Do you feel like that every year goes by faster than the previous? Do far away dates spring up on you?
As we get older, it seems that time just goes by quicker. There’s a few possible explanations for what causes this feeling. One of the most common is how as we age, one year becomes a smaller percentage of the amount of time we experienced on earth as opposed to a child. Without discarding this or any of these other amazing theories, I have another possible explanation.
As we grow older, it seems like we spend more time distracted. In the middle of everything we NEED to do, we stop doing what we FEEL like doing.
Our lives are repetitive and every day looks the same as the last. We have less memorable moments and when we look back, it seems like nothing happened.
However, one way of making time go slower, is to be present. When we are present we can notice the newness of things that would otherwise seem the same. This presence is felt when we are not distracted. And when we are not distracted, time goes by slower. This is noticeable in many reports of silent meditation retreats. Days of meditation in silence can feel like years. We know this is not due to boredom but to heightened awareness.
You can even try it for yourself. Put a timer on, for one minute. Scroll on instagram or tiktok during that minute. Now, repeat the timer. But this time, close your eyes and take deep breaths. Don’t let your mind wander, focus on your breathing and count how many deep breaths you’ve been able to take during that minute.
Now, compare both the experiences. Did you feel like the minute spent scrolling on social media went by much quicker than the minute you spent meditating? This could be due to the fact that social media promotes disconnection from the real world and meditating promotes connection.
So, if you want to slow down time, be present. Do things you want, add variety in your daily life and spend conscious time in your body. Connect with the world, the people and nature around you, in a meaningful way. Pay attention to what’s real. Look up. Enjoy the sights. Live. And let go of the things that distract you.