11 January 19

Slow Down Time with Your Mind: How a Simple Mental Trick Can Make Time Move Slower and Improve Your Focus, Concentration, and Happiness.

Time seems to speed up the older we get, and it can be a frustrating and scary feeling.

When you’re trying to savor every moment and life life to the fullest, this time warp can get in the way.

Perhaps more importantly, this feeling is connected to a lack of focus, concentration, and can even lead to unhappiness or depression.

However, you can regain focus and improve your brain, all while “slowing down time” (or at least your perception of time).

Understanding Why Time Speeds Up.

Diana Raab Ph.D. says, “time slows down if we pay attention, because we tend to notice more. This is particularly common during emergencies or traumatic events.”

She likens it to a vacation: when you first start your vacation, the novelty of your location and experiences cause your brain to “perk up,” paying more attention to the details.

But as you get used to your location, time speeds up.

And when you spend 50 weeks out of the year repeating the same exact routine, this effect gets even worse.

Even if you hate the cold, you probably still get a little excited and refreshed on the first big snow day of the year.

There Are Two Strategies to Slow Down Time. The First is to Seek Out Novelty.

Whether you’re starting a new hobby, trying out a new type of cuisine, or simply taking a different route to work, new things make your brain happier.

Not only that, but it improves your ability to learn, focus, and memorize.

The end result is a sense that time has slowed down: you take in more details, reducing the sense that life is slipping by too quickly.

And having a smarter brain is a great bonus.

The Second Time-Warping Strategy Is to Be More Mindful.

This one is a little more difficult, but the effects are incredible.

Mindfulness has been linked to many benefits in scientific research, including:

  • Reduced anxiety.
  • Lower levels of implicit bias.
  • Reduced depression.
  • Improved cognition.

Mindfulness is hard to teach: it requires you to pay closer attention, which isn’t as easy as teaching someone how to throw a football or lift weights properly.

But if you spend even a little time on this exercise, you can quickly improve your brain, mood, and sense of time.

An easy way to get started is by being more mindful while you eat:

  1. Notice the flavors of your food more.
  2. Chew more slowly and intentionally, relying less on the force of habit.
  3. Pay attention to the sensations in your mouth and stomach.

Plus, mindfulness may even help lower cortisol levels and reduce body fat!

So slow down time this week. Your brain (and your body) will be thankful.

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