They say that time goes faster as you get older. That may be telling me something as we close in on Christmas and the end of the year. I remember being at school and the holidays always seemed an eternity away. Yet today even school children talk about the term going quickly.
There are various theories around this phenomenon. The main one is that as our lives get busier we have less spare time and with every moment filled the time just zips by. This makes sense. And it raises the next question which is what can we do about it?
The notion of de-cluttering our lives is a good one. This is the same principle that we use when cleaning out the cupboards, of stuff that we no longer need. In a life sense it can be reducing commitments both financial and personal. How many things that we commit to do, do we really need? What would our lives look like with less stuff? More importantly how would we feel?
There is an old adage that says if you want something done, ask a busy person. This is saying that people who get a lot done will get things done. In turn it also means that these people will end up with more and more on their plate. The next stop along this path can be stress and burnout. Learning when to say no and saying no can make a big difference.
We do not want to go back to living in caves. Neither do we want to forgo the comforts that modern life allows us. However at what point do we have enough bathrooms, or a sufficiently flash car or enough clothes?
There is no absolute answer to this. However for each person there is an answer. Once that point is reached then more stuff does not make us feel any happier. Indeed there comes a point at which maintaining a lifestyle can be more stressful than the lifestyle itself.
Deciding what matters most to us and prioritizing those things is part of the de-clutter process. Once we can get rid of “stuff” that we don’t need, both literally and metaphorically our load is reduced. When the load is reduced our stress levels can start to reduce.
The other way to “create” time is to slow time down. This happens when we meditate. It can be for as little as 10 minutes but when we sit in silence and focus on our breathing time does seem to slow down. Since perception is reality the perception of time slowing down matters.
We can’t control all that goes on around us. We can however control how we respond. Actively de-cluttering our lives and taking time to meditate are two things that help enormously with our stress levels and our emotional wellbeing.