How To Find And Reclaim Back Your Time In A Limited World
Life is short, that’s what they say, well, that’s only partially true. This because your life happens to be the longest thing that you’ll ever do. It does often feel, however, that our waking moments are squeezing us too much, and the days just aren’t long enough.
The minutes, turn into hours, which expires out into the day, and there’s always more work to do, let alone finding the time to relax.
The vise-grip demands of the workplace, along with our social obligations, combined with we needing our basic necessities, such as, adequate quality sleep, proper food and exercise, time can easily begin to add up and cramp us.
We then begin sensing that time is constantly slipping away from our grasp, and we’re continuously on the run to catch up. But time itself is forever universal as it’s limited to the 24 hour clock, but it always doesn’t need to feel that way.
There’s new research which suggests that once we decide to change our state of mind, when it comes to time management, or change how we perceive and experience time, we can then begin to slightly alter it to our favor.
When Time Begins To Stand Still
There are, at times, when in your life you feel that sensationalism of time coming to a stand still. Maybe it was that scuba diving holiday in the Bahamas, or when the Grand Canyon took your breath away, when you were proposed to, or that very moment you realized you were in love.
These are the experiences of sheer awe. Those awe inspiring moments when our emotions are elicited by perceptions of grandeur, magnificence, or significance. What this does is it causes a need to alter your way of seeing, or feeling something, which accommodates this new perception.
These are the exact thoughts that you decide to store in your long-term memory bank, this for future reference. These are the thoughts that, years or even decades later, you’re able to vividly recall the events of that exact moment of time.
So this emotion of being suddenly awe struck, when compared to say happiness, may reduce the individuals sense of time, and consequently allow them to be more willing to volunteer their time, or choose these experiences over material objects, while enjoying greater satisfaction.
Experiments Based On The Sense Of Time
A group of researchers recently conducted a set of experiments based on the perception of time related to the awe factor.
The first experiment, the participants were asked to watch a series of TV commercials. They were either a series of awe eliciting, or happiness eliciting television ads.
The awe eliciting commercials were ads which included individuals encountering wildlife in Africa, or the majestic waterfalls in Brazil. The happiness eliciting commercials showed various scenes of individuals celebrating joy after a win.
The participants were then asked to complete a questionnaire based on a measure of time perception. The participants who were shown the awe commercials, as predicted, felt that their time spent was expansive and memorable.
The second experiment involved asking the participants to describe their own personal memorable moments of awe, and their moments of happiness. The test results showed that the participants who had the bigger awe moments were more open, and willing to give their time since they felt that they had more to share.
In the final experiment, the participants were asked to read either an intense awe inspiring story, and then a neutral one. This was followed by a questionnaire which assessed the perception of time, life satisfaction, and options regarding if they would rather be interested in purchasing either an experience (awe inspiring) such as a cruise, or a material good, such as a plasma TV.
To no one’s surprise, the awe moments once again pointed towards expanded time perception, which then in turn increased their perceived life satisfaction, as well as interest in various experiences, such as the cruise, rather than purchasing material goods.
Time Is On Your Side
So what all these test results suggest is that one of the ways to feel we have more time than we actually do, is to do things which will inspire us, events which will inspire awe.
It gets extremely easy to just get caught up in the everyday routines of our daily lives, while choosing to miss out or ignore all of the potentially wonderful experiences, some which are directly under our noses.
These everyday awe moments that we could miss can be driving past the zoo everyday on our workday commute, rather than occasionally stopping in to see the animals, or visiting the botanical gardens which are just ten blocks from where we live. Just the mere fact of our own existence, which includes our kids or our pets, should be enough to inspire the awe factor in us on a daily basis.
Awe however may not be helpful in every situation, as researchers note that, at times, it’s good that we feel time is limited, such as when needing to reach a deadline at work. This so that we’re able to do what we need to do when it’s necessary or required.
But more often than not, we could all most likely use a little more of those awe inspired moments, especially when we’re relaxing.