Difference Between Stress and Burnout

Stress is one of the most common problems of today’s generation of the workforce. It doesn’t always have to be because of work though. We often stress over small things too i.e, waking up late, annoying people on the bus ride, not function printers, etc. However, stress can also be positive as it can motivate us to do work properly. But when stress becomes too much, it eventually leads to burnout.


See also: 7 Ways to Manage Stress


Burnout was defined by psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in 1974 as “a depletion or exhaustion of a person’s physical or mental resources attributed to his or her prolonged, yet unsuccessful striving toward unrealistic expectations, internally or externally derived.”


The higher the expectations and demands from work, the greater the risk of feeling burnout. It is considered as the larger, meaner, older brother of stress.


See also: Burnout: Signs, Symptoms, and Causes


Differences between Burnout and Stress


Burnout occurs when too much stress goes on overtime without addressing it properly. Identifying which is which can be tricky, however, certain characteristics can help us differentiate burnout from stress.





If not given enough attention, burnout might lead to depression. That is why it is important not to take stress for granted. If you feel like your job is overwhelming you, take a step back. Money and career are nothing compared to our overall well-being.

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