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Flying trapeze – for brain health!

If you regularly feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained and unable to meet constant demands, you might be burned out.

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.

It has become so prevalent that the World Health Organization (WHO) added burnout to its International Classification of Diseases, IDC-11,  describing it as a syndrome “resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed…”

There are many ways to avoid or manage burnout, one proven tactic is to have a hobby that’s purely for leisure.  Nowadays we let hobbies fall out of our lives because we are too busy, but when you’re really engaged in a hobby you love, you lose a sense of time and enter what’s called a flow state.

When your brain is in a flow state, neurotransmitters in your brain — endorphins, norepinephrine and dopamine – are activated and these regulate your mood and relieve stress, restoring your mind and energy.

One of Google’s co-founders, Sergey Brin, has a variety of hobbies: ultimate frisbee, springboard diving and flying trapeze.  If you work at Google in the US, you are likely to be offered flying trapeze lessons as a perk!  Forward-thinking companies offer their staff activities that have nothing whatsoever to do with work, because they know that it improves concentration, motivation, engagement and productivity.

Why not make a conscious decision this week to pursue a hobby – okay, it doesn’t have to be flying trapeze! – but pick something that makes you forget about time.

It’s not selfish to pursue a hobby – it’s essential for your brain’s health.

Until next week, take care!

Lisa.