In the fast-paced world we live in, where every moment seems to be a race against time, many people find themselves succumbing to a modern malaise known as "hurry sickness."
Coined by cardiologist Dr. Meyer Friedman in the 1950s, hurry sickness describes a constant sense of time urgency and a persistent desire to accomplish more in less time. This chronic state of rushing can lead to various health issues, both physical and mental.
The good news is that with a deliberate and mindful approach, it's possible to manage and even overcome this modern malaise. In this article, we will explore 6 effective strategies to navigate the challenges of hurry sickness and cultivate a more balanced and intentional way of living.
Understanding Hurry Sickness
Hurry sickness is more than just a feeling of being in a perpetual hurry; it's a mindset that can have profound effects on our overall well-being.
Constant rushing triggers the body's stress response, releasing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Over time, this can lead to elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate, and heightened levels of anxiety.
Additionally, the mental toll of hurry sickness may result in burnout, impaired decision-making, and a diminished ability to savour life's simple pleasures.
Strategy #1 - Prioritise and Simplify
One of the primary drivers of hurry sickness is an overloaded schedule. Begin by assessing your commitments and responsibilities. Identify tasks that are truly essential and align with your priorities. Streamline your to-do list by focusing on what matters most, allowing you to allocate time and energy more efficiently.
Strategy #2 - Learn to say No
Ahhh, this is a hard one to learn, isn’t it? Especially in a working environment, where saying no to your boss can feel like saying bye -bye to your next promotion. Saying no is not a sign of weakness, nor of low productivity or laziness. It’s a demonstration of self-awareness and a commitment to preserving your well-being. Prioritising your mental and physical health is important both at work and at home. Get clear on what’s your workload capacity and decline additional commitments when necessary.
Strategy #3 - Embrace Mindful Practices
Incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine. Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or short moments of mindful awareness can help ground you in the present moment. Mindfulness enables you to detach from the urgency mindset and approach tasks with a calm and focused demeanour.
Remember, consistency is key if you want to see tangible results. It’s better to practice 5min/ day rather than 2 hours once a week.
Here are a few short practices which are easy to squeeze into your schedule:
Strategy #4 - Disconnect from Digital Distractions
Constant connectivity through smartphones and other digital devices can contribute to the feeling of being rushed. Set designated periods for checking emails and social media, and consider implementing tech-free zones in your daily routine. This intentional disconnection fosters a more focused and undistracted approach to tasks.
Strategy #5 - Journaling
Engaging in introspective practices like journalling is a powerful way to manage hurry sickness, as you can gain a deeper understanding of the root causes of our haste. Self-reflection allows you to identify the triggers that propel you into a state of hurry. Here are some journaling prompts you can use as a starting point:
Why do I need to achieve so much?
Are there any external pressures, unrealistic expectations, or internal perfectionism driving my constant rush?
How was rest modelled while growing up?
What are my beliefs around doing and keeping busy?
By recognising these triggers, you can begin to address them and create a more conducive environment for mindful living.
Strategy #6 - Ask for help
Asking for help when unable to cope with the overwhelming rush is not a sign of weakness but a courageous step toward regaining control over your well-being. Whether reaching out to friends, family, or professional support, sharing the burden of hurry sickness allows for diverse perspectives and potential solutions to emerge.
Hurry sickness may be pervasive in today's fast-paced world, but it is not insurmountable. By incorporating any of these strategies into your daily life, you can begin to unravel the rush and cultivate a more intentional way of living.
Remember that managing hurry sickness is a gradual process, and small, consistent changes can lead to significant improvements in your overall well-being. Embrace the journey where the quality of your experiences takes precedence over the quantity of tasks you tick off from your to-do list.
You made it to the end, thank you!
If you live in London and and you’re craving for opportunities to slow down and give yourself a break, then join me at any of the upcoming events:
💟 Sun 21st Jan, 11am-1pm: Cacao & Shamanic Journey to the Heart
💟 Thu 25th Jan, 7:30-9:15pm: Full Moon Sound Bath & Cacao
💟 Sat 27th Jan, 4-5:30pm: Full Moon Sound Bath
💟 Sun 4th Feb, 11am-4pm: Imbolc (Beginning of Spring) Urban Retreat
Otherwise, you can email me at email@example.com to plan your private event with family, friends of team-mates.
With love & gratitude,