Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.

Where exhaustion comes from

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I was listening to Brené Brown’s “Dare to lead” audiobook when she refers to an article in Harvard Business Review where Emma Seppälä and Marissa King make a correlation between exhaustion and loneliness.

Photo by Volkan Olmez at unsplash

Photo by Volkan Olmez at unsplash

I never thought about this correlation, but if I remember the times I felt exhausted, I believe I can correlate them with periods in my life where I felt alone in tasks or projects when I wasn’t supposed to feel this way.

Social connection is of paramount importance to overcome loneliness and decrease your exhaustion. However, in this digital era, we may misunderstand social connectivity by social networking. This link is dangerous.

The use of multiple social media accounts has been correlated with an increase in the levels of anxiety, which means that social media is not making us more connected, but lonelier.

The social connection comes from our relational life with conversations and face2face interactions. We are more relational than rational, but the virtualization of our relationships misled us to think of being more connected with each other when the opposite is what happens. We become isolated and screen dependent.

Jaron Lanier suggests we delete our social media accounts.

Cal Newport, in his latest book “Digital Minimalism,” suggests an extended break, then gradually introduce the social media activity which emphasizes what we value.

I have done both and found the strength we get from others when we receive feedback, whether personally or digitally.

In my experience, personal messaging is at the core of developing relationships. All means of being together, valuing each other through attentive listening, a kind word, a warm gesture is priceless these days.

Exhaustion comes from the relational deficit we experience in our lives. The good news is that we can always restart and reinvent ourselves because relationality is at the core of our creativity, and its path is as unexpected as exciting.

About Miguel Panao

I am a Professor at the University of Coimbra in Mechanical Engineering. I am also author of books in the fields of environmental ethics and Science and Religion. From the several research projects, this site is personal and dedicated to the search for the best approaches, tools, techniques to improve scientific productivity.

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