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Emotional Conflicts Fuel Concern About Not Having Enough Time

Emotional Conflicts Fuel Concern About Not Having Enough Time

A new study suggests that while many of us constantly feel pressed for time, the stress really has very little to do with time itself.

“Beyond the number of activities actually competing for their time, emotional conflict between activities makes consumers feel that they have even less time,” write authors Jordan Etkin (Duke University), Ioannis Evangelidis (Erasmus University), and Jennifer Aaker (Stanford University).

“Emotions such as guilt about where time is being spent or fear over loss of income both generate stress, and make a person feel more pressed for time than they actually are.”

The study has been published in the Journal of Marketing Research.

For the study participants were asked to list tasks that took a certain amount of time, and to then envision completing these tasks.

Participants then imagined that tasks were in conflict with one another. In some cases the tasks actually competed for time, but in others, they were felt to be in competition for emotional or financial reasons only.

When participants thought certain activities were in conflict with one another, they felt even more pressed for time due to a feeling of increased anxiety over the conflict.

This anxiety increased regardless of whether the conflict was physical, or simply emotional.

The authors identify two simple strategies to help people reduce false feelings of being pressed for time.

The approaches include slow breathing, and focusing strong feelings of stress into more productive high-energy emotions such as excitement.

Both techniques were successful in making participants feel that they weren’t as pressed for time as they had first feared.

“Feeling pressed for time impacts how consumers spend time, and how much they are willing to pay to save it.

From a consumer standpoint, feeling pressed for time can have many harmful consequences such as poorer health, trouble sleeping, and depression.

By pausing to breathe or envision the source of stress in a more positive light, people can enjoy the time they actually have in a healthier and happier way,” conclude the authors.

Source: American Marketing Association/Eurekalert

Emotional Conflicts Fuel Concern About Not Having Enough Time

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Emotional Conflicts Fuel Concern About Not Having Enough Time. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 19, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2015/02/26/emotional-conflicts-fuel-concern-of-not-having-enough-time/81685.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.