What can we do to change our perception of the time? How to expand time, or make time go faster?
How to make time go faster
1. Do something interesting
To speed up the time, for example, in the waiting room or on a plane, you need to focus on something that is interesting to you: listen to your favorite music, watch an exciting movie, read an interesting article or a book, play a game, chat with someone, and so on. Thus, we focus our attention on an interesting action without noticing the time passing by.
2. Take a comfortable body position to avoid the inconvenience and pain. If pain is present, try to distract and relax.
As soon as we feel not very good, either physically or psychologically, time slows down. We need to learn to relax and let go of the pain. Meditation, hypnosis or self-hypnosis technique can help to distract from pain.
3. Distract yourself from any negative emotions
If you are upset, you can use a technique that works with kids, if a child hits himself and starts to cry, adults are trying to shift his attention to a bright object or a toy, he gets distracted from his pain and forgets about it.
You can use this method to distract yourself from any negative feelings: think about something pleasant, smile, focus on something interesting and recall the happy moments of your life.
4. Stop watching the clock to stop thinking about time
It is important to stop noticing the time, because the more we pay attention to it, the slower it moves for us.
You can use one of this methods or all of them at the same time to make your time go faster.
There is one more detail to that. Sometimes you have really boring and monotonous work to do, and you can not dive into it completely. To speed up the time in that case, your favorite music can help, as well as listening to an audio book, or chatting with someone, or watching a movie, preferably one you have already seen, to resist the temptation of putting all your attention to watching it.
Now we’re going to the next big question:
How to make time go slower
There are 2 ways to extend time:
- External resources – when we change our activity and environment
- Internal resources – when we change ourselves and our sense of time
How to extend the time by external resources
1. Change of activity
If you do several short-time activities, it feels that it took much longer than it actually is.
For example, to make evening feel longer you need to abandon long hours of TV watching, because time flies fast when you are watching interesting movies, and TV sucks time and energy. Instead, try to listen to music for 15 minutes, then have a 30 minutes walk, then meditate for 10 minutes, then cook a quick dinner, eat and see a small series of a show, or during a dinner chat with household. And after that you will have the feeling that the evening was long and rich.
2. Search for new experiences
Here’s another way to slow down the time – constantly seek for new experiences. Philosopher Jean-Marie Guyau wrote:” If you want to extend the term of time, fill it, if you can, with a thousand new things. Go on an exciting journey, rejuvenate yourself, breathing new life into the world around you.”
Visit a new place
When we go to a new place, we are more open to new experiences, and everything seems new and unknown. We get a huge amount of information, which is why, after an interesting trip you feel like it was much longer than it actually is. Try to walk around the neighborhood, explore the nearest town or city streets, hang out with the locals, try the local cuisine
Find a new hobby or passion
Start drawing, dance, play a musical instrument, cook something new
Read a new book
Go for a new job
Changing jobs can give you new inspiration, socializing with new people, new projects, etc
Visit new places
You can visit the newly opened restaurant and try a new dish, go to a concert or a play
Try an unfamiliar type of fitness (zumba, cycling, pilates, yoga) or sports (skiing, skating, horse riding, tennis, golf, etc.)
In general, you can do all the things that give you new experiences and emotions, that will extend your time, because the more new experiences and new information you have, the slower time passes for us.
How to extend the time by using internal resources
1. Clear your mind from unnecessary thoughts
It is necessary to make a huge stream of unnecessary and superfluous thoughts began to fade from our minds so that we can concentrate on the present.
It is necessary to concentrate on the present, but huge stream of excessive and superfluous thoughts make it hard to do. So first we need to clear our mind and do not overthink.
Steve Taylor in his book “Making Time” encourages meditation.
The most important thing we can do to extend the sense of time is regularly meditate. It soothes the mind, slows down constantly flashing random thoughts, until they disappear completely, and then it comes to the state of mental rest.
“Practice of meditation gives you extra energy, which helps us to perceive the world with a new clarity and sharpness, and thus increase their sense of time. ” – Taylor
Write about everything that happens to you
To remove unnecessary thoughts out of your head you can use writing. You describe your day, all what happened to you, down to the small details. When you’re writing these thoughts, you allow your brain to forget about them and free your mind for more important things.
Walk and exercise
Excessive muscle tension is frequently a result of stress, anxiety and overthinking. Training helps us to strengthen and stretch the body and relax the mind. Have you noticed that tension begins to decrease when you go for a walk or do some physical activity. You breathe in fresh air, move, and your blood begins to circulate more quickly and the flow of mental chatter begins to subside.
2. Live in the present and be aware
We are so worried about the future and ruminating on the past, that we do not live now, in the present moment.
Be aware and stop doing everything automatically
By “awareness” we mean complete focus on the present, on the world and actions. Meditation can bring awareness to a person. But also we can come to that in a conscious effort, you just need to pay attention for everything what happens in life. It is not necessary to seek adventure and new experiences, any everyday activity can be turned into an interesting experience if you do not do it automatically, but concentrate on it and your feelings. For example, when you take a shower, try to focus on the feeling of cleanliness, feel the warmth of the water, concetrate on the present moment, do not think about the plans for today or tomorrow and do not re-live the events of the previous day. Or when you’re going to work, try to contemplate the road , you will find many things that you did not notice before , try to take a new route, even if it takes a little more time, look into the surroundings, feel the pleasure of driving or walking.
You need to constantly practice awareness. So choose 2 daily activities and try consciously do them, as if you were doing it for the first time.
Do not hurry
When you rush, you run away from the present moment, trying to live in the future. We are in such a hurry to prepare meals that do not get the pleasure of culinary creativity. We are in such a hurry to eat, that we do not have time to enjoy the food. We strive to live so fast that we forget to live at all.
Stop waiting and start living
We always expect something, but once it happens, we get overtaken by frustration. And then we start asking ourselves: “Is that what we’ve been waiting for so long?”. And we begin to expect next something, out of habit. We wait and believe that there will be happiness, you just have to wait. Meanwhile we fill a pause with worries about things that probably will never happen. Eventually you realize that you’ve put your life on hold and just forgot to live now enjoying the present.
You can use internal and external resources to extend your time. If you learn the way of the internal extension of time, you will no longer seek satisfaction in the future, you will find it in the present. You will not have to spend so much time in the abstract world of ideas or the unreal world of entertainment, you will finally be able to live and enjoy this life right now, in the real world!
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