Stuart Whatley of the Huffington Post headlines his 9/25/15 article called The Myth Of Busyness in this way: “We in the West aren’t as freed up as we should be, but we also aren’t as busy as we’re constantly told.” I found it interesting to read his detailed article on realities and fantasies about our busyness in the 21st century. I’ve been thinking for a long time about what makes some people completely unable to relax.
Busyness is often not what it appears on the surface. Sure – busyness can take many forms. Your mind might be filled with constant thoughts. You’re unable to say no so your calendar is crammed with obligation after obligation. Too many committee meetings and committee work. Or, perhaps, you find constant things that have to be done, which interfere with what you say you want or even prefer to do. This is often quite frustrating. But there is excuse after excuse about why it’s all very necessary. And why you can’t stop.
How Therapy Can Help If You’re Stuck in Busyness
My therapeutic task is to look for the hidden meaning in these kinds of behaviors and frustrations. And, I’ve found time after time that your busyness actually does serve a very needed purpose. But it’s not what you think it is. In many cases, you are filling up your mind or your time in order to run from something much more difficult. Loneliness. Sadness. Hopelessness. Or some longstanding emotional situation you have no idea how to work out. So, you fill up your mind or your time to block these feelings out. That seems, not consciously of course, like a better alternative.
No one can live with old, unresolved, painful, difficult feelings alone. A variety of mental maneuvers, like busyness, help manage them. The benefit of therapy is having a place and a person who understands. Someone to help you venture out of your busyness. In therapy, you can learn that the feelings you are trying to block can be worked out. They don’t have to be too much for you to feel.