The Speed of One’s Mind

I just read this study in HBR on the correlation between working long hours (+48 hours) and excessive drinking (+21 drinks for men, +14 for woman). All told, they found that working long hours increased the odds that one is a heavy drinker by 11%.

This doesn’t seem like that much, all things considered, but it got me thinking about the issue.

I know many people who work +48 hours a week. I know many people who drink +21 drinks a week. I also am close with a couple of alcoholics. While I am not an alcoholic, I sometimes worry about alcohol’s habit forming effects.

On a personal level, both working and drinking manipulate the speed of my mind. When I am “on” all day – meetings, emails, calls, writing, tweeting, etc. – my mind works at very high speeds as it is absorbs and analyzes information. Caffeine also accelerates my mental speed.

There are only a few ways I know of to slow my mind down.

In order of will power needed, I can: meditate, work out, or have a drink or two.

That’s about it.

Given that working speed my minds up, and that drinking slows my mind down, I’m open to the idea that working a lot increases my tendency to drink.

However, when I’m not working I also can get bored and or anxious, which surely can lead to drinking as well.

For me, I think the biggest variable just ends up being will power.

Medication and working out require more of it, but they are surely a healthier method of putting on the mental brakes.

One last thought: I’m also open to the idea that constantly speeding up and slowing down’s one mind isn’t optimal either.

Much to consider.

One thought on “The Speed of One’s Mind

  1. Ellen Wood

    Pretty timely. We have two Pilates reformer options. Bone is several blocks from work that Lauren tried this week and one is in uptown near dream cafe!!!

    September we are on it. Or even last week of August

    Hope you are having a great time with all your family!!!

    Ellen

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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