Stress and Time
Of all the stressors in our contemporary world, one that afflicts many of us is the perception that we don't have enough time to do what we "have to do" and we can't spare the time to do what we "want to do." This is why thinking about stressors means thinking carefully about your relationship with time. How do your thoughts about time create stress in your life?
One characteristic of stress is impatience. Impatience tells you that you don't have enough time. Impatience is the White Rabbit in Lewis Carroll's book, Alice in Wonderland, rushing through life proclaiming:
Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late.
In Disney's animated version, the White Rabbit sings a little song:
I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye! I'm late! I'm late! I'm late!
Is this you? Do you go through life proclaiming, "I'm late, I'm late, I'm late" for just about everything you do? A dominant verb of the "I'm late, I'm late, I'm late" perspective on life is that you have to grab things because you're running so fast to get things done. How many times have you seen this in advertising? Because you're so busy, busy, busy, you can grab and go, eat and run. Since you don't have time to cook a real meal, you can pop frozen dinners into the microwave.
Does your to-do list stretch from now to forever? Are you always behind schedule, behind quota, always late? Who set the time schedule? Did you? Did someone else tell you that "you have to" get it done? If you can't manage to keep on time according to your own timetable of doing it faster, you're setting yourself up to feel that you're constantly failing. "I'm late, I'm late, I'm late" creates a daily experience of stress.