Slow Down - You Move Too Fast


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Slow Down You Move Too Fast By R. Murali Krishna, M.D.
R. Murali Krishna, MD, DLFAPA, noted and well respected Oklahoma City psychiatrist, has recently published his first book, VIBRANT: To Heal and Be Whole - From India to Oklahoma City which he coauthored with Kelly Dyer Fry, president of news at OPUBCO. For more information visit

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Slow Down - You Move Too Fast

  1. 1. Dr. R. Murali Krishna, M.D. President and COO, INTEGRIS Mental Health and James L. Hall, Jr. Center for Mind, Body and Spirit Slow Down You Move Too Fast
  2. 2. Away from work, you’re always on the run, delivering children to appointments, doing grocery shopping, taking care of household chores. At work, deadlines are crashing down upon you. The phone won’t stop ringing, and each call brings still more things to be done. You are overloaded and overwhelmed. In response, you race through meals and rush to appointments. When forced to wait in lines of traffic on the highway or in lines of people at a store or the bank, you are inpatient to the point of anger. You feel that no matter how fast you go, it’s not fast enough. If this describes your life, you may have what medical researchers are beginning to refer to as “time urgency.” Time urgency, along with hostility, is typically a component of the hard-driving type A personality. You don’t have to be type A, though, to have time urgency. If you answered yes to any of these, you may have time urgency. It's not a healthy condition to have. Do you dislike waiting or feel impatient with the rate at which many things take place? Do you find it difficult to linger at the table after eating? Do you regularly do more than one thing at a time? Do you suffer from “racing mind” and experience disturbances in your sleep? Do you feel a chronic sense of time pressure? Have you lost interest in activities away from your job? Do you measure yourself by quantitative accomplishments? Do you have difficulty accumulating pleasant memories? Do you have a deep-seated need to be on time, or conversely, are you always late? So how can you know if you’ve got it? Take a deep breath and ask yourself these questions: 1. “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” —Mahatma Gandhi
  3. 3. A study conducted at the University of California at San Francisco Mount Zion Medical Center looked at 32 patients with heart disease. Thirteen of those patients also exhibited symptoms and signs of time urgency and hostility, and often experienced episodes of decreased supply of blood to the heart muscle. These episodes are often a precursor to a heart attack. Beyond heart problems, the stress felt by people with time urgency can also cause muscle pains, headaches, high blood pressure, irritable bowels, insomnia, phobias, depression and anxiety. Your immune system may be weakened as well. What can you do about it? In the Mount Zion study noted above, 10 of 13 patients with time urgency and hostility received counseling for 14 months. They were encouraged to change elements of their belief systems, and they did exercises intended to modify their sense of time urgency. After counseling, the intensity of time urgency of the 10 counseled patients dropped 53 percent, and the frequency of episodes of decreased blood supply to the heart declined from 6.6 to 3.1 every 24 hours. The frequency of such episodes in the three uncounseled patients did not change. The finding that counseling can help people with time urgency is consistent with other findings on the value of stress management in combating illness. For instance, a study at the University of California at Los Angeles looked at people recovering from melanoma surgery. Those provided education on stress management and coping skills plus an hour and a half of counseling each week for six weeks had almost half the rate of cancer recurrence and a third fewer deaths than other melanoma patients in the next five-year period that followed. Research conducted at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center on a group of patients with psoriasis found that the skin of patients who received relaxation training along with standard phototherapy cleared more quickly that did the skin of patients receiving only the standard treatment. A study conducted at the University of California
  4. 4. Be objective about your life Time urgency causes us to lose objectivity about our lives. Moms and dads who are running themselves ragged taking children to soccer games, piano lessons and gymnastics practice can easily lose sight of their values. Stop and determine why you are doing what you are doing and what steps you need to take to reach your goals. Take responsibility for your choices Set priorities Drop the idea that everything must get done. Choose a small number of things to do, from accomplishing specific on-the-job tasks to more broadscale goals such as nurturing relationships with your spouse and children. Having set those priorities, act decisively in pursuing them. Pursue meaningful relationships with family, friends and colleagues take place on the fly. Ultimately, though, we need to connect with people on a deeper level. True intimacy replenishes our souls. All too infrequently in our busy lives we don’t make time to nurture relationships. Conversations This is not to suggest that if you have time urgency, you need counseling. God has given every human being ever born the same 24 hours each day. What you do with yours is your choice. Every second of the day you make choices about what to do a how to your spend time. Own the decisions you have made. What should you do, then? This is not to suggest that if you have time urgency, you need counseling.
  5. 5. 1. Seek oneness. Most of us have experienced a magical moment in which everything seemed perfect. You may have had that moment while praying to your creator, or when filling your lungs with fresh air while looking at rolling hills carpeted in a forest of green pine. You may have felt it while holding a sleeping newborn, or when you yourself were held in a warm embrace by someone who loves you. You may have felt it when listening to music, creating a work of art, laboring on a project your truly believe in or finishing your morning run. These are moments of oneness with creation, times when every cell in your body resonates with a sense of rightness, when every fiber of your being says life is good. These moments restore us spiritually and recharge us emotionally. They also do wonders for us physically, reinvigorating and replenishing our immune system and making us feel more vital and alive. “From such moments, we leave with our spirits refreshed, and ... move back into the traffic of our daily rounds with the peace of the Eternal in our step,” said theologian Howard Thurman. In this century, we’ve seen our life spans almost double, from an average life expectancy of 49 years for someone born in 1900 to about 80 years for someone born this year. But with twice as much life to live, we’re living it a pace considerably greater than twice as fast. Those who came before us had an ability to savor life. For the sake of our health, we need to learn to do the same. This is not to suggest that if you have time urgency, you need counseling.
  6. 6. About the Author R. Murali Krishna, MD, DLFAPA is a psychiatric expert and pioneer in mind, body, spirit connection. His study of the brain has given him insight to the why of mental health and the how of living a healthy, vibrant life. Dr. Krishna’s mental health knowledge and experience is valuable and unique not only because of his extensive study and research of brain function, but also because of his true empathy. He has recently published his first book, VIBRANT: To Heal and Be Whole From India to Oklahoma City which he coauthored with Kelly Dyer Fry, president of news at OPUBCO. R. Murali Krishna, MD, DLFAPA Co-Founder & President, James L. Hall, Jr Center for Mind, Body and Spirit President & COO, INTEGRIS Mental Health President, Oklahoma State Board of Health Founding President, Health Alliance for the Uninsured Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Univ. of OK Health Sciences Center About the Book Dr. Krishna has recently published his first book, VIBRANT: To Heal and Be Whole From India to Oklahoma City which he coauthored with Kelly Dyer Fry, president of news at OPUBCO. Dr. Krishna, an inspiring and engaging speaker, educates his audiences on the latest science in mental health and the healing power of the mind, body, spirit medicine connection. He is often interviewed by television and print news organizations for his expert opinion on mental and emotional health issues. For more information visit Anxiety Trauma Sleep dysfunction Stress Obesity Emotional dysfunction Depression Addiction In this book Dr. Krishna reveals the secrets to living a vibrant life while overcoming: Substance abuse Loss Anger Unresolved issues Relationship stress Mental illness Alcoholism In this book, Dr. Krishna shares his insights on human resilience and the power of living a vibrant life. He draws upon his own childhood experiences in India; coming to Oklahoma, his passion for helping people understand the importance of a mind, body, spirit connection; and his efforts to help people move forward following the tragic 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.