Mind & Body

Break Free from "Hurry Disease"

Impatience and high-speed multitasking can lead to hypertension and heart disease. Here are 7 slow-down strategies.

Break Free from "Hurry Disease"
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4. Take off your watch. "People hurry up when they see a clock, which is why stores don't have clocks--they want us to linger," says Honore, who experiences less anxiety since he unstrapped his own watch. Because there are clocks everywhere--in cars and on cellphones and computers--he's still punctual, but no longer feels like a slave to time. Test this yourself by going "watch-free" on evenings and weekends.
5. Listen to relaxing music. "Your body synchronizes to the rhythms around you," says psychologist Sharon Heller, Ph.D., author of Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight. Look for music that's paced to a relaxed heartbeat, about 60 beats per minute.
6. Resist road rage. "See every traffic jam as a meditation assignment," Pearsall advises. There are few better opportunities to practice positive thinking and forgiveness or perform your deep-breathing exercises.
7. Find your center. Techniques such as meditation and yoga allow you to access patience. "Practices that bring you into stillness and quiet turn off the stress response," says Peg Bairn, N.P., director of training at the Mind-Body Medical Institute, and an associate in medicine at Harvard Medical School. "They help you recharge your batteries and come back into alignment with who you really are."

Take It Slow
IF ENOUGH OF US endeavor to become more tortoise-minded and less hare-brained, we might find that slow and steady does win the race. "People are resisting the pressure to do it all in a hurry, and they're enjoying richer, fuller lives," says Honore. What's more, the slow-it-down movement is not about unplugging the Internet or giving up jet travel. "The aim is to do everything at the right speed," notes Honore. "Sometimes fast, sometimes slow, sometimes in between."

Rather than compromising performance, a healthier pace lets us all do better work. "People who feel in control of their time are more relaxed, creative, and productive," Honore says. "Slowing down means taking the time to get the most out of life."