How to slow down time and enjoy life more

I love and can definitely appreciate an engrossing fiction novel. But the nerd in me thrives on a science based non-fiction. I'm fascinated by learning, health and personal growth, how humans engage in this world and getting more out of life. Especially as someone with ADHD and two young kids. 

My latest read was the Secret Pulse of Time - Making Sense of Life's Scarcest Commodity, by Stefan Klein. 

Having ADHD I really struggle being present, and parenting with a partner that travels for work has made this even harder, my attention constantly being pulled in a million directions. This book takes a very in depth look how we process time and how our bodies adjust. Here are a few takeaways from the book at how we can regain control of our time and slow it down. And it's really quite simple. Below are 6 steps. 


1. Sovereignty:

We need to take back full control of our time. Only we can decide what we do with it. As soon as we give control away we've lost half the battle. You and only you can be in control of your life. Even when it feels out of control you can pause and get it back. Not controlling others but how we are in the world and respond to it. 


2. Prioritize:

What are your priorities? What do you value? If you go to my 'about me' section you'll read all about my values. Personally, I prioritise relationships, to myself and others, time to enjoy life and relax, creativity and self expression amongst a number of other things. Consider what matters to you when you're running late and yelling at the kids. What really matters? Is it your relationship with your kids? If being on time genuinely matters maybe practice getting organised earlier to prevent the stress. 


3. Following your body clock:

Not everyone has the same body clock. Some are morning people, some are better in the evening. It's important to factor this into your day. Would you be better off starting work later if possible? Or exercising at a different time of the day.

We also need to consider how humans were designed to live, without excessive artificial light at night, when we are supposed to get natural light, and when and how we are meant to eat, move, and live throughout the day. Respecting this can make a huge difference. 


4. Factor in time to relax and truly enjoy the day:

For many if it's not factored in it doesn't happen. Even when it is it's hard. I literally have to force myself to meditate but I do I feel much more grounded when I do. What relaxes your nervous system? Enjoying a cup of tea? Getting into nature? Pottery? The list is endless. When we make time for relaxation our sense of time slows down. And we can actually feel like we have more of it. When was the last time you played and did something genuinely fun, without any focus on the outcome of a task?

On the mention of tea, when I drink matcha, it literally slows my day down. My mind races a whole lot less and I just feel like I can fit so much more into my day in a relaxed way. I love coffee, the taste and all the energising effects, however I tend to crash even when consumed in the most optimal way, Matcha loves me and my brain. 


5. Getting present:

The step I find most challenging. Living with ADHD unless it's interesting to me or a new experience I tend to feel the pain of intense boredom. However we can all practice a sense of curiosity and gratitude for the moment. And it's certainly a practice that can be fostered.

Currently I do medicate for ADHD and it makes this step much less challenging. The thing is, if we're not present, we're not here. We're living in the future, in the past, in the world in our head. And we're not in the moment, creating new memories and experiencing life.

Grounding and finding neutral or pleasant sensations within your body helps with this. What brings you more presence? What grounds you in your body? Pottery is amazing at doing this for me. Any way to get out of my head and finding safety in your body will help. Think of your senses and what is pleasant to you. Music? Clay play? Looking at art? Feeling sunlight? Water? 


6. Attention and focus

The last step is finding focus. Also very challenging with ADHD. The tendency is to multitask to stimulate the brain. But we're all rather poor multitaskers and we can't truly be present when we're trying to do more than one thing at a time. Practicing focusing on one task that is pleasant to you, especially multisensorial tasks and tasks which involve using the whole body are so much more rewarding. 


Ultimately life is made up of memories and experiences and the richness of relationships. And when it's full of these we feel like we have more time and have used our time more wisely. 

If you want to get into the nitty gritty of how we perceive time have a read of this book.

Meg x  

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