Life is speeding by


alt=life speeding by
Stop the world I want to get off.

Your life is passing too quickly. Time is going too fast. Every day seems to flash by in a whirr of things that have to be done and your To Do list doesn’t get shorter despite your best intentions.

It’s true that days, weeks, months and even years seem to go more quickly. It’s common across the generations. As a teenager I remember hearing uncles and aunts saying how fast life was going, and my grandparents telling them ‘just wait until you’re my age’.

It is not unusual

Apparently the reasons that we feel like this are because we are either distracted and don’t pay enough attention to each thing that we do, or we have to do things that cause us stress and anxiety and so we don’t concentrate on the time we are not doing them.

Whichever way, the consensus is that time passes too quickly because our brains aren’t latching on to our activities. When we are young lots of things we are doing are still novel. As we age fewer and fewer things we do are new, so your brain doesn’t pay them much attention. Like a huge book with identical looking pages and no bookmarks, how can you possibly know where you are?

What to do

Learning new skills, opening yourself up to new experiences or meeting new people can all bring us more into the present moment. Mindful practice can also focus you on the here and now and slow down the speeding hours. There is an exercise sometimes taught by mindfulness practitioners where you stick little dots in your home or work environment. The dots are simply there as a reminder to stop and become aware of what you are doing and breathe. When I do it the thing that always surprises me most is how I usually zoom around in a state of unawareness. Seeing a dot in my study, in the car or around the house brings me up short; I realise that I haven’t been paying attention to what I’m doing (or sometimes even to the people I am with).

Alarm call

When you are experiencing the speeding past of days and weeks or years you aren’t living your life to the full. It is an alarm call. The feeling of life going faster and faster is an indication that things aren’t right. Pay attention, slow down, do more things you enjoy. Ignore the signs at your peril. If you don’t pay attention and address the feeling my bet is you will end up with physical symptoms as well.

It’s counter-intuitive but engaging in activities that you enjoy, that make time fly, means that the whole of your life isn’t going past in a blur.

These are things I did that slowed life down:

  1. I took up running
  2. Started to learn Spanish
  3. Started a blogging course
  4. Learned about social media
  5. Took time to sit and do nothing
  6. Started to practise mindfulness
  7. Started driving without the radio on

If you are not inspired by any of my list, take a look here. There are 308 ideas.

I would love to know what you have done to bring themselves back to the present or to stop life zooming past. Please tell me in the comments below.

alt=life is going too fast‘A poor life this if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare.’ W. H. Davies

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3 thoughts on “Life is speeding by

  1. Manu February 22, 2016 / 7:07 am

    I’ve recently feeling overwhelmed by how fast time was passing and how little I was achieving. I’ve started observing my habits what do I do and I realized that I was spending too much time immersed in social networks or with my head down! Last week I bought an alarm clock to replace my phone to give myself the luxury of no connection in my bedroom. Getting backtime, time for me to eventually read those books that are piling next to my bed side table! So far so good…

    • Janet February 22, 2016 / 11:41 am

      That’s so interesting. I was talking to someone last week who put their phone onto Airplane mode but she was saying that she still woke up and checked it if she got up to go for a pee. Thank you for the alarm clock suggestion. I hadn’t thought of that. It might just mean the difference between getting connected/interrupted and getting a proper night’s sleep.

      • Manu March 5, 2016 / 1:58 am

        for me is making a difference and I don’t feel the need to check it throughout the night. a good trick is have the phone in another room, so really there is no way that you wakeup to go to the living room to check your phone. If someone does that really need to take care of that and quickly, too much stress? FOMO syndrome (Fear Of Missing Out)? quite common these days

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