We all know about the power of the ancient practice of meditation. Science already has discovered multiple benefits from meditation like improved attention, decreases in rumination, improvements in cognitive flexibility and working memory capacity, reductions in reactivity, anxiety and depressive symptoms. But there is more to be found. By meditation we can induce the awareness of living in the moment. How is this possible? What are the underlying mechanisms of this effect? Psychologists explored this question and hypothesized that mindfulness meditation can change the subjective feeling of time.
Different studies have shown that people who meditate can actually slow down their time perception. In different experiments people had received a mindfulness training and they found that mindfulness practice leads to an overestimation of perceived duration. Within different conditions, that varied in external stimulation (for example performing a task, watching a video, waiting in a room), scientists found a significant effect. This occurred during and after the task that was performed by participants that received the training. They also found that just one mindfulness practice with inexperienced people resulted in a significant change compared to the group that didn’t received any training.
These results indicate that an awareness of our present experience, on a moment- to- moment basis, may impact the way we perceive the passage of our time. This supports that by meditation practice we can gain a better sense of control of our time. In the hectic modern society where we are pressured by the limits of time, we would all benefit if we have more control of our hectic lives. Imagine how our modern society can improve if we would all integrate meditation in our daily life. With just a little bit practice we can already achieve a mindful mind. Let’s learn from this beautiful ancient practice and grab that pillow!
‘’Realize deeply that the present moment is all you will ever have.”
― Eckhart Tolle
Written by Sadja Faili