“Being busy is the latest middle-class status symbol.” -Kathryn Kozlowski

We are all becoming increasingly aware of health consciousness.

We know how to eat healthy foods, the importance of exercise, and avoiding toxic substances.

There is one factor that compromises our health and is so common that almost all of us are exposed to it every day.

The worrisome thing is that it is seen as a normal part of living and is not recognized as a threat to our wellbeing.

I am talking about time-pressure.

We experience this when we have too much to do. It also occurs when we are on a tight schedule, and always have to “hurry.”

The negative implications from time-pressure are many.

It contributes to stress and anxiety. This affects our physical health, but because it makes us tense and edgy, it also affects our relationships.

This can create additional layers of stress to an already overwhelmed system.

It can also contribute to poor eating habits as there is not time to prepare nutritious meals.

Mothers often eat standing up, and workers may eat at their desks.

This does not allow one to truly enjoy the meal, or to digest it properly.

Finally, if time-pressure is a factor in our lives, there is little, if any, real relaxation.

That yoga class is great, but if you have rushed around all day before you get there, and then rush home to do ten more things before bed, what have you really accomplished?

Our culture currently places a higher value on multi-tasking and getting a lot done, than it does on health and quality of life.

In some European countries, everything closes down for a couple of hours in the afternoon so people can go home and rest, or have a leisurely lunch with friends.

Since our culture is not likely to change anytime soon, it is up to each one of us to put the brakes on this “race” to which we subject ourselves and our children.

Slow it down. Life goes by fast enough as it is.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning psychotherapist.