If you do, apparently you have a lot of company!
According to Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal, authors of Stealing Fire, a book I strongly recommend, a Google search will yield that we search the topic of ‘time’ 11.5 billion times. Topics like money and sex, that you might assume would beat out ‘time’, come in at only 2.75 billion and 2 billion!
Kotler and Wheal go on to point out that “According to a 2015 Gallup survey, 48 percent of working adults feel rushed for time, and 52 percent report significant stress as a result. Bosses, colleagues, kids, and spouses all expect instant response to emails and texts. We never really get free of our digital leashes, even in bed or on vacation. Americans are now working longer hours with less vacations than any industrialized country in the world.”
This condition has been coined ‘time poverty’, and it has major consequences according to Harvard economist, Sendhil Mullainathan, who recently told the New York Times, “When you are juggling time, you borrow from tomorrow, and tomorrow you have less time than you have today. . . . It’s a very costly loan.”
How can you overcome this condition of time poverty? I don’t think I have all the answers, but what I can tell you is doing what you have always done will not improve the condition, it will maintain the insanity.
To improve this condition and create a sense of time abundance, you will need to learn tools and techniques that alter your state of mind; that raise your consciousness to another level.
I have always been fascinated by the brain and the body. It is part of what lead me into the field of counseling and psychology, and as I ventured down that path, I studied in depth, both traditional and non-traditional fields of thought about the brain and body.
What I believe at this point is that the brain and body are so intricately weaved together that you cannot treat one without treating the other.
We must learn better techniques to manage our minds in order to improve the conditions in our bodies. Practices like meditation, yoga, and dance are just a few of the techniques out there that help us quiet the mind’s incessant chatter and allow the body to relax and recharge.
I can’t tell you the number of times I have taught a dance lesson to someone who comes in very stressed and feeling rushed, and they leave saying, “I can’t believe it’s been 90 minutes already. It went so fast, and I feel so much better!”
There is a reason this occurs. When we focus the brain on one thing, it quiets the part of the mind that makes us feel neurotic. When this part of our brain goes offline, we are able to be present; we become fully engaged, energized, and able to process more information quickly.
Kotler and Wheal explain: “…time is a distributed perception, calculated all over the brain, calculated, more specifically, all over the prefrontal cortex. During transient hypofrontality, when the prefrontal cortex goes offline, we can no longer perform this calculation. Without the ability to separate past from present from future, we’re plunged into an elongated present, what researchers describe as “the deep now.” Energy normally used for temporal processing gets reallocated for focus and attention. We take in more data per second and process it more quickly. When we’re processing more information faster, the moment seems to last longer—which explains why the “now” often elongates in altered states.
This ability to take the brain offline takes some practice, but the gains are tremendous. If we are going to make it into the next decade with both sanity and physical health, it will be imperative for all of us to take responsibility for managing our minds better.
With that in mind, please join me for my class, The Body as the Subconscious, on Saturday October 14th from 11:00 to 1:30. This is an introductory class I teach that illustrates how intricately connected the brain and body are as well as demonstrate and provide some tools and techniques to help you manage your minds and bodies more effectively.
If you are unable to attend, but still want some good information about how to manage stress, download my Distress Less Program. It is a short and easy audio program that gives you insight into how your brain responds to stress and how you can improve it.