Stress & Multitasking in our Modern World

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Stress is a common topic these days and can be to blame for many of life’s issues.  Whether directly or indirectly, via a domino effect, stress-related issues now accounts for 75 - 90% of doctors visits.  

I can attest that most, if not all, patients I treat have some degree of “stress” impacting them on a daily basis that influences their restorative/recovery process.

STRESS IS NATURAL, NORMAL, & GOOD

Believe it or not stress is natural and good.  The fact that you are stressed in our modern environment means you are normal.  Some main functions of stress are;

  • regulates blood pressure

  • increases blood sugar (glucose)

  • surpress the immune system

All of which are great in a “fight or flight response”.  The body focuses primarily on immediate survival.  

"In times of high stress the body sacrifices the future to save the present. Knowing that if it can just survive the present it can recover down the line when it finds a safe environment."

NO SAFE ENVIRONMENT IN OUR MODERN WORLD

The problem in our modern world is that our body is unable to find a safe environment.  Constant multitasking puts the brain in a constant state of alertness.  Worst of all, we typically multitask  while seated checking email at work or on our phone on the couch.  What were once restful, recovery, relaxed environments have become a stressful act.

multitasking

MULTITASKING

Recent research has shed some light on current multitasking;

  • Adults IQ were tested while multitasking

    • Results showed a 15 point drop putting them at the IQ of an 8-year-old child

  • More primitive acts like eating & walking are less cognitively taxing and easier to multitask

  • Consuming media or using technology require more focus and less likely to be performed well while multitasking

  • Average person interrupts their focus to check their email 15 times a day

  • Average person interrupts their focus to check their phone 46 times a day

KEY TO SURVIVAL

Single-tasking is the key.  Meditation or mindfulness is talked about a lot these days.  Some are skeptical, but did you know that most consider listening to music as “mindfulness”.  If you think about it, meditation and mindfulness are acts of single-tasking, focusing on 1 thing at a time.

Try getting in the habit of spending 15 minutes of single-tasking each day.

  • read a book

  • listen to music

  • watch a show

  • go for a walk or run

  • exercise

  • meditate

The only catch is you MUST do this without being distracted by anything else.  15 minutes a day can drastically change how healthy you feel overall & speed up your restorative rate.

Good Luck, I’m always here for tips!!!

Dr. Jeff