Making time for time

January 14th 2022

If you never have time, this tip can create more time for you.

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“I don’t have time to relax.”

“I don’t have time to meditate.”

I don’t have time to…..What would you put in that blank?

There is something very ironic about time.  The reality is, we all have 24 hours in a day.  We all have 60 minutes in an hour.  It is one of the very few things that no one human being can have more or less of in a day than another.  But my goodness, it is also a truth that some hours FEEL like they have 150 minutes in, others have 5!

So how would your day feel if you had more of the hours that hung around a bit allowing you to achieve more?

And here comes the real irony......by taking time out, you can create more time!

Our perception of time is influenced by how busy our minds are.  When you are juggling 350 balls and your mind is hurtling from the past to what has to be done in the future (and rarely noticing what is happening NOW) then time flies by.   On those days where there is only one ball to keep in the air and you can do that from the sofa with a cuppa in the other hand, the day seems to stretch out – all because your mind is quieter.

Meditation, relaxing, chilling – use whatever word works for you – are ways of stilling your mind briefly and in doing so, creating a little ‘pause’ in time that slows everything down but perhaps more importantly, clears the deck to allow you to focus.  And in that clearer focus, you become more productive.

And if you like science - here is what is actually going on in the mind....

Our minds are in two parts – the conscious and the subconscious. Often they are both busy. For example, one is running the ‘driving the car’ programme whilst the other is thinking about what you are going to do when you get to your destination (yep, most of us drive without concentrating on it!!) This means there are two sources of activity going on in the brain, two drains of energy.  When you concentrate both of those parts of the mind on the same thing, then they synchronise.  And it is in that synchronicity that ‘calm’ exists.

There is little doubt that meditating for an hour can create a wonderful state of peace and tranquility – and also productiveness in the hours that follow.  However, even taking just a few minutes regularly throughout the day can be transformative too.

Here is a little exercise that is soooo easy to do

Close your eyes and now tune into your hearing.  Just aim to notice whatever you notice.  Chances are you are picking up sounds that were already around you, but now you listen, you hear.  Make no judgements, just listen.  Then move that attention to your sense of smell.  What scents can you now pick up that you were not aware of before.  Next, move on to your kinaesthetic sense.  How do your feet feel in your shoes?  How does the ground feel beneath you? How do your clothes feel against your skin? Are you hot, cold, hungry, tired, happy ….??  Again, just notice what you notice. And now open your eyes and just look around you.  Allow your eyes to see things because they are there!

I often do this exercise with clients and recently, I noticed that a box of tissues that I sit opposite for hours every day had a design on that looked like Marijuana plants!  I had looked at it hundreds of times, but never really SEEN it!  Now I notice it every time I sit down and it puts a smile on my face!

This exercise can take 30 seconds, or you can spend minutes on it – there are no rules.  What it does however, is bring both parts of your mind into congruency; brings you into really experiencing this moment.  And by doing that, you create that little pause in your time that slows everything down.

Give it a go and see what you notice.  By doing it several times a day, you will be training your brain to slow down and be ‘in the moment’ and in that moment, time is in your hands!

I’d love to hear from anyone who is willing to give this a go.  Could that be you???

Caroline Cavanagh is an anxiety specialist  and hypnotherapist in Salisbury, Wiltshire.  She is an author and public speaker and would love to talk to you if you would like to know more about her work

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