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9 Signs You’re Mentally Exhausted


Mental exhaustion feels like your brain is drained from being on high alert or constantly stressed out. It can happen to anyone and can ultimately make your responsibilities and problems seem impossible to overcome.

You may feel stuck in your situation as if the power to do anything about it is entirely out of your hands. The good news is,  you can overcome mental exhaustion with some help.

Here are a few signs you may be mentally exhausted.

1. You have trouble sleeping.

You might think it’d be easier to fall asleep when your mind is tried. However, that’s not always the case. Research has shown that people who have jobs with a high “cognitive workload” experience more symptoms of insomnia and other sleep issues than those who don’t. A lack of quality rest can worsen mental exhaustion, making sleep another thing on your list of worries.

2. Youre impatient and irritable.

Mental exhaustion can make you short-tempered and put you in a bad mood. This is because being in this state causes your stress response to activate. Your body has more potential dangers to look out for  in your environment, so smaller things become more intolerable, and you have less emotional reserves. It’s harder to regulate your emotions if you’re mentally tapped out. So If you find yourself losing patience in situations where you usually wouldn’t, it may be a red flag of mental exhaustion. 

3. You cry for no reason at all.

Minor inconveniences that happen throughout the day, like your toothpaste falling off your toothbrush in the morning, cause you to burst into tears. When we are exhausted physically and mentally, our usual resilience to cope with stress and challenges feels weakened.

4. You feel numb or detached.

While some people cry more often or feel more irritable, others don’t feel much of anything at all. Maybe you feel detached to anyone or anything that you care about, or nothing affects you as much as it did, regardless of whether it’s good or bad. You may feel like you’re just a body without any emotion, and you’ve gone numb. Whatever has drained you to the point where you can’t experience your normal emotions. It’s sort of like feeling depressed, but rather than feeling weighed down by emotion, an absence of them weighs you down.

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5. You have anxiety attacks.

Anxiety attacks occur when suddenly, you feel very overwhelmed by fear and worry about the future. When your mind is chaotic, and it seems like you have too much to do and not enough time to do them, anxiety attacks become more common. Mental exhaustion makes it hard to organize your thoughts and list of to-dos, so it seems like everything is crumbling to the ground all at once. The longer you allow your stress and exhaustion to go unchecked, the more anxious you’ll start to feel.

6. Youre struggling with digestive issues.

Stress affects both your body and mind. It activates our fight or flight response in the body, which is excellent for short-term moments when you need to get out of harm’s way. However, when this stress response is active every day for long periods, your body is in the state for an abnormal amount of time. This state moves blood and energy resources away from your gut area, leading to issues with indigestion and bloating. 

7. You cant concentrate.

Everyone’s productivity levels rise and fall throughout the day. But mental exhaustion can make it challenging to focus and concentrate on tasks. You may have a lot going on in your mind that’s distracting you or find it hard to verbalize your thoughts. Small tasks start to feel overwhelming, and you feel forgetful of ordinary, everyday things.

8. You feel dizzy and lethargic.

While feeling dizzy or lethargic isn’t a direct consequence of mental exhaustion, the sleep deprivation you’re experiencing is. And as a result, it may feel hard to function with these symptoms. You feel like you can’t do anything at all.When your brain doesn’t have the chance to reset,  the parts responsible for balance and coordination start to suffer.

9. You’re constantly fatigued.

Fatigue is a bit different from regular tiredness.  You can feel exhausted after a getaway weekend trip, but after a couple of nights of good sleep, it can be remedied. Fatigue, on the other hand, can’t. When you’re experiencing fatigue, it doesn’t matter if you sleep 14 hours a night or drink 15 energy drinks in the morning. You’ll still feel tired on the inside. This isn’t just an occasional thing, but more of a temporary default setting that doesn’t seem to end.


You can make small lifestyle changes to help relieve symptoms of mental exhaustion. These techniques won’t be easy to carry out in the beginning, but they’ll get easier as you start forming healthier habits. 

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