I swear it feels like time moves faster now than it used to.
As I get older I feel like the days run together, and before you know it years have passed, and you don’t remember what happened in most of them. Where did the time go and where the heck was I? But I found a way to slow it down. Not permanently of course, but with this two-minute exercise I was able to make time feel slower.
Want to try it? Great.
Right now, as you are reading this, stop.
Take three deep breaths.
Now, clear your mind of any stress or worries, try to think of nothing.
Focus on the feeling of the phone you’re holding, or the computer or mouse under your hands. What does that feel like? Focus on it.
Do you feel tension in your body? Were you aware that you were this tense? Maybe not.
What are your feet doing right now? How about your shoulders? Try to be as aware as possible of each part of your body.
Take three more deep breaths.
We’re in no hurry.
OK, now try to guess how much time just passed.
Honestly, this likely only took you a minute or two. Did it feel longer than this?
This less than two-minute meditation not only slowed down time but something interesting happened. During that time, you weren’t thinking of anything else, you were only existing and aware of the fact that you were existing. All that existed was that present moment and were fully aware of it.
This is the key to living in the moment. By living in the moment, you got the most out of those 60 seconds. That minute felt longer, you were present, your mind was at ease and you were mindful of living.
You might be thinking, sure that’s great that I slowed down a minute or two, but I can’t always stop what I’m doing to meditate. That’s OK!
The point of this exercise isn’t just a way to meditate (although its super helpful and can help you relax, and you should really incorporate it into your routine). It’s a way to practice mindfulness with anything that you’re doing.
With practice you can apply this same principal to anything you’re doing, even if it’s something you don’t enjoy. Maybe don’t close your eyes at work or while you’re in traffic but stop thinking and just be aware of the moment. Good or bad it will pass.
Think of how you feel, the texture of the steering wheel, the way the keyboard keys feel while working on that report, the way the food tastes that you’re eating for lunch. By breathing and simply knowing that you’re existing in this moment, you will stretch that minute so much further.
Over time, take this a step further. Don’t just meditate for a minute or two, incorporate it as often as you can. You won’t need to stop or think to breathe deep, maybe you’ll already be doing this because you’ve been practicing.
You can learn to feel like this in any moment. You will be mindful naturally in more situations. Each moment that you practice this will feel slower and you will get more out of each moment.
Have you tried this? How did it work for you?