Get Real With The English Sisters - Mind Health Anxiety

Taking Back Control: Embracing Delayed Gratification in a World of Constant Connectivity

February 07, 2024 The English Sisters - Violeta & Jutka Zuggo Episode 104
Get Real With The English Sisters - Mind Health Anxiety
Taking Back Control: Embracing Delayed Gratification in a World of Constant Connectivity
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever feel like you're a slave to the never-ending pings of your phone, each one screaming for your immediate attention? We've all been there, and in this heartfelt discussion, we share our own journey towards setting boundaries that protect our peace and sanity.  
We dissect the corrosive culture of immediacy that's permeating our work and personal lives. Together, we lay bare the stress of constant connectivity and offer you tangible steps to ease that anxiety. By embracing strategies such as leading by example and creating firm boundaries, this episode promises to hand you back control over your time and your life.

As the conversation unfolds, we unwrap the sweet gift of delayed gratification, illustrating its benefits with personal anecdotes and scientific insights. You'll learn how to apply the 80-20 rule to manage your diet, and we'll discuss the anticipation of weekend treats as a means for resisting immediate cravings. We also ponder whether our collective patience has evaporated with the rise of instant messaging and if reclaiming the nights from technology could restore our sense of fulfillment. Sending out positivity like confetti, this episode is an invitation to slow down, savor the waiting, and join us in reconsidering the pace at which we live our lives.

Hypnotherapy coaching sessions can help if you are struggling with anxiety.  Please email us at englishsisters@gmail.com if you would like help with an issue, mentioning this episode of our podcast for a special discounted rate. We work with clients worldwide over Zoom or Skype. Buy our Book Stress Free in Three Minutes available on Amazon and Kindle, to help support our work. Thank you!

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Thank you!
Love and smiles from The English Sisters.

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Speaker 1:

the culture of wanting everything immediately, immediately, having it all straight away, yeah, and how we can avoid this culture of immediacy. That's what we're going to be chatting about today, isn't it Exactly in this week's episode of Get Real With the English Sisters? Get ready to join? I want it now, yeah, I want it now and I want it right away. Click, click, yeah, so easy nowadays, isn't it? And it can get so stressful as well, can't it so stressful? I mean, how can we avoid this culture of wanting? I mean, certainly certainly the iPhones and other phones in general, smartphones, email, everything does make us have a better life, it does. But it also does contribute to this culture, especially in the workplace. It's so immediate now, isn't it? Yeah, you can receive emails at any time, and it's often your senior. You know the people in a senior position. They can ask you to do things literally any time. What's up? Email, they contact you.

Speaker 1:

Yes, a colleague of mine was telling us it's a bit of a nightmare, really. A colleague of ours was telling us that on Saturday night they were out with their friends and they got a lot of emails from their boss. There you go, which I don't think their boss was intending for them to deal with them because it was a weekend. But just seeing them and reading them made them really feel really anxious and nervous, of course, and it stopped the flow of, you know, the lovely evening they were having. Yeah, it does. I think it's probably okay if you are the boss and you do just say, look, I'll send these emails, as long as there's a clear guideline with your employees that they know that even if you send an email, they do not expect you to answer until it's Monday morning, when it's a work day. If Monday morning is your work day, I think that has to be very clear, otherwise there is a lot of stress. Well, yeah, I think if your boss tells you, look, I'm going to send emails because that's when I get a chance, yeah, that's when I work, or whatever. But you know, don't, I don't expect you to please do silence me at the weekend or whatever. You know, just, I don't expect you to answer yeah, because if the workers are unsure about their deadlines, that's when the stress can really build up. I think so, because there is no certainty. You're not sure. Does he expect me to get it done? Does she want me to do this now? Yeah, am I supposed to do this right now? Am I supposed to work all weekend now? Yeah, I mean, how the hell do they expect me? And that's what all the stress goes in, you know. But even just thinking about work is just stress. It's awful, really, because it puts it.

Speaker 1:

Do you remember what they used to say? They used to say when you come home from work, you know, take your work clothes off and change and leave the day behind you and you know, just relax for the evening. Oh, yes, that used to be the olden days. Well, this is, you can never really take your work clothes off because you can, but it's really hard nowadays. That's like what doctors were saying.

Speaker 1:

Patients also have very often they've got their whats up and so they can actually contact a doctor at any time and it's up to the doctor to say, okay, I'm not going to answer that message, or I will answer that message, depending on the immediacy. But the doctor still receives the message, probably, unless he's silences and chooses not to see it. Yeah, and they say I've like two phones and they keep one in the cupboard. Yeah, they haven't got any urgent patience. Yeah, yeah, but it is. Obviously. We know that doctors, and that is probably not a very good example I'm giving. Really. Well, I think it is because before, say, your doctor, you'd be able to phone them. It's true, you would be able to phone your if you had a problem in the night. They usually was always a number that you could call yeah, home number, I don't know, it was it. Maybe for the patient they might think twice about calling their doctor because it's like it was so stark. You know it's a phone call, you know you're going to wake your doctor up in the middle of the night and someone else might. Is it really that serious? Do I really need this? Or can I deal with this in a different way? Just go to the yellow or something? Yeah, not, not. Whereas now, with what's up it just, oh, I just write a little message and see what happened, see what they say, see if they answer me, that is true. And then it also comes. It also comes down to the doctor kind of knowing his patients and knowing which ones cry wolf and which ones don't. I guess, and when, do you know? Sometimes they cry wolf, but then it really is an emergency. So it's very difficult I think.

Speaker 1:

I think, as a manager, as a team leader, it's important to sort of create a role model for your employees so that you too are protected. So if an employee does write to you at that odd hour, you simply don't answer. So you're also creating this kind of like model that they can follow on as well. You mean lead by example. Yeah, lead by example, creating a model of behavior that they can sort of absorb unconsciously and say well, you know they don't answer after whatever 5pm, 6pm, they don't answer, but I'll get an answer the next day.

Speaker 1:

You kind of train, yeah, I think, the immediacy as well, wanting everything immediately. Also, you know it can filter into all areas of our lives. Oh, yes, I mean we were just talking about the workplace. It can be any area, absolutely. It can be like that instant gratification as well, reaching out for that hot dog instead of protein. I immediately want to feel exomex or something Satisfied, like something that gives me pleasure immediately. Yeah, that dopamine hit. Yeah, so that's obviously not. Obviously, I mean, it could might not be, but it could well be something that's not going to be good for your body in the longer run and you know it's not a healthy choice. But you want it and you get it immediately. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

So do you think the more you delay this instant gratification, do you think you could train yourself to delay it? I think you can. I think it's a bit like with the. You know you have to be your own role model. You know like the manager who doesn't answer the employees. I think you have to do the same with your brain. You have to say, okay, I'm going to sort of like manage my own brain this way and learn what is it. Do I really need this instant gratification now? Do I really need this, whatever it is, and manage it? I think, become aware of it. I think that is the key to become aware that you're like pursuing instant gratification, because maybe you could. You could take a few minutes in your day to write down where, where, what areas do I pursue instant gratification more? Most on, so do I. For instance, is my weakness like shopping online and I'm going to want everything I see that I've been advertised to in the last day? Or is is my weakness wanting to like eat something that's unhealthy for me and I've fat, high carbs or whatever, something that you know you don't want to be eating right now? Or is it some abusive substance as well? Yeah, definitely, it could be in all realms of your life. It could be everywhere, anywhere and everywhere that you find that you are going towards instant gratification. Thank you, ben.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they did that famous marshmallow test, didn't they? Yeah, that was both famous Years ago. Yeah, actually did reveal that the kids that you know that waited longer seemed to be the higher achievers in life, wasn't it? Yes, was it something like that? Yeah, they were the happiest as well, I think. I'm not sure about that, but I remember in the test they put these marshmallows and they told these toddlers you wait to, I probably would have eaten it.

Speaker 1:

I don't think I would have. No, I don't think I might not of because I might have been scared of the grown-ups, because the grown-ups tell the little babies do not, no. But they say you can eat one If you eat. No, the test is if you eat. Look, I'm going to give you this marshmallow. I'm going to go out the room when I come back. If you haven't eaten it, I'm going to give you another one, so you'll have two to eat. Oh, so the kids are old enough to understand. They're going to get two or five or something. Oh, wow, that does sound like a good deal.

Speaker 1:

I probably would have waited, but no, stiff things. They waited More than half, I think. I just said they can't resist. No, they can't resist, and this test revealed that they're not willing. They haven't learnt to wait for things. Wait for the gratification and you'd get more pleasure in the end. It's a bit like that in life as well If you wait for something, you get more pleasure in the end, and I think a trick is also is to reward yourself for waiting. That's a good idea, so you get gratification for waiting. Yeah, I was good.

Speaker 1:

It's a bit like the 80-20 diet plan, isn't it? You have 20% of what you really like in an 80, maybe throughout the day or at the weekend or something. But how could we actually put this into practice, like instant gratification, like, for example, well, you could say maybe you say if you were walking along and we went to a coffee shop and you saw a cake or something and we saw lovely cakes here, especially here in Italy, that have these gorgeous buns and cakes and things, and you think, is it time for me to have a cake now? I've seen it now and I want it, but do I actually really need it or want it. Or maybe if I come back at the weekend and I can have the cake then, when I know, it's okay to have a cake if you only want one cake a week.

Speaker 1:

So, if you're not supposed to have too many cakes in one day, yeah, you've got problems with that. If you haven't and you want cake, there's no reason why you can't eat it. As far as Like sugar or something, yeah, it's part of a balanced diet. But, for instance, personally, I shouldn't really be eating cakes every day. No, no, me neither. So, no, you want to keep it into check, at least not these lovely big buns that you see at the shop. No, like before. You always used to have one, didn't we? No-transcript, when we were a lot younger. Yeah, yeah. Then you get to certain age when they say, hey, watch out, watch out for your blood sugar, your cholesterol, these things, yeah, your blood pressure, all of it. You're not really yet. You're right, I really recommended that you have these.

Speaker 1:

So you would say, don't get it every day when you see it every day. So just look at it. You can look at it and say, okay, I appreciate that, I've seen you and you look absolutely delicious. Yeah, but I'm not going to eat you today and I'll eat you at the weekend. So that's sort of like a delayed specification. Yes, and then you, throughout the week you can think, mmm, at the weekend I'm going to eat that lovely cake. Yeah, I do that. I do that because every day, you know, with the team Normally we go into the bar and we see these cakes and everything. I mean not all the time. I do get it. Sometimes I might have half. Well, that's another way of sharing. Yeah, that's a bit like the 80s, 20s. We'll share it a little bit.

Speaker 1:

But then I do think about the weekend, that it can be a bit more like a bit indulgent, especially as far as sweets and treats are involved, exactly, but I mean it can be like that with anything that you think you really want. Yeah, you can moderate it and say, no, I'm not going to have that right now because I know it's not good for me and I'm going to get the gratification at a later date. And also, you'll get twice the gratification because you're going to be so happy with yourself and feel really good, because half the time if you eat the cake and afterwards you say, oh god, I should have eaten that. Oh no, why did I eat that? Oh, I should have had it. So you're not even feeling good. So you're not even feeling good. Yes, so you get this happiness kind of like a reward. You say, no, I didn't eat it, like what you were saying, and that's like good. Obviously, this is for people that have a healthy relationship with food and they're not like eating too little or eating too little, because obviously, if you have we don't want to be recommending this to people that are underweight and that should be eating healthily and properly then you should definitely eat your cake and be happy about it. Yeah, definitely.

Speaker 1:

Well, yes, I mean, I was just reading about how the instant messaging tools reinforce this kind of culture. Yeah, we've already said that, but it does, doesn't it? Because how long did you have to wait for a letter before Goodness me, oh, for your exam results? How long did you have to wait? I mean to tell you the truth, like this morning I wrote to the eye doctor because I got this issue with my eyes, and he answered. I was like waiting for him to answer me, like literally, and he did. He answered me within seconds of the messaging. So I mean, so you didn't even have to wait till this afternoon or anything. No, I could have put the phone down and said okay, he'll answer me when he can. He's an important surgeon, he's busy, but he answered me literally within seconds.

Speaker 1:

You know, I'm thinking it is quite invasive and I'm guilty of doing it myself, and the thing is that we're all used to this and we're used to it. Yeah, and also with the internet and everything. If it goes down for a few minutes, you know we go nuts, don't we? Yeah, so we are used to having like this constant gratification all the time. Yeah, here it says it's actually unnecessary to always communicate live, you know, but each person can respond when it suits them best at set times of the day. In this way, we can ensure that there are time slots without interruptions. I suppose you need to do that as well, don't you? You need to have interruptions. Well, that's a problem in a lot of you know workplaces today, that there's too many interruptions, absolutely, and you can't get your work done. No, no, no, too many people want immediate responses. Yikes, yeah, we've got to get it. We've got to become aware of this.

Speaker 1:

I think it's gone from being that we had to be so patient, like waiting for a bus for hours. Gosh, it did build resilience though, didn't it? It did? I know it's. Everything used to take such a long time, such a long time. I mean I remember when, the first you know, when they would develop the cameras, the photos, when they said it would be developed in one hour, we would think, yay, one hour, that's so fast. Yet nowadays that can seem like an eternity. You think, what I have? What am I get my photos developed? Does it really do I have to wait a whole hour for it? Exactly, the photos, get the photos developed. Oh, actually, I watched a film the other day where they were. It was a series where they had to go and get their picture developed and they said quick service, one hour. And they're going one hour. That's what I mean. Yeah, yeah, that's exactly. The young kids are saying that's not quick, they're so slow. I mean, we used to have to wait a week and then it became an hour.

Speaker 1:

Do you think that this might make us live longer, though? In somehow like having everything so fast? It sort of like gives you more? No, I think it gives you more. Or it gives you less. No, I think it gives you less life in the end. But you can do so many more things. Yeah, but you think about it. Well, if you use it wisely, it's to your advantage, but if you don't which most of us don't it's not to our advantage. Because you would think, if you can't get things done so much faster and more efficient today, then surely we would have so much time to be more creative, more we could be inventing these brilliant instruments and doing all kinds of things. I suppose some of us are, but some of us are, some of us are mere humans. A lot of them we end up wasting time, we end up dragging ourselves on this instant dopamine hit of this instant gratification, and we're dragging our brains out and not being able to actually use them for creativity Because we're always looking for the next thing that's going to give us instant gratification. Yeah, it's definitely something to become aware of. I think so.

Speaker 1:

No-transcript. There's time to wait for things. I think again, to plan ahead and think Plan ahead. Yeah, I think that's why people that book their holidays in advance, they really look forward to them and they're the happiest all things. Oh, they are because they look forward to them, don't they? We don't do that, do we? We always book.

Speaker 1:

Last minute I was thinking there's something wrong there. When you were saying it. My husband's family is just written to him. When are we going on holiday? Because we will get together. Yeah, that's why he's sweet.

Speaker 1:

And I was thinking, yeah, but and then my hobby said, yeah, I'm planning it soon, it's for this summer. And then his sister said I've got time. I thought you're never going to say anything. Goodness me, it's only January. Yeah, I know, because they plan ahead. Yeah, they plan ahead. Okay, yeah, but then it probably makes them really happy thinking about the future. Yes, because they know where they're going and they've got their holidays all sorted and everything.

Speaker 1:

I suppose we don't have to do that because, since we work for ourselves, we don't have to plan so far ahead. No, no, of course, because we can just say, oh, okay, we've got a few days, let's go here. Yeah, yeah, that is correct. You do need to plan and to take your holiday times and warn your company Exactly. Yeah, obviously, two, three months ahead, or whatever. You need to know when you're going to be having your holidays.

Speaker 1:

Most of the time, yeah, but I mean, I remember when I first started going out with my boyfriend, who's now my husband. It used to be when we separated, for when it was the holidays and we would separate, I remember he would write letters still, yeah, and it used to take ages and I would look forward to the letter in the next couple of days of your letter. It was special, wasn't it? Special because I mean it's so nice now just to be able to talk to it Seems weird, I mean, I prefer to talk, yeah, because you can't imagine what it is. You would just be so like. You would be so separated though from them, yeah, very separated, like now. Maybe now is the opposite. It's maybe too much.

Speaker 1:

If they don't give, if they don't text you straight away, what's going on? You know it's constant phone calls, it's constant texting. When I used to be an heiress, I would just be away from my boyfriend for, like, I was only here 10 days a month. So I was always away any part of the world and never had a phone, cell phone, nothing. Yeah, you're not always the kind of person saying I've got, I'm here, everything's fine. I'm like, no, I would just say, don't worry, I'll be back on this date and then you could be. Yeah, you could be out in Venice. Well, I'll talk, you could be anywhere in the world. But nowadays, I was speaking to an airline assistant and she was saying oh no, nowadays is constant texting, constant texting, and if you don't answer back, like she said, my mom freaks out. You know, my boyfriend, it's actually quite stressful. Exactly, and she was saying what could it be like when you used to be an heiress I was talking about 30 years ago. I mean, it was like the wild. You would just go off. Even my parents. I would just say you know to mum and dad, but they still didn't manage, didn't we? I mean, it seems like I'm back in seven days time and that's it, the flight. If you want, they could have a copy of your flight. You know numbers in your flight schedule, and that was it, and you'd be off.

Speaker 1:

I remember when, when once I was, when I was a student in Paris, and I was waiting for my boyfriend to meet me, I said come over for a few days. He said yes, and they came and I slept in and there's no way I could contact him or anything. And then I woke up and I thought, no, he's going to be at God of Nord, he's going to be waiting. He's been there for three hours or something. Oh, no, I think you've slept in, knowing that he was kind.

Speaker 1:

I don't know what happened. Of course that was odd, but really it was terrible what happened, because he was so desperate to see you. Yeah, I was, but I think I had the alarm or something happened. And no, I hadn't been drinking or anything. I know you used to drink. It's not as if I had. I've been nothing. No, being an, I am true. No, I'd been just gone to bed normally. I don't know what happened. I think I must have missed the alarm. I've been in a heavy sleep because I had to get up a bit earlier, I don't know.

Speaker 1:

Anyway, in the end I thought I quickly got Jess got there and I thought how the heck am I going to find him? Yeah, we had no fans, nothing in those days. It was so, like, well, I had to find him. In the end, I just went there and I started to. No, I just went there to wear the train, I suppose. So I started looking for him and I saw him. Yeah, that's it.

Speaker 1:

It was also random. People would wait. If no one turned up, you would just wait for hours. You would wait for them. Yeah, I mean they'd waited for like three hours or something. So true it was. So I mean there was nothing like this is to grant notification.

Speaker 1:

Now, where are you? I'm here, I'm here. Yeah, send drive location. Oh, there you are. Oh, hello, no, no, no, that did teach us to wait, but nonetheless, we are still hooked onto this instant gratification today.

Speaker 1:

So, because I think your brain gets used to it quickly, I do put one of the ways you can do it is to put your phone away. You do put your phone away. Yeah, I do. Yeah, I do as well. I set an hour and a night. I put it. Turn it off, yeah, and for hours. And make sure you get a good bedtime as well. Have your regular sleep routine so you can sleep well. Don't look at your emails, leave them, silence them. Yeah, let us know what you think and if you have a you finding that you are looking for instant gratification a lot, or if you find that there's a lot of rewards in the waiting, if you think that perhaps a country of a little bit more of slowness should be coming back in, I think that could be a good thing to look forward to. Yeah, lots of love and smiles from English sisters. Bye, bye.

Avoiding the Culture of Immediacy
Delay Gratification, Manage Instant Messaging
Importance of Waiting, Delayed Gratification