Article: Feeling Pressed for Time

I read an interesting article recently about feeling pressed for time. We have all been there - rushing around trying to remember to do a dozen things, trying to do several of them in quick succession, getting all stressed out, getting anxious.

As it turns out, much of the stress or anxiety comes not from actually being pressed for time but from our emotional conflict between the various activities. For instance, we might feel guilty about how little time we spend walking our dog. Or we might feel guilty about how much time we spend at work. Or we might be bothered by the amount of money one or more of those activities costs - like getting a haircut or taking the kids to karate or getting a gift card for a co-worker's birthday.

While all these tasks or activities do take time, researchers have shown that it is not the time conflict between activities so much as the emotional conflicts or anxieties like guilt or money-worry that make us feel "pressed for time." It turns out we might not actually be as pressed for time as we thought.

The research team also identified two things that we can do to minimize the stress brought on by emotional conflicts rather than time conflicts. The first is slow breathing (or really one of many breathing exercises), designed to bring us back to the present - taking our minds away from emotional conflict and re-focusing on real time conflicts. The second suggestion was purposefully channeling those amped-up anxieties into a sense of excitement. For instance, if you're anxious that you don't have enough time to exercise the dog, don't drag them down the street by the neck; instead, get them excited as if you are going on some grand adventure, and you will find that you get excited as well. You may not get back to the house faster, but you won't be as anxious about the time you spent with your dog.