“It feels as if the last year has gone by faster somehow”.
“Maybe it’s because of age that everything seems to go faster and faster?”
This or something similar is what I hear when I talk to friends about time and how quickly it passes.
Recently I read an interesting interview with Prof. Dr. Hartmut Rosa, one of the most renowned German time researchers. This is what he said: “We are … richer in adventures and action, however we are poorer in experiences. For our adventures and events are no longer transformed into experiences.”
We have so many choices that we often rush from one event to the next – without having taken time to process the last one, to consciously process and store it in our mind. It’s as if we’re always just scratching the surface but no longer going into the depths. Everything seems faster and less intense. And so Prof. Rosa goes on to say: “If you want to feel rich in time, you should waste a day now and then, plan nothing, do nothing productive.”
I recommend this in combination with what I call the “Slow Motion Technique”.
For one day, imagine your perception like a camera in a Hollywood movie. In your everyday life, zoom in on things, people, parts of a scenery. Take a closer look at the details. Maybe even fade out one level of perception at the same time or move it into the background (e.g. sounds / noises). Play with your focus. Maybe some scenes will seem like slow motion to you because you suddenly perceive them much more consciously and intensively.
This way you train your sensory perception and enrich your impressions. Maybe some details will even surprise you. In any case, you will perceive and experience more deeply and consciously.
In addition, this exercise trains you to keep your focus when you really need it (e.g. when you are working on something or reading on a train journey and the person next to you is talking intensively on the phone – happened to me regularly :-)).
It is often easier for us to do this on holiday – when we are somewhere for the first time and seem to perceive everything much more intensively, or when we are lying on the beach with a good book and forget the world around us.
Try to capture this magic in everyday moments as well:
For example, notice ambient noises or a babble of voices like background music and concentrate on something close to you.
Chew your food a little longer. Concentrate consciously on the taste.
Look at your hands or fingers for a minute.
While waiting in a queue, observe the behaviour of the person in front of you.
Become more aware of everyday actions – such as opening doors.
Also plan to turn your into experiences into memories – i.e. take a break from time to time and look back. What have you accomplished? What have you achieved? What have you experienced – what has enriched your life? What do you want to save as a beautiful memory that will give you strength in difficult times?
Stage your everyday life, enrich your senses – and don’t forget to give yourself and others the Oscar every now and then ;-))