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SLOW DOWN OR THE YEAR WILL BE OVER BEFORE YOU KNOW IT!

slow down - kims nutrition

Life seems to speed up as we get older. I am constantly asking myself, ‘Where did the year go?’ Why does it feel that the months just fly by and it’s December before we even know it. But this is just a perception – we know that time is moving just as slowly or fast as it has always. So how can we go back to those good old childhood days where time seemed to take forever to pass?

From a scientific perspective, when we are learning or experiencing new things time is perceived as going more slowly, but when we do familiar things time is perceived as moving along faster. It makes sense then that when we get older and our lives move into a predictable pattern that time seems to speed up. We are not doing anything new and so it feels like everything is happening quickly.  

Since the speed of time is just a perception, it allows us to manipulate it to go at the speed we want it to – to a point of course! 

Let’s look at some ideas of how we can incorporate this into our daily lives.

  1. Incorporate new experiences into your days

Since routine and not experiencing new things is what makes time seem to speed up, it makes sense to slow down time by regularly bringing new experiences into your life.  When you do something new, it feels like they take longer compared to when you do a task you have done for a long time. We need to find a way to do this within our normal lives – changing up our daily ‘to dos’ – as going away on holiday isn’t possible for everyone!  Some simple ideas of how to incorporate new experiences into our lives includes:

  • Change up your exercise routine or even just the location
  • Meet up with friends for a walk or a game of putt-putt
  • Cook a new recipe once or twice a week
  • Learn something new such as a language, a skill or a hobby

Step outside your norm and see how much more time there is to enjoy your life.

  1. Get excited

Being ‘emotionally aroused’ (when your emotions are extremely engaged) can also enable you to experience time as moving slower.  So if you want to experience more time, expose yourself to triggers that will lead to arousal.  Arousal happens through our senses.  For example, seeing a desirable picture, hearing music, or tasting a wonderful food.  It is not only positive experiences that will increase arousal, negative ones do also work. 

  1. Make meaningful progress on your goals

Time is also perceived as going faster when you don’t get things done that you have been wanting to do.  Making progress on your projects and goals will help you to feel like you achieved more and thereby make a year more memorable and perceived as longer.  A goal that many people have is to get in shape, whether that means that you want to exercise more or improve your eating habits to lose some weight and be at your healthiest.  But how often have you started and not followed through because it felt too difficult.  Once you start making real progress (and don’t go backwards), you will have many memorable achievements along the way that will make your year feel longer. 

  1. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present.  To be aware of where you are and what you are doing.  Whenever you bring awareness – via your senses – to what you are currently doing, thinking or feeling, you are being mindful.  Paying more attention is one way to be more mindful.  Although that does not sound difficult, do you know the last time you were completely absorbed in just one activity.  These days multitasking has become the norm that we struggle to be completely mindful.  However, it can help to slow down time.  Start with eating your meals mindfully.  Not only will you enjoy them more and thereby eat less, but you will feel calmer and more grounded, and ready to take on more than you were before.  In essence, if you pay more attention you will notice more, which will help to slow down time.

  1. Reflect on your life

Another way to slow down time is to take time to reflect on your day.  It stops you from just going through the motions of life and thereby help you to create memories to look back on.  There are a number of ways to reflect:

  • Keeping a journal
  • Talking to someone (friend or psychologist/counsellor)
  • Looking through photographs
  • Thinking about past events or how you feel about something

 

If you want to feel like you have more time, get into the habit of experiencing new things and being more mindful of what’s going on. Train your brain to become more conscious of what’s happening around you and you’ll probably have more life experiences and memories to look back on, and the bonus is that you’ll feel like you had more time.

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