Island Time: Stress Management Polynesian Style

You notice something immediately when you arrive on an island, whether it’s in the South Pacific, the Caribbean or even off the coast of Maine; the pace of life is much slower—as it should be. The pace of life in the islands even has a name; “island time.” There is no rush to get anywhere. There is no rush to do anything. In fact, there is no urgency whatsoever! Things are taken down several pegs from the rapid pace of city life, for that matter, suburban life, and most likely, country life as well. People look a bit younger than their true age, because they have learned to pace themselves for the distance of their lives. In working on some new revision for the 7th edition of my textbook, Managing Stress, I came across a study done by on vacations. As it turns out, many people never make it “To the islands,” or anywhere else for that matter. The reason being….They cancel their vacations because they feel the need to stay at work. Expedia calls their annual study, The International Vacation Deprivation™ Survey ( If you eavesdrop on people’s conversations these days, most likely you will hear people making reference (not only to Staycations, but…) to time speeding up. It’s an illusion. It is only our racing minds that make time seem like its running away at light speed.

• Stress Tip For The Day:
You don’t have to pack your bags and fly to the islands (any island) to adopt the pace of “island time.” All you need do is recognize the pace of life you are living and reduce your speed. Adopting “Island Time” includes driving slower (the actual speed limit). It means talking slower—and listening after you get done speaking. It means eating slower and chewing your food before swallowing. It also means just sitting down for a stretch and enjoying the present moment, rather than reliving the past or worrying about the future. Island time is an attitude that brings us back to our natural state of being., and after all, we ARE human beings, not human doings!

• Links/Books Worth Noting:
Speaking of time, this is a pretty cool clock, and most likely unlike one you have ever seen before.

For those who might be interested in my island time experience, here is a link to the draft of an article I wrote about my trip to Tahiti for the online magazine, Authentic Living.

• Quote for the Day:
“If life gives you limes, make margaritas.” —Jimmy Buffet

• Photo of the Day:
This photo was taken while on a drive around the island of Bora Bora. Many small islands (called motu’s) surround the main island including this one. Enjoy!

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Brian Luke Seaward

Author Brian Luke Seaward

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