Bikram Yoga SLC student Sarah Nagel at the temple of Poseidon in Greece
Right now, you have an up-and-down relationship with time. Certain things cause time to be stressful and nerve-wracking. Other experiences make time carefree and joyous. When asked to explain relativity for the ordinary person, Einstein pointed out that time drags when you're at the dentist but flies by when you sit with someone you love. We think we're just using words when we say, "I'm on a deadline," "I'm running out of time," "There aren't enough hours in the day." But every cell in your body is participating in those experiences. If your deadline is crushing, if you're running out of time to save your mortgage, or if you go to bed with a dozen unfinished items on your agenda, those extreme pressures have made time your enemy.
It isn't time's fault. All the damaging effects of running out of time—high blood pressure, imbalanced hormones, digestive problems, insomnia, increased susceptibility to disease, increased likelihood of anxiety and depression disorders—reverse themselves when your relationship with time turns from bad to good. When you make time your friend, hundreds of billions of cells will silently thank you, because a healthy body must run on time. When you make time your friend, hundreds of billions of cells will silently thank you, because a healthy body must run on time. Unseen by you, hundreds of biological cycles are being coordinated inside your body. The most basic life rhythms, like breathing and your heartbeat, are actually clocks that bring dozens of other rhythms into sync with them. In a fascinating way, your body has learned how to master time even as you struggle with it.
Here's a guide to the simple things you may often overlook when you neglect to make time the ally of your body.
- Keep regular hours. Eat and sleep on a regular schedule.
- Avoid drastic changes in diet and activity.
- Set up an orderly work environment. Reduce distractions.
- Rest quietly once to twice during the day to let our body retune itself.
- Take yourself out of stressful situations sooner rather than later.
- Take your time; don't rush.
- Make decisions when they arise. Don't procrastinate or get distracted.
- Pay attention to what is directly in front of you. Focus on one thing at a time.
- Don't multitask. Dividing your attention leads to confusion and weakened focus.
- Protect yourself. Avoid the temptation to plunge into high-risk situations.
- Stay within your comfort zone.
- Put your house and finances in order.
- Address underlying anxiety.
- Release underlying anger. Learn to do this without losing control or hurting others.
- Renounce violence in thought and word.
- Become more resilient emotionally.
- Eliminate chaotic influences at work and in your primary relationship.
- Live as if you have all the time in the world.
Your ultimate goal, living as if you have all the time in the world, is functional immortality. It happens to be how every cell in your body is already living. Immortality comes naturally; giving in to time requires effort. As mundane as these points may seem, especially those early on in the list, they can be used to shift your awareness. It's not the mechanical doing that makes a difference but settling into life's rhythm naturally and with ease.