How to slow time
WHERE has this year gone? Are you feeling like you are on a treadmill that seems to be speeding up – and the time gaps between yearly events – birthdays, holidays, Christmas, Easter and the Melbourne Cup are getting smaller? Wasn’t it only yesterday we were planning for 2017 Christmas/New Year? Wasn’t it only yesterday our children were sharing our beds and now they are buying their own houses? Time flies!
While I believe we all accept this progress, for some, the speeding of events can create a sense of foreboding, loss, desperation, and even grief
“My life is racing away and there is still so much more for me to do!” is a common cry I often hear. “The older I get, the faster times flies by!” Sound familiar? Why is this? Our mind perceives the passage of time differently.
While time is, of course, constant, it can appear a rubbery thing that seems to change our level of engagement with our world.
I think the more you enjoy what you are doing, the more time appears to pass quickly. Time indeed flies when you are having fun!
Time can also seem to slow down as evidenced in eye witness statements observing critical events – the ability to remember in detail the sequence of a split second event is amazing.
Ever been in a lecture listening to some weird dude outlining some complex and irrelevant theory and the second hand on the wall clock just refuses to move?
One explanation for time moving quickly is the “habituation hypothesis,” where we just follow a habit or routine as if we are hypnotised – we don’t even think about what we are doing, it’s just part of our routine.
Another explanation is the older we get, the fewer ‘firsts’ we experience. The first time going on holidays, walking into a building... the first event of any kind.
Another explanation may be that as we age, there are natural changes in heart rate, metabolism and body temperature and our brains produce less dopamine, which plays an important role in controlling our internal clock.
So how do we slow time – or at least our perception of it?
My first tip is to accept it for what it is – and that is a part of life.
My second tip is to deliberately plan variety into the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly calendars. Do something different. Don’t go to the same place for holidays – go to a variety of places and seek alternative experiences.
Live in the present. Life is about moments and memories – not money or possessions. Appreciate, be grateful and connect. Enjoy what you have. Pay attention to each passing moment to really slow time.
Look for beauty – it is all around us. This emotional arousal increases our blood flow, allowing us to experience more time.
Adopt an optimist mindset and set activities you look forward to.
Spend time reflecting and allow yourself to smile and grieve about the wins and losses.
As the saying goes “like sands through an hourglass, these are the days of our lives”. Live each one to the maximum and enjoy!