Greetings from Satiama! Do you feel like February flew by like Mercury on winged feet? Many of you have sent us a note or posted a comment asking if the speeding up of time is real or just imagined. While we don’t have the answer, we do have some thoughts on the subject.
According to James M. Broadway, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Brittiney Sandoval, a recent graduate of the same institution, “Our brain encodes new experiences, but not familiar ones, into memory, and our retrospective judgment of time is based on how many new memories we create over a certain period. In other words, the more new memories we build on a weekend getaway, the longer that trip will seem in hindsight…but 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. Of course, this means we can also slow time down later in life. We can alter our perceptions by keeping our brain active, continually learning skills and ideas, and exploring new places.” (www.scientificamerican.com)
So if we can alter our perceptions of time speeding by, how would we do that? One way that we believe is most effective is to increase your sense of the present moment. By being fully mindful or present, even for a few minutes each hour, you allow your consciousness to return to the now, you begin again to ‘inhabit’ your body by simply being more aware of it, and you increase your awareness of your day and what you are doing with it. Through presence or mindfulness, you can take in the experience of the present at a deep sensory level. The hurrying and hurrying through our day leaves us disconnected to our own inner selves, and doesn’t allow us to live at a healthy speed the supports unconditional love for ourselves or others, simply because we are not fully aware of our own thoughts, emotions and actions. So many of us rush from task to task, hurrying through ‘the list’ or the day and forgetting to stop and connect with our present awareness.
There are several things you can do to increase your awareness of the present. Simply by taking even one minute to concentrate on your own breathing, breathing away all thoughts, you will slow down your physical movement and your mind and draw yourself into the present. You can also take a moment to go outside into nature and literally touch or hug a tree, sit in grass, walk through a garden and fill your lungs with nature-made oxygen, all the while sending gratitude and love to everything you see. Give the process your full and present attention.
Or you can step fully into your Observer Self — that awareness that allows us to observe our life, our thoughts, our emotions and our physical sensations without labeling or judging. Stepping into our Observer Self role allows us to wear the world like a loose pair of clothes — something that adorns you but does not define your True Self. Try any of these for a even one minute to slow down the sensation that time is going faster or that life is rushing by and rediscover the gift of the present moment, which is where your true life is happening.
Copyright 2017, Satiama, LLC
About the Author: Karen Stuth is the co-founder and co-owner of Satiama, LLC and Satiama Writers Resource, a service mark of Satiama, LLC.