The Wildly Confident Podcast
On episode 28, I am going to talk with you about Hurry Sickness, something that can seriously effects your health & quality of life.
I learned about hurry sickness a few years back and realized I had it! Yikes!
Becoming aware of what Hurry Sickness is changed my life for the better and has helped me learn when to harness some of the things I learned from it and how to detach from it as well to come back to the present moment & connection.
On this episode you will learn:
- What Hurry Sickness is
- Symptoms of Hurry Sickness
- How to make a shift out of Hurry Sickness
I am not a doctor or mental health specialist – please consult with professionals and get help about anything you want to learn about Hurry Sickness.
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Want to read the episode instead?
Speaker 1: (00:00)
Hello. Hello and welcome back to the wildly confident podcast. So glad you’re here today. We’re talking about something very interesting that has to do with time management. And it’s something that when I learned about it, it blew my mind. So I hope this is a mind blowing. I hope to you today and just see what resonates with you. I’m not a doctor or a psychologist or a therapist. I’m just a person who’s really interested in helping people live better lives to manage their time better to manage their quality of life better. So I’m gonna be speaking a lot about my personal experience and research I’ve done on the internet around this. So the topic I’m gonna be chatting meet with you about is something called hurry sickness. And when I first learned about hurry sickness and the definition of hurry sickness, which I’ll share with you in a moment, I, I was like, wow, this is everywhere.
Speaker 1: (01:01)
This is one of those like unseen problems that like a few years from now will be something that’s widely, widely gosh, widely talked about that people are going to be, wow, this is like the next self care movement, uh, or the next trauma informed like trauma healing move that we see going on right now. I think there’ll be a lot of discussion around hurry sickness. So let me tell you what hurry sickness is. Hurry sickness is a sense of time urgency and a continuous struggle and an unremitting attempt to accomplish and achieve more things. It’s the disconnect between what is feasible and overcommitting yourself. Let me repeat that last part again, cuz I think it’s so important. It’s the disconnect between what is feasible and overcommitting yourself. The term Hery sickness was coined by some cardiologist in the 1970s, after they noticed that many of their parent patients suffered from a sense of time urgency.
Speaker 1: (02:12)
They defined hurry sickness as a continuous struggle, an unremitting attempt to accomplish or achieve more and more things or participate in more and more events and less a and less time. Does this sound familiar to you? Have you ever experienced this in your life, an attempt to accomplish or achieve more and more right in the same amount of time, which basically means in less time. Cause if you’re trying to get more done, your time is obviously gonna be reduced. Yes, this will was huge for me and I love that they, they coined the term sickness with it. It really just stands out to me is, is it’s not natural. It’s not the natural state of the body, right? It’s not a state of wellness. It’s a sickness. And it’s really a sickness in my mind that has been woven into our culture since we were children in school and it’s on TV, it’s it’s in everything that I feel like is really like venerated in the culture that we live in here in the United States that we wanna accomplish and achieve more and more things.
Speaker 1: (03:20)
And you know, a problem with that is that those things take time to accomplish. And at some point, right, cuz time is, you know, a finite resource. We’re not gonna have enough time to accomplish them all and what I see happening and, and certainly this is happening my life, right? I’ve over committed myself to too many things. And I, and I feel overwhelmed, exhausted irritable. I’m working too many hours. I’m not taking care of myself. I think this, the self care movement is a byproduct of hurry sickness. So what I loved about hurry sickness and when I first started about it and how to make changes in my own life, and I’m gonna share with you some of the changes I’ve made in case you might wanna try them out, right? To help your yourself with breaking the patterns of hurry sickness in your own life is it brought a new level of awareness to, and, and also a tool to help actually and make my life better.
Speaker 1: (04:22)
You know, I thought that achieving and accomplishing things were gonna make my life better. But in fact, those were the things that were actually taking away. A lot of the pleasure and joy I could have been having in my life, cuz I was so busy trying to accomplish and achieve things I was missing out on my entire life. That that’s why I felt like, you know, days, weeks, months, years were passing me by so quickly. I’m like, whoa, um, wow. Another year passed, you know, it just goes by so fast and yeah, I mean time, time can feel that way too, but you can really expand it out by reducing the behaviors that people do when may have hurry sickness. So, uh, first I wanna share with you some of the behaviors, uh, that are included with hurry sickness. So you might have hurry sickness if, and again, I’m not a doctor therapist, I’m not trying to give you medical advice right now.
Speaker 1: (05:16)
I’m just sharing with you my personal journey. And you can see if this resonates and you wanna do some more research around it or, you know, try out some of the cool, cool tools I’m gonna mention at the end. But if you have a continual rapid rate of thoughts, to-do lists concerns worries splitting through your mind. If you have disruption of sleep and ability to easily fall asleep or particularly waking up in the middle of, of the night with racing thoughts, which prevent sleep for a couple hours. That last one was. So me, like the amount of times in my life that I’ve woken up in the middle of the night, worrying about things. Oh my gosh. You know, for a time in my life that happened, you know, at least once a week, it doesn’t happen anymore or rarely happens maybe once or twice a year.
Speaker 1: (06:01)
But another one is tendency to either be thinking of future events or ruminating about past events. And here are a few more that I found extremely interesting because these are also things that, that are, that are venerated in American culture, especially I’d say like in capitalist work environments, they’re, they’re kind of like, yay, good job. Like this is the way we want you to be okay. But they’re also, they’re also a sign you might have hurry sickness. Uh, one of them is workaholism or just non-stop activity. You don’t know when to stop a or worse. You can’t stop you desire, accomplishment and accumulation. A lot of people might be like, well I’m not a workaholic. And I might be like, Hey, do you check your email for work? After you get home from work? Are you on your work email on the weekend? You know, I mean any of these signs to me are just, it’s a sign of nonstop activity.
Speaker 1: (07:01)
Can you, can you just sit and do nothing for a while and not feel bad about it or not worry about your to-do list? Emotional numbness is another one. I can’t, I I’m, I could count like so many times in my life where I’ve been told to be less emotional, be per professional, right? The whole work capitalist like mainstream work culture is built around being professional, keeping a stiff upper lip. Right? So one of the, one of the signs that you might have this hurry sickness is that you have emotional numbness. Another one is lack of care for your body. You’re not, you’re not getting your enough sleep. You’re not exercising enough. You’re not cooking food at home and enjoying eating it like , this is why the self care movement exists. I mean, how often there’s like all these mottos in our culture, you know, all these little slogans, I guess that are like, you know, work hard.
Speaker 1: (07:59)
I’ll play later. Like, you know, if you’re, if you work really hard, you know, then you’ll have success and then you can rest. Except it there’s like never that rest time, it’s always like work hard, work hard. There’s not a sense of like, let’s take a break now. And you know, after many, many, many years of people living this li living life or they’re not taking breaks, it really starts to be a detriment to people’s health. Another one is, um, also using escapist behavior. So it’s like a way of running away from your to-do list or the incessant drive to be doing things is to numb out, over eating with eating, drinking, binging, TV, binging, social media. And I wanna make caveat here. Like I think it’s totally fine to do all those things, right? It’s not like good or bad. Like only you will know if you were doing them to escape because you know, you’ll feel anxious going back to your regular life.
Speaker 1: (08:50)
Right. To me watching a little Netflix is not like an escape from my life. It’s just fun. And I don’t feel bad when I go back to doing something else there isn’t like a sense of anxiety or stress around it. So, you know, I don’t think those, like that’s bad. You have to really take everything I’m talking about and kind of run it through your filter and be like, Hmm, yes. I think I might have this. And it might be helpful to try out some of the tools Kathryn’s gonna suggest at the end and the last little thing that I’m gonna bring up that I think like at least, least in terms of my life was really like, oh my gosh, I really have this hurry sickness. The thing that really, uh, resonated with me was when you have hurry sickness, you have, you have the inability to really distinguish between when things are urgent and when they’re not.
Speaker 1: (09:39)
So you have a, you basically, everything’s not everything, but most everything, a lot of things are all identified as urgent or important and need to be done as soon as possible or done. Now when really they don’t need to be. But because we’re, we’re always rushing around on, we’re trying to get more and more and more done in less time. It’s like everything gets squashed into a smaller period. And so we end up taking things that re like really don’t need to be responded to right away, really don’t need to be responded to in a hurry. And we treat, we start treating them like they need to be responded to in a, one of the things I noticed about myself around this was even dealing with, um, my cell phone and emails and texts. Like these are not things typically. Now some guests who need to respond to sooner, but most of them there’s no hurry to respond, but I find myself like anytime I have like five or minutes here or there getting on my phone to be like, what do I need to do?
Speaker 1: (10:40)
I’m like, it was like a constant, like what’s the next to do thing? You know, I’m just like someone waiting to do to do things and treating everything. Like there was a hurry or a rush around it and not knowing when to distinguish that there really was no hurry, rush. I noticed this was driving in myself. I like always wanted to get some place as fast as I could. And I wasn’t speeding. I wasn’t doing road rage. You know, I was driving safe. Right. I was. But like, there was a desire in me to want to get to point from point a to B like reasonably fast, um, and not Ru and, and not, you know, be wasting time driving, you know, can anyone else resonate with that? , I’m like looking around, like, what’s the shortest lane to be in, right. I’m having these thoughts, why I’m driving and looking around.
Speaker 1: (11:27)
And, you know, part of it’s just being a safe driver too. But I noticed like, I just like, even when I didn’t have to be someplace, like by a certain time having that feeling of urgent, see even when, when I’m driving to that sort of place where I didn’t have to be there by a certain time. So this to me was also like a huge sign for me that I had this problem, which I didn’t, I guess, necessarily even see that I had before. Like I said, it was one of those aha moments for me where I was like, whoa, I’m, I’m really, I, I kind of have this problem. I really kind, kind of started, you know, coming into this about three years ago and starting to understand it more. And it’s still something I struggle with from time to time today. Like, I’ll take on too many commitments, you know, I’m like, whoa, that doesn’t feel good.
Speaker 1: (12:11)
I need to cut back on those. I need to say no to some things, cause I’m trying to get too many things done in a period of time where that is just not feasible to get that stump done without really, you know, raising my cortisol levels, stressing out my body, um, and putting myself in a state of unnatural being in a state of sickness. I wanna share a few other things that I found out from my research. I’ve read that hurry. Sickness can often be expressed as heart disease, burnout, and depression and Dr. Robert Holden who’s the author of success. Intelligent explains that we propel ourselves so fast that we often exceed the speed limit of intelligence and common sense. I, I loved this quote when I read it and it just so resonated with me. We’re trying to do so many things so fast without even questioning.
Speaker 1: (13:01)
If we need to be doing them fast without even questioning why we’re even doing them at all right. Other than we just think we need to accomplish and achieve more. And we exceed the NA the speed limit of intelligence in common sense. This is why I think this hurry sickness will be a big movement coming up because we’re going to be starting to become more aware that we’re kind of like sitting. We’re like surrounded by this hurry sickness, right? We’re gonna start to become more aware of it. And we’re gonna be noticing that it actually isn’t a, to our bodies to our health. And you know, as soon as you become aware of something, then you have the power to change. It it’s like that. David Foster Wallace speed, where there there’s like these two fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, morning boys, how’s the water.
Speaker 1: (13:56)
And the two young fish swim on for a bit. And then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, what the hell is water? And I feel like that’s what it was for this morning. This, uh, hurry sickness for me, it was like, someone told me, how’s that hurry sickness going for you, Kathryn. And I was like, what the hell is her sickness? But I’m like surrounded in it. It’s like engulfing me. And I don’t even realize I’m in it. I don’t even realize that I don’t really have clarification in my own life about what’s urgent. What’s not, I certainly don’t know why I’m tr I was trying to accomplish and achieve so much. Right. That was just something that I thought we were supposed to be doing. Even though, you know, at the time when I first started learning about this, my health was starting to really take a downturn.
Speaker 1: (14:49)
I was getting migraines. I had some autoimmune issues. Like I wasn’t, I was not feeling great. I wasn’t sleeping well at night. Right? I think that stuff can really start to build up year after year. If you’re like someone like me who was living in this hurry sickness, my pretty much my entire life. And it just started to slowly deteriorat on my body and also feel not feel very good. Uh, in terms of quality of life, there gets to a point where you can’t add another thing to to-do list. Like there’s no time. If you find yourself on your phone at 10 o’clock at night, still working. And if, if it’s not work, it’s working on your personal to-do list or something you need to achieve. And you do that over and over and over again for years is it starts to build up in your body and starts to create health pro problems.
Speaker 1: (15:37)
At least that’s what it did for me. I also thought this was really interesting. And this is why I think quite a few people are in the water. So to speak on this, they they’re deep in the water and they don’t even know it. A professor at the London BI in the school, professor Richard jolly found that 95% of the managers he studied, suffered from her sickness. 95% of these managers. That’s a big number. And I think it also goes to show that this sort of behavior is really rewarded in our culture. Sure. We’re taught that it’s, you know, a good thing, even though it co it has been shown to cause a number of health issues and it doesn’t help you be in the present moment. I, I think it decreases your quality of life. It makes time go really fast. For me, it makes me feel like outta control sometimes overwhelmed.
Speaker 1: (16:33)
And I just don’t think we were designed to go this fast. I don’t think our bodies, our speed of our intelligence, we, our bodies common sense are meant to do the amount of things that we, we often expect ourselves to do in this, uh, in this day and age, especially with the access with cell phones and emails and how fast people can reach us. It’s just, it’s really created this mess. And this is why, again, I think this is gonna be a big topic, at least in the next two or three, if not five years, about how to help people reduce, hurry sickness to, uh, promote happy wellbeing and just a better quality life. So without further ado, , I will share with you some tools and tips to help you. If you think you identify with some of the things I talked about with her sickness that have helped me over the years, uh, find more of that balance in my life and to also harness hurry sickness.
Speaker 1: (17:38)
Right? I actually think that’s an interesting thing. I sometimes some of these hurry sickness behaviors can be really helpful in certain parts of my life. Hmm. I know that sounds weird. But a lot of these qualities, uh, in hurry sickness like nonstop activity, I, I can’t even, I believe I’m gonna say this, but a emotional numbness sometimes, or I just kind of like being hyper focused on getting things done can help me. When I suddenly have an, a lot of extra projects for clients I’m doing, I do times deliverables for clients. So a little bit of like consulting work, where I will help them with some of the things in their business administratively to help them set up like plans or programs. And sometimes I have a lot of that stuff at once and I’ve taken on too much work, you know, I thought I had enough time and then something came up with my kids or whatever, and I can, um, go into this energy.
Speaker 1: (18:30)
But the trick is to know when I’m in it and to know when to leave it. So, um, I sometimes will go into what I call, hurry, sickness, energy, to get done a lot more stuff within a small period of time. And then I need to exit it. So the way that I, I consciously enter it and then, and then I also consciously exit it. So the way I exit it is I do, uh, reverse nostril breathing. If, you know, dunno what that is. You hold one side of your nose and you breathe in one side. Then you close that side and you go to the other side and you breathe out the other side, and then you breathe in that same side, close it, breathe out the other side and breathe in that side again. And you go back and forth like this for five minutes.
Speaker 1: (19:13)
I swear to God, it ships all the energy. Okay. So the tricks for when you sometimes do have a bunch of things you need to get done, and you wanna use some of the tools you learn from hurry sickness and, or, you know, you wanna use some of those tools while you’re at work, but you don’t wanna be in hurry sickness when you’re at home with your kids, right. Um, to that is a great tool to use, to transition from the space where you’re using hurry sickness and the space where you’re just gonna be present with your kids or your family. And you’re just gonna deeply connect in with them. And I find that sometimes that balance can feel really good in my body. I don’t feel like it exhausts me. Um, and I’m not using, I’m not in hurry sickness every day at work at whatsoever, but sometimes it does happen.
Speaker 1: (19:57)
And when you do get in those places, being aware that it’s happening one and two, to do some sort of breath work to kind of close the space of hurry sickness out that rushing around that tons to do in your to-do list and move into more of a state of the present moment that in this, you know, for the rest of the time, I’m gonna go cook myself a delicious meal. I’m gonna go enjoy that. I’m gonna eat it slowly. Right? I’m gonna talk slower. I’m going to walk a little bit more slower are some of the other tricks, definitely eating slowly, really enjoying your food, enjoying chewing it. That’s, um, that’s a tool you can use to read, reduce time urgency, but you know, really distinguishing between when, uh, hurry, having hurry sickness or this feeling of time, urgency is helpful or there’s real urgency in your life, right?
Speaker 1: (20:43)
And when there’s not real urgency, often, most emails I get, they’re not urgent whatsoever. Right? So I can like make a rule to myself that I’m gonna respond to my emails twice a week. On these days, it was like Tuesday or, and Thursday or something. Right. And even that’s like super urgent. That takes me less than two minutes or five minutes. I’m gonna get back to that. Everything else I wanna wait. And it’s just planned into my day and then make sure around those days, I’m not gonna overbook myself. Yeah. I often tell people don’t plan more than two big things for yourself a day, leave a lot of space for things to go wrong or things to be added to your day. I think that’s important if you’re trying to manifest something too, because if you make too many plans, you don’t leave space for the things to manifest and help you.
Speaker 1: (21:25)
So leaving space in your schedule, it doesn’t mean you’re not gonna potentially do things, but you don’t have to feel like a failure. If you don’t have time to do them, if something else comes up or you don’t have to do them at eight o’clock at night after your kids are in bed, because you didn’t get them done. Okay. Um, some other, just kind of fun tools or tricks to like, kind of remove some of this hurry sickness from your life drive. Like you don’t, you know, like you’re not in a rush to get someplace, you know, just go get in the longest line of traffic. get in the longest line at the grocery store, right? Oh my gosh. I always look for the shortest line cuz I wanna get out of there. That’s that’s normal speak, right? You two probably. Right? That’s the water we’re in.
Speaker 1: (22:10)
We’re always in a, I feel like we’re in a time crunch cuz we have to be off to doing something else, someplace else. We’d rather be someplace else. We’d rather be other than in the present moment. How can you enjoy getting into the longest line in the grocery store and how can you enjoy that experience at the grocery store in the longest line, right in the present moment in present awareness, right? These are just little tools that you can start to use to get more space in your life and to stop worrying about your to-do list. The more that you do this stuff, the more it will give you space to see what’s really, you know, what’s really urgent and what’s really not. And it will also give you space to say no to things when you don’t have time for them just reducing down the amount of things that you think you need to get done every day is gonna be super helpful.
Speaker 1: (22:58)
One last thing I highly suggest is just not checking your email or your text messages past a certain time at night. So just saying like having like an way message that just pops up at six o’clock and it could be like, I actually like some of these messages people have, but like I’m busy connecting with my family. I’ll get back to you in the morning. Something like that. Or I’m busy deeply, um, treating myself well, you know, having like an away message like that, that just automatically goes to people when they text you or email you pat a certain hour, I think is super delicious. And it’s great modeling for other people, uh, to see that you have these boundaries in your life and that even a device that demands urgency, I think like a cell phone it’s like answer me now. Right? um,
Speaker 2: (23:45)
That you do have control over turning that off and there is an addictive factor to it and by turning it off or just saying no, um, to it during those times, it actually will. I think really it has really helped me with reducing some of my stuff around hurry sickness and just enjoying the present moment. I, with my family, the time that I want to feel connected, I don’t wanna feel like when I’m at home with my kids, that I have to like be looking at my to-do list and checking my email and like doing the next thing. Right. My family life is not about achievements or accomplishments. It’s about connection. It’s about love. It’s about trust, right? Um, and so reminding myself that when I’m in that space, I’m gonna be in that energy and turning off the other things that might be pulling me back into the water, pulling me back into hurry sickness.
Speaker 2: (24:37)
So I really hope you enjoyed this podcast. Um, I’m super grateful. You’re here listening and always, you know it, if you think you have this, if you’re worried about this, um, please go talk to, you know, do your own research. See what resonates with you. If you like the tools I mentioned, go ahead and try ’em out. But certainly also go talk to your therapist, your psychologist, your doctor about this stuff. Um, cuz I’m none of those things and I always just want, what is the best for you? So thank you. Thank you. Thank you for listening. I’m so glad you’re here and I will talk to you next week. Bye.