Fifteen years ago a colleague of mine first alerted me to the idea of ‘Busy Sickness’.  A few days ago I heard someone talking about ‘Hurry Sickness’.

Both these labels are real and so is stress, exhaustion, a sense of never-ending tasks, and the feeling that life is getting on top of you.

Hurrying and being busy all the time is a sickness that can cause other sicknesses such as depression and stress, and it can leave us feeling depleted and lost at times.  It is like a virus that slithers into our lives; at first, making us think we are all part of a great movement to get more done in our day, and that we can achieve anything we want in our life.  We can achieve a lot but not everything all at once.  Initially, we can cope but our body and mind silently wear down until the first telltale signs of low energy show up.

Like a virus, we catch it from social media, marketing, trends, fads, technology, friends, work and a global mindset that says we have to be like this today.

Here are two symptoms of hurry and busy sickness

1. Eating too fast to get the meal down so you can move onto the next thing  

This is really bad for digestion because it doesn’t allow you to chew your food and activate your saliva properly. Saliva contains important enzymes which help to break down the food.  When you don’t chew properly you bypass a vital digestive process. You are also missing out on important nutrients and the production of enzymes that break down the food for easy digestion.

Symptoms of eating too fast:

  • Undigested food in stools
  • IBS – upset tummies – gas, cramping, and suboptimal bowel movements
  • Cold sores, sores on lips or tongue
  • Tooth and gum problems
  • Indigestion

A few solutions:

  • Start by telling yourself before eating, to chew your food at least 15 times, then work up to 30 times.
  • While eating, keep your mind on chewing. Think about how it looks to others who are watching you.
  •  Make a plan to do it for one day, then just keep extending it each day until you reach 30 days or when you feel you have converted to normal, relaxed eating.  Be the last to finish the meal.  Try it!
  • Ask a family member or good friend to help you stay true to your habit change.

2. Rushing and not listening properly

This is huge. The more we rush through life, the more we experience a growing emptiness or a disconnection from ourselves. Life becomes about everything external to ourselves.

Not listening properly is very common and is not cool.  We constantly miss parts of conversations, don’t hear important information, and are not respectful of others even though we think we are.

We live in a time of increased ‘flakiness’ which means we often commit to something, then change plans, without notice, and follow up with a terrible excuse. This is more common now and people say yes without considering if they can actually do what they said.  The second part of this is that people are so busy that they often have no recollection that they even said yes to something in the first place.

Let us bring back reliability, being present, and ‘keeping your word’.

Symptoms of rushing and not listening properly:

  • Forgetfulness about a lot of stuff
  • Always finishing off peoples sentences
  • Thinking about the next thing while you are with or talking to someone
  • Find it difficult to listen much at all
  • Confusion amongst all of your appointments, meetings, and schedules
  • Shallow relationships
  • No time for self, contemplation or reflection about your life

A few solutions:

  • Look at your to-do list for the day and halve it straight up.
  • Ask more questions and don’t interrupt or finish someone’s sentence.
  • Stop thinking about how something can benefit you, think about how you can help someone before helping yourself.
  • Cut out your time on devices by 20% and increase gradually to 50%.

We have almost lost the ability to lead ourselves, opting for following trends and fads. Be bold and lead your own life the way it works best for you.



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