People say that as you get older, time seems to move faster, and research findings suggest a variety of explanations for why this may be so. But of all the theories scientists have presented, the ones that propose time can be slowed by exposing our brain to new stimuli intrigue me the most. After all, lifelong learning and personal growth can help to keep our minds and bodies healthy and fit. No matter how much we know and how accomplished we are, there is always room for improvement.
One theory on the passage of time suggests that when we don’t open ourselves up to new information, we become stuck in a routine and time seems to speed up. That’s when our lives assume a monotonous pattern of waking, eating, working and sleeping. (Hopefully, somewhere in between there’s a little playtime too.)
Sometimes life feels as it did for Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, in which he plays a TV weatherman constantly reliving the same day.
One way to slow down the clock when we find ourselves in this type of rut is to seek out unique and exciting experiences. Of course, this means different things to different people. But such adventures stir up a fresh breeze in our lives that serve to reinvigorate a humdrum existence and decelerate the passing of time.
Perhaps, the biggest issue for us is how to make good use of the seconds, minutes and hours of our lives. Here are a few suggestions: Overcome your fears, improve upon skills you have, find new inspiration in life, travel to places you’ve always dreamed of visiting, read new books, attend events of all kinds and introduce yourself to others. Step out of your comfort zone and accept life’s dare to grow.
And though time may be of the essence, don’t feel pressured to do everything. Just one or two novel experiences may help you better appreciate life and renew your sense of purpose.
Years ago, I enrolled in a summer workshop on the basics of writing a screenplay. I finished the course knowing much more about that craft. In addition, I met a host of people from a variety of backgrounds. We shared our work, stories, hopes and dreams, and I learned a lot about myself in the process.
That summer seemed to pass slowly. As I watched the screenplay take shape, editing and revising the script became my sole reason to live. In anticipation of finally finishing my assignment, I’d forgotten that time existed.
Now, I realize that just reliving the moments when we were happiest can help us recapture those past feelings of well-being and satisfaction.
That’s when you may notice that time can, and will, stand still for you.