Does your stressful schedule make you feel pressed for time? Here’s a way to change the pace and find calm…
Calm in the midst of a stressful schedule
Feeling stressed and constantly pressed for time may not have much to do with time itself, according to a new study.
It’s not the number of activities competing for your time but the emotional conflict between activities that makes one feel stressed and pressed for time.
This is according to a study, published in the Journal of Marketing Research, in which participants were asked to list tasks that took a certain amount of time, envision completing these tasks and then imagine that tasks were in conflict with one another.
When participants thought certain activities were in conflict with one another, they felt even more pressed for time due to a feeling of increased anxiety over the conflict.
“Emotions such as guilt about where time is being spent or fear over loss of income both generate stress, and make a person feel more pressed for time than they actually are,” write authors of the study.
Two ways to find calm in a stressful schedule
The authors identify two simple strategies to help people reduce false feelings of being pressed for time:
1. Slow breathing
2. Channelling feelings of stress into high-energy emotions such as excitement
Both techniques were successful in making participants feel that they weren’t as pressed for time as they had first feared.
“… By pausing to breathe or envision the source of stress in a more positive light, people can enjoy the time they actually have in a healthier and happier way,” conclude the authors.