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Multitasking: Is it Making You a Nervous Wreck?

Women are more likely to multitask than men and often seem to take pride in their ability to get several things done at once.  Unfortunately, multitasking can make people extremely nervous, as they fret about a long list of errands, chores, and other responsibilities waiting to be checked off a never-ending list.  It is simply impossible to get everything done – something is bound to fall through the cracks or slip your mind completely, which is upsetting when you are trying so hard to keep it all together.  

In an article on NPR, neuroscientist Earl Miller states that "People can't multitask very well, and when people say they can, they're deluding themselves.  The brain is very good at deluding itself."  Instead of multitasking, what we are really doing is switching very quickly among tasks, going from one thing to the next, and perhaps back again.  Russell Poldrack,  a psychology professor at the University of California in Los Angeles, discovered that “multitasking adversely affects how you learn. Even if you learn while multitasking, that learning is less flexible and more specialized, so you cannot retrieve the information as easily.”

Feeling Drained?

Stress caused by toxins, noise, irritable people, and other factors has weakened our ability to carry on under these tense and unhappy circumstances.  Perhaps if we as a human race were stronger, we could battle the stressful conditions continuously, beating a path in our struggle toward perfection. 

One remedy for feeling drained, overwhelmed, or just plain exhausted is to let go of the things – even momentarily – that cause the biggest strain in your life.  The cell phone that plays a different tune for each of your friends and loudly – and repeatedly – signals that a voice mail, text message, or email is waiting?  Turn it off during dinner, while relaxing with a book, or enjoying an afternoon with your family. 

The computer can also be a distraction, beckoning you to answer just one more email or check one last account before you put the kids to bed.  Shut it down completely and focus on one task at a time.  Limit the amount of time that your children spend using electronic equipment, like cell phones, computers, televisions, and gaming devices.   Social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have many of us spread thin, as we cultivate and maintain online friendships. 

 

Take a day off from the ceaseless activity of the internet and meet up with a friend or relative for a real, live conversation.

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Have you considered that there is often a thyroid abnormality in the genetic material of people who have a stressful home life?  This includes a family history of rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, diabetes, migraines, and various auto-immune conditions.  If you fall into this category, you may want to test your hormone levels (safely and effectively in your own home) to determine if an imbalance is the cause of your frayed nerves, beyond the tension and stress caused by excessive multitasking.

 

Jennifer Cebulak,

Research Editor

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The Canary Club is an educational advisory group with a team of medical advisors headed by Richard Shames, M.D.