How to Slow Down Your Life

Life moves fast, but you don’t have to.

Sobaan Saeed
ILLUMINATION

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Photo by SwapnIl Dwivedi on Unsplash

Time, it’s our most valuable resource because it’s finite and irreplaceable. Once it’s gone we can never get it back.

Most of us who are lucky enough to have an internet connection have more time than ever before. Thanks to modern medicine, electricity, and better hygiene.

We’re living much longer than our ancestors did. Global life expectancy rates have gone from 30 to over 70 in the last two centuries and it continues to rise.

Yet, I still feel like life is just flying by.

As a kid, I felt like time was ticking by at sloth-pace. The wait between birthdays seemed like an eternity and an hour-long car ride felt like a multi-day expedition.

As I enter my adult years it feels more like somebody accidentally pressed the fast-forward button. The days seem to blur into weeks, the weeks blur into months and the months blur into years.

As I grow up our life got busier and time seems to fly by faster but I know that time is moving at the same rate that it did during our childhood. So, what changed is my perception of time.

Age isn’t the only factor that shapes how we perceive time there are three other really important things that strongly influence our perspective. These are the keys to making life feel longer and more full.

Incorporate Change into your Life

I can tell you firsthand that there is so much power in creating effective routines and healthy habits. In that case, there can also be too much of a good thing.

If my routine gets too predictable, I might effectively be pressing the fast-forward button on my life. If every day, day in and day out we eat the same breakfast, wear the same clothes, and take the same route to work.

There’s very little pattern interruption. As a result, I very rarely are forming new memories that are key to helping us prolong our perception of time.

Now, obviously hopping from one destination to the next is a great way to live, a more exciting and memorable life but it’s not realistic or appealing for everyone.

Something, as simple as taking a new route to work exploring a part of your hometown that you’ve never been to, or trying a new coffee shop can inject some change into your routine.

I finally tackle that social circle, meeting new people forced me to slow down and notice more as it takes more effort to process and make sense of new things.

Seek Inspiring Experiences

For me, having all these inspiring experiences altered my perception of time. I recognize that I had more time when I experience these wonderful feelings.

I found out that this really comes down to mindfulness. Experiencing wonder brings me back to the present moment.

When I’m not ruminating about the past or stressing about the future I can actually enjoy each moment as it helps prevent that feeling that time is slipping.

All the inspiring experiences are all around us it can be the sunset over the beach or that massive tree that looks like it’s a million years old. We just need to take time to actually notice them.

Make Progress Towards your Goals

It’s an essential part of living a meaningful life but it can also make our lives feel longer and more full.

Whether I’m building new skills, habits or bigger biceps, the milestone I reach along the way has an interesting way of changing my perspective.

Consistency, take those small steps towards the goal. It creates little mental checkpoints that we can look back on. Think about when you first started learning a new language or began taking a fitness class or founded your business.

It probably seems like forever ago.

I’ve made so much progress and there are so many memorable moments along the way. The key is to make sure that you acknowledge and celebrate those wins as you go.

There’s no correct or universal way that we experience time. It can feel like there’s too much of it when we’re young and when we’re older it can feel like we never have enough.

The only thing I know for certain is that there’s a biological clock ticking inside of all of us and that we never know when that time is going to run out.

So, if you feel like your life is flying by it might be time to do something about it.

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