Editor’s note: Our friends at InsightTimer have created awareness around the “I’m so busy” being the most common refrain in American work-a-day, high growth, heroic entrepreneurial and individual achievement. One that we know needs to stop but yet we embrace it as right of passage or badge of honor. Many of us on our mindfulness and meditation path have seen the light…yet it still so hard to break free from the constant drumbeat of “things to do”, aka being busy. Read on about InsightTimers review of Busyness as a not so healthy addiction:

“The History Of Being Too Busy

Humans haven’t always been too busy. It’s only in the last few hundred years that a time deficit has begun to take a toll on our health.

For thousands of years, most humans lived in agrarian societies where time was fluid, measured by the rising and setting of the sun and the passing of the seasons. Timelines and hours didn’t matter.

Only in the 18th century did time measurements become refined enough that clocks could be reliable scientific instruments.

The dangers of being too busy have been paramount as public health concerns since the mid-20th century. The emergence of the atomic clock in the 1950s meant that humanity could now measure time down to the nanosecond – and humans saw a massive increase in stress as a result!

Seventy years after Seyle’s first findings, Johns Hopkins researchers have dubbed today’s culture ‘the cult of busy’. We pack our schedules with activities from dawn to dusk and train our children to be too busy from an early age.

We feel too busy because today’s culture encourages constant action as the primary metric of success. The busier we are, the more successful we feel.

Wearing busyness as a badge of honor spills into the lives of children, too. They are signed up for after-school activities from an early age and have packed schedules through high school to prepare them for college. It’s no wonder the cult of busyness is all-pervasive.

 

Being Too Busy Creates A Chronic Stress Response

Understanding the dangers of being too busy starts with a grasp of how the body responds to stress. Stress is the root of many of the physical, mental, and relational issues that come from the constant state of busyness.

A stress response is an innate protective physiological response to a perceived threat in our environment. When we sense danger, the body releases adrenaline to prepare us to escape the danger and endorphins to numb us to pain. Our heart rate goes up, muscles become tight, our senses get hyper-sensitive and we get a massive physical power boost that prepares us to run from danger.

Detrimental Effects Of Chronic Stress On The Body

The body provides the first signals that we’ve been too busy and our stress levels are mounting. Experiencing physical manifestations of stress can be an indicator that we need to live better. Ignoring them can cause burnout, disease, and damage the body long-term.

The most common physical symptoms of stress include:

  • Fatigue
  • Sleep problems, including feeling exhausted and insomnia
  • Chest pain or heart palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal discomforts, such as cramps, stomachaches, indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea

Relationships Suffer When We Are Constantly Too Busy

The busier we are, the more our relationships suffer. We become over-tired, overworked, and lack the time to share special moments with loved ones… We aren’t present even when we are physically present. Being busy takes emotional energy, physical energy, or both. It becomes easy to lose your spark in relationships at work and at home.

Never turning off creates a phenomenon called ‘toxic time’, in which we are physically present but emotionally distant or preoccupied with other things. Workplaces Become Dangerous & Less Productive

Being too busy is damaging in the workplace, too.

Working too much has intangible hazards, too. It causes us to be less morally aware of situations and others around us. We can fall into acting unethically or making workplace decisions that we’d regret if we’re capping 80-hour workweeks.

Being too busy prevents us from having a happy life…

Read Original and Entire Article here and find out how to undo busyness in everyday life.