How to Slow Down TimeBy Cara Bradley
In the grand timeline of existence, the human experience is a mere blink of an eye. As a kid you may have felt like you had all the time in the world. Then, seemingly all of a sudden, you were out of school, then your children had grown up and you were looking for those reading glasses.
For example, it seems like I was only just on the beach watching 4th of July fireworks and yet somehow it’s already Halloween. I’m barely through my candy corn and then it’s jingle bells all over again.
Poof, just like that, the days pass and another week has gone by. Weeks become months and then another few years. And before you realize it, another decade or two have gone.
Time and the perception of time...how do they work and why does it feel like the passage of time speeds up as we age?
According to psychologist and BBC columnist Claudia Hammond, “The sensation that time speeds up as you get older is one of the biggest mysteries of the experience of time.” Luckily, we are living in an era where we can do more than simply speculate about the passage of time.
An article in Scientific American states:
'This phenomenon, which Hammond has dubbed the holiday paradox, “Seems to present one of the best clues as to why, in retrospect, time seems to pass more quickly the older we get. From childhood to early adulthood, we have many fresh experiences and learn countless new skills. As adults, though, our lives become more routine, and we experience fewer unfamiliar moments. As a result, our early years tend to be relatively overrepresented in our autobiographical memory and on reflection, seem to have lasted longer.”
The great news is that research offers us ways to perceive time as passing more slowly. Try them out. You may feel like you’ve got all the time in the world.
1. Get Out Of Your Head
Busy. Busy. Busy. We humans are an overly scheduled and distracted bunch. We’ve become obsessed with optimizing,'multi-tasking' and living at high speed. Scrambling through the typical 'crazy busy' day, our moments blur together. Before we know it, the day has gone, we’re back on the train and off to bed.
Cognitive neuroscientist Muireann Irish from the University of Sydney suggests that when we try to 'multi-task',we can experience a time contraction effect, in which the day seems to go by extremely quickly and we can't figure out where all those hours went.
In other words, speed through life stuck in your busy mind and you’re sure to miss delights like sunsets, lovely melodies, key conversations and opportunities to smell the roses.
The answer? Get out of your head (your thinking mind) by returning attention to your body. Notice internal sensations like coolness or heat. Pay attention to what you see, smell and hear in your outer envir