Sometimes emotional stress can wear away at your soul and drain all your energy, making you feel like you've lost all motivation and the will to live.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on April 5, 2022. It has since been updated.
When you go through a challenging time that stresses you out emotionally and mentally, it can take a toll on your mind and your soul. Carrying a heavy emotional burden for a long time can weigh on your soul and sap away at your energy, slowly taking up space in your head and affecting your peace of mind. Whether you're dealing with an incredible amount of stress from having too many responsibilities or from having been through heartbreak, your mind and soul need some time to recover and rest in order to be able to heal completely. Until then you may notice a number of signs that tell you that it's not your body, but your soul that is exhausted.
Every time you're going through something stressful, it can drain your mental energies by taking up your thoughts and forcing you to think about it over and over, even when you've got a lot to do. This can sometimes be bewildering because you get lost in thought and then suddenly return to reality and have no idea what you were doing before you spaced out.
You're constantly on edge, feeling like you're on the verge of tears or ready to explode in anger. You may even swing wildly between intense joy and deep insecurity or sadness with no warning or explanation. You often find yourself crying and getting upset about the littlest things for seemingly no reason, and you wonder why you feel everything so intensely.
The most painful thing for you is to be surrounded by the people you love only to realize that they have no idea what you're going through and they probably wouldn't understand. You want nothing more than to let loose and feel happy and comfortable around them, but you end up feeling alienated and wondering how they'd feel if they knew how hard you've been struggling to hold it together.
It would be easier to deal with and make sense of what you're going through if only you could find the words to describe it. It's almost alien to you, the feeling of having a reservoir within you run out as if the source of your strength and motivation has been exhausted. You feel like something's wrong, but you find it hard to explain what you feel to the people you love.
Your mind is constantly racing through different scenarios and imagining the worst, or it's unceasingly reminding you of all the burdens you need to bear and the responsibilities you need to fulfill. You feel overwhelmed with worry and anxiety all the time, to the point where it's keeping you up at night. You may even experience minor panic attacks from the anxiety.
You carry tension within your body, and the muscles in your shoulders and your back are taut with worry and anxiety. Since your body never has a moment to relax, it never gets to release all that pent-up energy, and your muscles suffer from the constant tension. Everything aches and feels sore, and you wake up from bed wishing you could go right back to sleep because your body is as tired as your soul is.
Whenever you're faced with even the simplest of responsibilities, you find yourself desperately wishing you could just fall asleep right there or sink into your bed and stay in there all day. The only thing you look forward to all day long is the prospect of being able to return to your bed and sleep away all the stress and worry you feel on a daily basis. However, no amount of respite seems to help.
It's hard for you to find the motivation to get out of bed and face the day because no matter how much sleep and rest you get, you never feel refreshed or energized. You feel weak, even though you know your body is capable of so much more, and you drag yourself through the day, wondering where all your energy went. You realize then that it's not your body that's tired, but your soul that's craving respite from the stress.
You feel like the part of you that cared about other people and felt positive around them has been switched off, and you no longer have it in you to give your heart to them the way you once did. Instead, you find yourself resenting the people in your life, feeling jealous of their happiness, or being incredibly bitter and angry toward those who hurt you. A vicious side of you has reared its head and you want to put it to sleep.
Once you may have constantly found new motivations and things to look forward to, but now you're worried about the future and what it may bring for you. You see yourself going through the motions every day, doing the bare minimum to get by, and you worry that you may eventually sabotage what little happiness you have left. All you want is a new start, but you're worried you may still not find the spark you're looking for.
If you've been feeling this way for a long time, then it's time to start paying attention to yourself and ensuring that your needs are met. Make sure you set aside time for yourself to relax and reflect and to do the things you love to do. Find a way to organize your life so that you can deal with stress more easily. Decide to eliminate all negativity in your life, whether it stems from the way you think about yourself, the kind of people you surround yourself with every day, or the environment in which you work. The burden on your soul will lighten when you start taking care of yourself, and you will notice your old self returning to claim center stage.
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.