures that stand between us and our well-being, they explain with compassion and optimism what we’re up against—and show us how to fight back.

Burnout addresses the questions of: How can you “love your body” when every magazine cover has ten diet tips for becoming “your best self”? How do you “lean in” at work when you’re already operating at 110 percent and aren’t recognized for it? How can you live happily and healthily in a sexist world that constantly tells you you’re too fat, needy, noisy, and selfish?

Let’s delve in to discover scientifically proven methods for dealing with stress and society's unrealistic expectations.


What you can do to complete the biological stress cycle—and return your body to a state of relaxation.

Stress can cause terrible damage to the body, so always try to close the stress cycle. We tend to get stuck in the emotion of stress, which is dangerous to our health. Stress is a neurological and physiological response triggered by a perceived threat. All the neurological and hormonal responses that come with stress are designed to help you do one thing: RUN.

Run for your life!!!

The stress cycle starts by releasing the hormone epinephrine to push blood into the muscles. As a result, your blood pressure and heart rate go up, your muscles tense, and your breath quickens. SO YOU CAN RUN! Haul-Ass away from the theoretical charging Lion. Body functions like growth, digestion, reproduction, and immunity are all slowed down.

In modern society and all the pressure, we endure more regularly. The emotion of stress becomes chronic and never-ending. The damage and dangers of stress are apparent. Chronic high blood pressure, higher risk of heart disease, compromised immune and digestive system, your body won't heal as quickly, and higher risk of digestion-related illnesses.

All this means one thing: WE NEED TO CLOSE THE STRESS CYCLE as often as possible.

Stress is about running for your life. The natural ending to this cycle is that you arrive home safely after running for your life. I know what you're thinking, "Do I have to run?"


Sisters Emily Nagoski, Ph.D., and Amelia Nagoski, talk about the importance of closing the stress cycle. The good news is we don’t have to close the stress cycle only by running. You can close the stress cycle by Running, swimming, biking, dancing, engaging in blood pumping exercise for 20-60 minutes. Or you can SHIFT YOUR MOOD, alternatively by creative expression, painting, social interactions, anything that will signal a return to safety. Affection and laughter also provided an opportunity to close the stress cycle.

Life is going to present frustrating and stressful things, so how do we manage the “monitor” in our brain that regulates the emotion of frustration?


You can manage frustration through positive reappraisal and plan for problem-solving. Working at an effective strategy against stress requires understanding the difference between stress and stressors- the things that get you stressed- and what stressors are controllable and which ones are not. Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances, whereas stressors are the factors that cause stress.

  • Positive Re-Appraisal can help with uncontrollable stressors. PA is a way of reframing a difficult situation to find positive opportunities. It is about looking at the facts and truth, not a delusion. What is possible? What can I do? Flip it?

  • Planful Problem-Solving can help you with controllable stressors. Analyze a frustrating situation and come up with a way to solve it or lessen frustration. Many frustrations come from the Monitor. The Monitor mechanism of the brain constantly assesses our current situation and our future plans. The Monitor can be just as frustrated by problems out of our control as it can be by difficulties you could have prevented. You can work with the Monitor to lessen your frustrations. REMEMBER: Reframe-frustrating tasks are often more rewarding than easy tasks. Next time you are in a difficult situation, remember that this is a better chance for personal growth than if it were easy.

  • Manage your expectations. Expectations Determine your Frustrations: You can cope better by knowing the game is rigged and by fighting unrealistic expectations with facts. It is about accepting the inability to change others’ behaviour. An example of expectations is what the authors call The Bikini Industrial Complex. This complex makes it difficult for women to love their bodies. They suggest that women manage their expectations by recognizing the Game Is Rigged. Society wants us to think we are less than to make us want to buy a product or service. For example, if we think climbing a mountain will be a piece of cake, frustration will set in the first sign of struggle. Whereas if we believe I'm going to embark on a highly challenging task, we see challenges as normal and are not frustrated when struggling. BY MANAGING YOUR EXPECTATIONS, YOU CAN ALSO MANAGE YOUR FRUSTRATIONS. Society often tells us that if stressed and feeling frustrated, get bath balls, soak in a tub, and drink green smoothies to feel great again. When this doesn't help, something must be wrong with them. Science backs up this notion: Participants felt miserable if subjects were given an impossible task they couldn't complete. Knowing the game is rigged- negative emotions vanish. A persistent source of unrealistic expectations like the Bikini Industrial Complex, where you feel pressure to conform to a specific and unattainable body ideal, is STRESSFUL—making expectations HIGH.


You can also build your resilience to stress: Why rest, human connection, and befriending your inner critic are keys to recovering and preventing burnout.

  • Know what you want and find your meaning. According to psychologist Martin Seligman, meaning is one of the secrets to happiness. But further to that, it is also the secret to coping in a stressful world. But what about meaning in your own life? How do you find it? In her book Down Girl, philosopher Kate Manne describes two classes of people, human givers and human beings. Human givers are expected to devote their time, attention and bodies to human beings. People often suffer from human giver syndrome. We often tend to fall into the role of the human giver rather than tending to our own needs or seeking out our own meaning. The message we often receive is that we should be pretty/handsome, happy, calm and devoted to the needs of others. Tap into your needs and what brings you meaning.

  • Needing People is a fact of life: we need to move back-and-forth between feeling connected to others and feeling autonomous. We need connections for many reasons, including emotional and medical support and sharing information and education. High-quality relationships and connections are essential to our well-being. Friends or partners can help you find compassion and love towards yourself.

  • Rest and sleep are crucial to health, productivity and avoiding burnout. The saying what doesn't kill you makes you stronger is faulty. It causes you to push aside your needs, and you share a tremendous and determination. But this kind of life is downright dangerous. Science tells us what makes us stronger is rest and sleep. We must rest between tasks. During rest, the brain goes into default mode network. Where your brain is wondering and able to assess current problems and find solutions in ways that are not possible when you're actively involved in a task. REST IS BEST. You can even shift tasks and have an active rest. When you sleep, your body goes into repair mode, and the brain processes all the new information you learned in the day can be consolidated and is stored properly.

  • Controlling the inner ‘madwomen’ or ‘madman’ and practicing self-compassion is key to being strong and joyful. You hear the inner critic whenever you think you have failed to live up to the calm, pretty, smiling, devoted to others that you're expected to be. BUT HOW DO YOU DO THAT? Benign self-criticism shift to more detail-oriented. Name the ‘madperson.’ Create a vivid image of your ‘madperson.’ Get the self-critical voice under control so you can practice self-compassion. Self-compassion is a form of healing, and this can lead you towards more joy. Take time to feel gratitude towards the people in your life and the good events that happen each day.


There are many reasons why we might face burnout. We don't have regular ways of closing out the stress cycle. Fortunately, this can be done through exercise, creativity and affection.

We live in an unbalanced society that can put pressure and frustrations in our world. By recognizing these factors and striking back against our self-critical voices, we can begin to defeat the pressure and be our best selves through self-compassion and focusing on our own dreams.

Knowing this information and the importance of closing the stress loop, how can you close out the stress loop? Will you run or talk through your challenges with your friend? Will you take time to name your inner ‘madperson’ or inner critic?. What expectations will you look at more effectively and see where you can practice more self-compassion? What frustrating tasks can you reframe?


Books Change Lives: Whose life will you touch with your book? If you are curious about writing and publishing your book or know someone who is, reach out to me, your book doula. I help people painlessly give birth to books!!

The Unconventional Book Club

Andrea Seydel

Live Life Happy Book Club Podcast ‎Live Life Happy- Andrea Seydel on Apple Podcasts (link)


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