“in 1990, 49 per cent of Europeans felt their work schedule was too strenuous. By 2000, that had increased to 60 per cent – and those who felt themselves to be rushed were almost twice as likely to complain of classic stress disorders, such as back pain, or tight shoulders and necks.”
Robert Colvile, The Great Acceleration – How the World is Getting Faster, Faster, (2016)
A study was conducted in the early 1990s of 31 countries and then repeated again with the same countries in 2006 to measure the pace of life. What psychologists found was that the pace in 2006 had gone up by 10%. World wide, people were covering the same stretch of ground on the street in 10% less time.
So you are not imagining it when you feel like people are running around faster than ever before. It is actually happening. And more so in the more advanced and industrialised countries.
This type of speed is often good if it helps us get more done in less time, and it is tied into technology advancements. But when we get caught up in it and cannot switch off regularly, is when the body begins to feel the type of stress that can lead to problems. Problems personally and problems with others.
Psychologist Stephanie Brown says ‘for many people, their relationship to technology and speed has become more important than, or even replaced, human relationships.’
A body mindfulness practice can help bring our stress levels back into balance. So you can enjoy the benefits of the speed, (getting more done in less time,) but also enjoy the ability to switch off by choice without getting trapped in that high revved up state.