Staying Busy, Avoiding Feelings?

by Judy Koven

The Sunday July 27 New York Times had a provocative Opinion pages essay, “No Time to Think”.

According to the piece, we stay frenetically busy in part to avoid introspection, and when we have a quiet moment, “out comes the mobile device”. It also mentions this spot-on riff by Louis C.K. on YouTube about the “not-good feeling” that we desperately stay busy and distracted to avoid experiencing:

 

The article quotes mental health professionals who observe that we give more power to negative feelings by suppressing them. “The constant cognitive strain of evading emotions underlies a range of psychological troubles…not to mention a range of addictions… [and] is also associated with various somatic problems….” It concludes with the comment that being awash in busyness may keep feelings at bay but may also “limit your ability to be overcome with joy”.