Job Burnout Directly Affects Your Brain, Researchers Claim

Are you constantly feeling stressed at work? A new research tells us that job burnout actually has some serious impacts on the brain.

Armita Golkar of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden did an extensive research about this and the Association for Psychological Science cited the findings which imply that a person who gets more stressed eventually experiences greater difficulties in handing new stressors they may encounter.

Studying several participants for years has led the researchers to this conclusion. First, they worked with 40 participants with job burnout symptoms and observed them as they worked 60 to 70 hours each week. On the other hand, the researchers also asked 70 other participants who are completely healthy and have no signs of stress.

All the subjects are asked to regulate their emotions through a certain task such as looking at neutral and negative images. They were then requested to suppress, intensify, or maintain their emotions. During that, the researchers played a startling noise and they managed to record the participants’ different responses to that with the use of electrodes.


The results later suggested the conclusion that those with burnout symptoms have trouble suppressing reactions on the noisy sound – which means stressed people really find it difficult to deal with added stressors.

During the experiment, participants’ brains were also scanned and it was discovered that amygdala, a brain area often linked with aggression and fear, were noticeably larger among those who are stressed. The scans also showed that they do not have strong connections between the amygdale and medial prefrontal cortex, which is a brain part that deals with executive function.

Stressed professionals have no reason to be alarmed though, according to the researchers. As long as they learn how to manage fatigue the right way, they will be able to avoid serious problems in the future.

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