Identify the drains in your life

Emotionally: I am done!

Mentally: I am drained!

Spiritually:  I am dead!

Physically: I smile!

Look around you there are so many people going around with a smile plastered on their face but actually they are stuck in an emotionally draining situation. More often than not we don’t even realise that we are stuck in an emotionally draining situation. We just keep going through it till it’s too late.

Take for example the case of Ankita. She was a home maker living a happy life with her husband and two kids. She had a friend Suchita who was unable to have children. Ankita always thought that she was showing empathy to her friend and offering a shoulder to cry on but slowly she realised that Suchita was so full of bitterness, she had issues with her husband, mom-in-law, boss or society in general and after every interaction with her, Ankita herself was emotionally disturbed for a long time. And eventually she ended up fighting with her husband or shouting at her children. The whole atmosphere in her house turned negative. Eventually Ankita had to let go of this emotionally draining friendship. But it took a long time for her to identify the issue.

Sudhir was a manager in a big MNC. When he bagged this new job he thought he had finally made it to the big league. He put his heart and soul into the job and hoped for a good increment and promotions in the coming years. His new boss was a perfectionist. He himself was a workaholic and expected his team to be the same. Office work winding up past midnight. On slightest pretext making the whole team do the work all over again. Shouting, passing negative comments on all team members. All this had become the norm. Sudhir really worked hard to please the new boss with his work but it never happened. He was never satisfied. On the contrary Sudhir started losing confidence in himself. He slowly started believing that he was good for nothing. If he himself was not happy there was an emotional drain on his whole family too. With the help of his family he realised that this emotionally draining job was behind all the unhappiness in his life. Thankfully he left the job before he reached his breaking point.

This happens especially to people who are more sensitive to others emotions. 

The earlier we recognise that we are stuck in an emotionally draining situation like a relationship or a job or school, the easier it is to get out of it. 

So if you feel that suddenly you have 

A lack of zeal of life

A defeatist mental attitude

Bouts of fitful sleep

Creativity and imagination disappearing

Work that routinely excited you has suddenly become too dull to even contemplate

Then you are definitely dealing with emotional stress or emotional drain or emotional exhaustion.

How to get out of this situation? Look around you. 

Identify the cause and try to distance yourself from it. 

Try to put yourself first. You need to start thinking about yourself, find out what makes you happy and pursue your dreams.

You can’t change other people and how they think, but try to change how you react to them and how you communicate with people around you.

Find your strength. Try to break through your limitations.

Identify the drain in your life and try to distance yourself from it.


Have you ever felt like you are alone in the midst of a great crowd!

It seems like no one understands what’s going on inside you!

You feel broken and shattered yet unable to interpret the cries of your heart!

The irresistible pain in body and heart is getting heavier all the time!

The only question that punches you – “Why”…

That’s the picture I will draw for “being emotionally drained”.

I was doing all my works, didn’t take a day leave from office, killed headaches and weakness with balms and glucose, smiled just to hide some pain, tried to stay aloof, pretended everyone ‘I am okay’, juggled around the unanswerable “why” but How Long?

Being regularly hoarded for a month in such malady, all that I did is wound me and others as well, the passion of work was paused and creativity was lost in the dreadful shouts of drained emotion. And unknowingly I did lot of mistake.

We never like to catch hold by such woeful situation in life whereas in reality it is quite obvious in human life to be emotionally drained. Being human we are always park by emotions. Sometimes those emotions aid our life and sometimes those emotions drain our life as well. But some of the major reasons that easily drain my emotion are:

Words of People: Words are like two edged swords. A slight careless use of words can cause painful cuts on human heart and the only way to aid those cuts is the right use of words again. If your words have hurt somebody it is better to apologize immediately rather than defending yourself with all sorts of excuses.

The Bible says,

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt,

so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Dealings of People: Your dealings are the content of your character. Even a child can understand who loves him and who is pretending. Often in our sagacity of hypocrisy we forget that, there is a pay-day someday!

The Bible Says,

Do to others as you would like them to do to you.

Egoistic Behavior: Egoism slices your relationship every day. Every relationship has it’s intrinsic worth and reflective splendor and that beauty cannot be maintained by one person. My way or High way… is a colonial attitude which has its day to thrash down and the breakdown causes greater damage to both.

Again the Bible says,

Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

If the wounds are not cleaned and treated properly at proper time, it can cause greater damage and often we find its impact on people saying, “I find rest in the hang-over of spending day on Marlboro and Heineken…

While in the Cubicle of Emotionally drained nights I just looked at God and sobbed like a baby because I know my tears have greater worth for Him and He alone can better understand my inner-pain. Human can console me with 1000 words yet can never replace the pain of my heart into a joyful day but God Can…

The Psalmist says,

God, you keep track of all my sorrows.

You have collected all my tears in your bottle.

You have recorded each one in your book.

In the world of billion people it is only your true friend, who can easily identify the pain in your tone and your story from your eyes. We all have had at least one such blessed person in our life.

Bible says,

The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.

Parked by drained emotions is obvious but aiding its wound within the due time brings joy and glory to our life.

God bless you!


Emotionally draining condition brings us to a big Zero. It simply shuts us down of our creativity. It literally makes us to be like a machine which works on a routine basis without any consciousness. It reduces our productivity at work, declines our enthusiasm to interact with people and makes us extremely irritable and loud. We become sensitive for small things… And the irony is when it’s about someone close to us like our children or spouses then we can’t follow the first advice of Rajnandini who asked us to stay away from the persons who are stressors in our life.

Often people we love can drain us the most. Our partners do it unintentionally probably, but life’s demands add up. When at the end of a long day he or she comes home in a negative mood or is needy and imperious. Then the draining behavior may go beyond this where they become aggressive or hurtful.

I get drained out emotionally when the following things happen to me on a regular basis:

Forced Listener: Sometimes when I am very tired yet I have to listen to the problem of others I feel like being forced to listen and I get drained out emotionally. I do consider my loved ones and listen to them even I don’t feel like but that happens only to certain extent and when I lose patience I get angry or frustrated. I can say when people are insensitive to my need I feel drained out.

Complaint Box: Some people are never satisfied. They have all the complaints ready to throw at me, asking me to find a solution. That gets on my nerves. I am a person who’s very content with everything that I have or I don’t have and I get irritated when I don’t see that in people but simply murmuring and grumbling for everything.

Repeat & Repeat: I hate when someone repeats one thing again and again. Repeating one thing many times indicates three things about them: they don’t trust my ability and they are self obsessed.

Taunting Words: Making jokes are fine. Everyone laughed at a joke on me, I laughed too and we had a pleasure time. But when the taunting words are knowingly aimed at me to accuse me of something which is not right about me or it is done intentionally in the public then I get really hyper and I get drained out emotionally.

Problems in Relationships: This actually drains me a lot. I love all my relationships and my friends. If something happens between me and my friends or loved ones I get very drained emotionally. It might be my face to face relationships or virtual relationships that I keep with many.

Strangely financial problems, normal sicknesses or negative life situations really don’t drain me out much emotionally as in case of other people but all the above factors that I described are really the causes of emotional drain out in me.

It is really necessary for us to understand the time we go through these emotional draining out phases which many times we don’t tend to recognise these symptoms and feel that we are just tired, sleep can be just the remedy. We keep avoiding these feelings knowingly or unknowingly and ultimately when we come till the brink of it we suffer heavily. So it is necessary to identify the signs of Emotional Draining Out. I have pointed out few as under:

  1. Irritability and Anger are most common in the people going through emotional drain out. They are usually loud when they present the cause of their irritation.
  2. Incessant Fatigue is the first symptom of emotional drain out. It is something more than just normal tiredness. It doesn’t go with timely rest or sleep.
  3. Sleeplessness added to fatigue can be a horrible experience. I have this experience personally. I will have ample amount of sleep in my eyes yet my eyes are wide open for 2 or 3 hours continuously.
  4. Sense of Detachment and Disinterest are also the signs of Emotional Drain Out. People suffering might feel de-motivated or loss of interest and involvement in life’s different avenues.
  5. Crying Spells are very common when we are emotional drained. People suffering with this easily tend to cry for even petty issues.
  6. Physical Indicators like palpitations or sudden heart rate increase is a very common sign of emotional drain out. Apart from this gastritis and body pain are also the symptoms of emotional drain out.
  7. Hopelessness is a dangerous state because once hopelessness sets in the person might will either resign from life or do things that are not approved in everyone’s eyes or society.

Be careful, if you are finding these signs and symptoms are shown evidently. Please get help and DO NOT IGNORE or else you might not be able to find your way back on your own.

Now, you might ask ‘How then do we handle such emotionally stressful and draining events?’ And in that case I would suggest to click on that question itself which will take you to the article where Rajnandini has beautifully explained how to go about it.

Stay Blessed!



Just as I sit to write this article, there was a potential stimulus to cause an emotional tension within me. A colleague had posted an obscene video in my workplace WhatsApp group. I had seen the hazy image and realized that it had inappropriate content. So, I decided not to download / view it. With peace still reigning in my mind, I continued with my other daily chores. Meanwhile, other colleagues began viewing it and were enraged at the person who had posted such a video in what is meant to be an official forum. And, as you would expect there was fiery exchange of words in the group. The colleague who had posted the video, pleaded innocence saying that it got posted by mistake. Some colleagues left the group. And the saga is still continuing as I write this article.

My purpose of sharing the above incident is to give a peek into how even small actions or words can pose as strains or stressors in our lives and drain us. Imagine beginning a day with such a video! Now, I trace my steps back and put myself in the place where I first saw the video in the group. What would have happened had I not seen the hazy image and would have decided to view it? Firstly, I would have been emotionally disturbed (as I gather from the comments of others in the group that it was highly sexually explicit). Next, I would have harboured a very negative impression about the person who posted it. Ultimately, it would have disturbed my mental peace. It would have continued to linger in my mind for several days and so on the responses would have continued.

That’s about me. However, there would be people who would have enjoyed such a video. There are people who sure begin their day with such content and spend most of their leisure time viewing such content. For them it is not emotionally draining, rather it is emotionally pleasurable – a stress-reliever.

It is then very clear that what is emotionally draining for one, may not be so for others. To give examples – one person may love shopping, while for another it may be physically and emotionally draining. One person may feel cooking to be a good stress-buster, whereas for another it may be a strainer.

And yes, not only do work, sickness, death of a loved one, divorce, disappointment, failure and the like, emotionally drain a person, but also events like a wedding, celebrating a festival, visiting a friend, a kitty party can be equally draining.

Richard Lazarus, a psychologist who has done commendable work in the area of ‘stress and strain’ is of the opinion that there are two ways to cause emotional strain in a person – exposure to certain stimuli present in the environment and the response of the individual to it. Some of the common hassles that drain people emotionally all over the world are – issues of appearance (weight, height and looks), health of family members, rising price of common goods, too many things to do in a short time, tax payments, misplacing or losing things, children’s education, a non-responsive spouse, loss of employment, a dip in the business, a house full of guests, truant/rebellious children, personal disorganization, frequent job transfers, shifting houses frequently, etc.

How then do we handle such emotionally stressful and draining events?

We all have certain triggers in our lives that drain us to the core…so much so that, all we need later is to be left alone for a while. However, since the triggers are different for different people there cannot be a one-size-fits-all remedy. A few general measures that can be taken –

  1. Stay away from the company of people whom you have identified to be stressors in your life. But what do you do, if your spouse/your children fall into that category? Identify what triggers them. Talk them into handling those situations better and show them reason as to how they can make theirs and others lives better by managing those little triggers in their lives.
  2.  Avoid situations that drain you. But what if your workplace stains you? Quitting your job is not the solution (unless of course it is too intolerable). What if your workplace is your stress-buster and your home is where you feel drained out? Leaving home is never an option. Effective management of people and chores at home would lessen the pressure.
  3. Take care of your health. Your health is God’s gift to you. Choose to eat healthy foods, drink healthy fluids, sleep enough and exercise well. A healthy body ensures a healthy mind. Too much toxins in the body and lack of sleep generate irritation and frustration easily.
  4. Spend time alone in the lap of nature. Gazing at the starry sky, listening to the chirping of birds, watching butterflies flutter from flower to flower, lying down on a grassy lawn are wonderful stress busters. If there is absolutely no way in which you can escape to such places periodically, take to gardening. If you don’t have a patch of land, buy some potted plants and care for them daily. You’ll soon notice the difference.
  5. Be alone with God – Pray. The Bible says, “Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you.” No matter what is the draining factor in your life, take it to God. It may be something big and impossible or it may be a petty matter, God can and will help you manage it better if you take it to Him.
  6. Don’t escape emotionally draining situations; find ways of handling them. Avoidance is never the answer. That’s because, how many times can you avoid such a situation? And what would you do each time it recurs? So, a better strategy is to find out ways to tackle such situations.

The above list is not exhaustive, but the space surely is. As we deal with emotionally draining situations, it is also wise to identify in what ways do our words or actions drain others. Intentionally or otherwise are we causing stress in others’ lives? Let’s be mindful and make the necessary amends.