“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”–Viktor Frankl

Stress can spiral out of control when life is filled with busyness. Too many things to do and not enough time in the day seem s to be today’s mantra. Life seems to be about how much we can get done during the day, leading to over work and just not enough rest time. We have become obsessed with busyness and over obligation to tasks that may not hold value to what’s most important in your life. . What is this obsession with crossing things off list that hold little meaning in life?

By nature, humans are productive beings. After all, we wouldn’t work or populate the earth. Filling days with so many things to do can prevent us to live in the moment. It can be all too easy to become forward focused and preoccupied with getting things done. Recently, one of my clients underwent chemotherapy for cancer. Each time she came to visit she changed. “Things just look differently to me now,” she said.  Jennifer* began to talk about the things that mattered most to her in life. She now lives more in the present moment more each day.

Why do we race to the end when we have been given this gift of life?

One of the biggest challenges is the fact we are hardwired to protect ourselves. Fight or flight is a survival mechanism to keep us safe. Humans are ready to run or fight a perceived threat. Somewhere along the line we have become consumed with thinking we need something we don’t have. Our biggest challenge is living in the moment and seeing life in all its beauty. And, that we have everything we need in this moment.

Viktor Frankl talked about space in the above quote. So much time is spent squishing things to do into day calendars. What about creating that space to recharge your life? Let’s talk a little bit more about making space.

What matters most to you in your life? Maybe it’s spending more time with family or picking up hobbies that relaxed you. Begin to look truthfully where your time is spent. What you think you spend on work or other obligations might not be accurate. You have a choice where you spend your time. You have the power to ask for help. Then you can release the guilt of needing to be productive.

This is the gift of life’s dance. Understand that thoughts will come and go and the need to be productive is born within us. Use this tool to stop stress from spiraling out of control in your life.

12 thoughts on “Busyness: What to Do When Stress Spirals Out of Control”

  1. Thanks Lisa, I really needed to hear this today.  I love the Viktor Frankl quote, it's one that I've put a lot of thought into and find very powerful.  The challenge for me is that there's so much I want to do in life.  Even if I cross off all of the less than important things, my plate always seems full ~ due to my own choosing!

    1. I know what you mean about wanted to do so much in life. I started to see where goals were crossing each other and prioritizing what mattered most.It seemed to help!

  2. Your post reminds me a lot of when my honey and I go hiking. I used to want to plow ahead – with the goal being to put in as many miles as we could get in in a day. This led to arguments that my honey wasn't going 'fast enough', stress, and me getting injured feet because I was pushing so hard. I have since learned to slow down more and enjoy the journey. amazing how much more pleasurable hiking has become! – And you know what? We are putting in almost as many miles as before – maybe even more if you count me not having to stop so much because I'm injured.

  3. My life has been a whirlwind since 2012 began! I am choosing to play catch up now so some very busy days ahead for me. I will take an hour a day to just be though. Great tips as always!

    1. Thanks, Anita. 2012 has been a bit life changing for you. You are creating such an incredible place for women. Thank you!

  4. I am feeling your vibe on this post. This last year has been about cleaning the schedule so I can breathe…I feel like I am coming out of survival mode, thanks for this explanation. It makes sense

  5. Lisa,
    Thanks so much for this timely post! I have so much going on in my life at the moment and I am trying sooo hard to keep myself calm and "breathe" thanks for the wise words!

  6. Wonderful post, Lisa! I love when you wrote, "What about creating that space to recharge your life?" it is so important to take time to just let ourselves 'Be.' I find when I do this and recharge myself that I am more creative and inspired, as well as more focused. Thanks, for sharing your great words of wisdom 😉

    1. Lisa Birnesser

      Thank you, Susan. That space is so important when recharging your batteries. Thanks or being here!

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