Mental load: What is it? How to share it? - Mynd.ch

Mental load: What is it? How to share it?

DO YOU GET THE FEELING THAT YOUR BRAIN IS OVERHEATING, THAT IT WILL EVEN EXPLODE?
YOU DEAL WITHOUT STOPPING A WHOLE SET OF DAILY TASKS AT WORK, VARIOUS NOTIFICATIONS COMING FROM URGENT MAILS AND YOUR INSTANT MESSENGERS. DO YOU STILL HAVE AN APPOINTMENT TO MAKE AT THE DENTIST FOR YOUR SON, GO SHOPPING FOR TONIGHT, CELEBRATE YOUR BEST FRIEND’S BIRTHDAY…?

You have to think of everything, you feel overly stressed and you do not know where to start because the number of tasks of your “To Do List” is so important?

You are just tired, and your brain is failing you. It can happen to anyone. We are not super humans.
Be aware that the brain becomes overloaded beyond 7 simultaneous tasks!

long_term_stress

A favourable context to mental load

By increasing remote work and intensive use of screens, the health crisis has contributed to increasing our cognitive fatigue, in other words our mental load.

This is understandable when we spend nearly 8 to 10 hours per day on screens and especially via video meetings.

However, many of us hide our discomfort or fatigue for fear of appearing weak and feeling judged by others, whether at work or in our close circle.

However, it is impossible to have the same level of performance continuously and to constantly absorb an ill-considered accumulation of daily tasks.

Factors contributing to mental load

When our brain becomes saturated, we then enter a mode of forced mental relaxation for our survival. Hence, the difficulty in continuing to concentrate effectively.

It is therefore time to take a well-deserved break.

Factors contributing to mental load
How does mental overload manifest itself?

Leo works in an IT department and juggles all day between his 3 screens and his notifications. He also manages projects that require periods of concentration to find solutions to complex IT problems. But recently, he feels that he is no longer coping. He deals with a bunch of quick little tasks and leaves out issues that require thinking and creativity.

So, when his colleague Magali tells him that he is becoming unbearable, he knows deep down that she is right. He cannot even control his emotions after a hard day’s work. It is time for Leo to change something else.

Here are some warning signs of mental overload that can lead to burnout over a period :

WARNING SIGNS
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How to reduce the mental load?

Martin E.P. Seligman, PhD, creator of Positive Psychology (1998) explored health and wellness and what makes humans resilient, happy, and optimistic.

Here is the message he conveys: “Our thought patterns are not permanent. One of the most important discoveries in psychology for the last twenty years is that people can choose their way of thinking.’’

So how could Leo reduce or redress his mental load?

He may already implement small, simple things in his daily professional and personal life.

For example, taking refreshing breaks, taking fresh air regularly every day, calling on colleagues and relatives to help him offload certain important and urgent tasks.

He can also go further by calling on a mynd mental coach who will support him to work on himself to rethink his priorities, reduce digital over-demand, recognise, and quantify mental overload.

In short, to unload and find positive thoughts through personal development by knowing oneself better.

This will help him detect his bad habits, recognise his mental fatigue, and accept to take a break.

He will thus find his inner strengths and give meaning to his actions and his life.

written by Edith Page

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