Struggling to get through your to-do list? Or getting palpitations just from the thought of looking at it? Take a deep breath - it'll help.

Research led by Jordan Etkin of Duke University and published in the Journal of Marketing this week looks at strategies to help people who feel pressed for time, particularly those who feel the tasks they need to complete are in conflict with one another (for example, spend time with your partner and finish that important work).

They identified two ways to help people cope if they feel stressed for time: slow breathing and by trying to channel feelings of stress into excitement.

For the latter strategy, they asked participants to read the statement “I AM EXCITED” three times out loud while trying to believe what they were saying.

"Feeling pressed for time impacts how consumers spend time, and how much they are willing to pay to save it. From a consumer standpoint, feeling pressed for time can have many harmful consequences such as poorer health, trouble sleeping, and depression," the researchers said.

"By pausing to breathe or envision the source of stress in a more positive light, people can enjoy the time they actually have in a healthier and happier way."

More: This timelapse homage to London is just wonderfulMore: More: Pressed for Time? Goal Conflict Shapes How Time is Perceived, Spent, and Valued

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