Research indicates that mental health issues are on the rise. Those positioned at the top of their scores are anxiety and depression. Stress, frustration, irritability and unhappiness, derivatives of these issues, are also rising to epidemic proportions in our age despite our best efforts to counter them.

Stephen Palmer, director of the Centre for Stress Management in London, says stress occurs when pressure exceeds your perceived ability to cope. Maybe we are causing ourselves harm and making ourselves sick by buying in to societal norms that pressure us beyond our ability to cope, all in the name of happiness. We all want to live secure, significant and happy lives, these are elements that are required for happiness, but what if we’re suffering from the dis-ease of being sold the line of the century,

We can be whatever we want, if we just set our goals high enough and don’t ever stop until we get what we are stretching for.

With relentless effort, steely fortitude and blind hedonistic hope, we madly pursue the lofty list that hangs just beyond our reach. We must procure our precious prize. With the drive mode of the brain in high gear, we obsess, we push, we shove, we stretch we strain, we strive, we drive ourselves. On and on we go, until finally the day arrives when our bodies break down and no longer obey the demanding commands of our mind.

The drive mode of the brain is a brilliant feature, an innate capacity that can serve us well, until we push it too far. It can bite us badly and can inflict an injury from which some never fully recover – burnout!

Learn about the brains secret weapon in the treatment and prevention of burnout in my next blog – Tips for reducing anxiety and enhancing happiness.