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How to improve your relationship with time by not living in the past and being present

Aisha Abdulkadir Umar June 21, 2022 9


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Time is a funny thing. It is something that is real and yet, at the same time, exists conceptually as something our society has quantified. Time is also something that is affected by our perception. We all have a relationship with time and our perception of it, is something that is heavily impacted by our emotional state.

Depending on how we feel and our expectations and perceptions, time can either be our ‘friend’ or our ‘foe’. There will be periods during our lives when we have changing relationships with time and its passing. It might be that we fight against it, it might be that we are scared of it, it might be that we try and ‘hold on’ to it, it might be that we accept it gracefully or it might be that we have finally learned to be with it.

Time is a funny thing. It is something that is real and yet, at the same time, exists conceptually as something our society has quantified. Time is also something that is affected by our perception. We all have a relationship with time and our perception of it, is something that is heavily impacted by our emotional state.

Depending on how we feel and our expectations and perceptions, time can either be our ‘friend’ or our ‘foe’. There will be periods during our lives when we have changing relationships with time and its passing. It might be that we fight against it, it might be that we are scared of it, it might be that we try and ‘hold on’ to it, it might be that we accept it gracefully or it might be that we have finally learned to be with it.

Why is it so hard to trust time? Mainly because of fear – fear of lack of control, fear of something not happening now meaning it will never happen, fear of challenging emotions and life events, and fear of being unsafe. The other thing to realize is that our efforts with regards to time are utterly useless – we cannot control time or rewind days, we cannot stop things from moving on in life and changing, and we cannot skip to the next chapter. So, why on earth waste our efforts stressing about it.

Trying to rewind time
The past is only useful if we learn from it. Visit the past but don’t live there. Life innately changes – it never stands still. If we try to ‘hold on’ to time and make it ‘stop’ by not moving with things as they change, then we will find ourselves left behind. When that moment arrives and you realize that a certain phase of your life is over and no longer for you, then say thank you, gracefully let it go and be open to move forward.

Living now but not living for now
We have all heard about living & being in the present moment more – it is the basis of mindfulness and meditation. It can be hard for us humans to be in the present moment because our brains want to analyze, be busy and problem solve. But, even if it is a challenge. anything that engages your body or brain in a different way can help you – exercise, painting, dancing, drawing, music, nature, cooking and even breathing. Find your top three tools for being in the now and practice using them to build a habit.

Trying to ‘skip’ time
There will be periods in life when everything falls apart and we are presented with challenging emotions and choices. These can feel overwhelming and it is easy for us to try to go into denial, avoid them, or just make deal with things ‘quickly’ because we want the pain to be over – but these strategies never really work very well and they don’t last.

We may also want to fast forward and try to ‘make something, anything’ happen as we are impatient, or we want to control and feel safe, or we fear that if it doesn’t happen now, then it never will. Again, time will take its natural course and you can’t hurry it. Don’t resist it, don’t try to control it – instead take a deep breath, and try to trust it.

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