When Was the Last Time You Lost Track of Time?

Running late for appointments and making your parents wait when you’re supposed to be meeting them for dinner can be considered a couple of the downfalls of losing track of time. However, I’d like to argue that losing track of time can also be beneficial for your mental health on occasion. In fact, I may even consider losing track of time as one of my personal favorite mindfulness techniques.

For me, losing track of time often means that I’ve fallen into some sort of flow. Falling into flow can mean that you’ve become so engaged in a creative process, task, or environment that you are extremely focused on that sole moment. Finding something you love to do can help you get into flow and take your mind off of stressful forces in your life. Not sure what project or task to take on? Consider hopping into nature for a bit.

Using Wanderlust for Time Loss

Ever go on vacation and feel so relaxed that you forget what day it is? Or maybe you’ve been relaxing by the beach for so long that you can’t believe it’s already 4:00 pm. Or maybe you’ve been catching up with an old pal and their company made you forget to check the clock for a while. That, my friend, is the beauty of losing track of time. Unfortunately, between demanding work schedules and boring responsibilities, there aren’t too many opportunities where we get to get lost in a state of mindfulness. That’s where nature comes into play.

I once read somewhere that surrounding yourself with nature has been proven to given you a more centered and relaxed state of mind. In short, when you’re surrounded by nature, you are more mindful. While I’m still truly trying to learn how to practice mindfulness, I thought surrounding myself in nature would be a good first step. And sure enough, during my first backpacking trip, I definitely lost track of time.

Hiking challenges you in so many ways than just your endurance and cardio abilities. Hiking also challenges your mind to focus on every step you take. It challenges you to take in all of the different colors, textures, and pieces of earth before you. Hiking challenges you to forget about every day stressors and focus on the natural beauty before you.

Question What You Think You Know

You may be reading this and thinking, Okay yeah. I get it. The wind, the sky, the earth makes a person feel at peace. Blah, blah, blah. Yes, I know this all sounds pretty woo-woo, but stay with me here. Understanding how surrounding yourself with nature makes you more mindful goes beyond just the placebo belief that it has that power.

When you’re in nature, you must allow the environment to challenge what you already know. For example, say you hike up a really big rock and spent that entire time thinking about what each foot must do so you don’t plummet to a quick and painful death. Then once you get up the rock, you’re congratulated by a stunning view of some lakes or mountains or some other terrific view. Rather than just looking at the view and thinking Gee that’s nice. Now, did I remember to submit that report to my boss on Friday?? Take a moment to sit down, feel your lungs slowly go back to normal breathing repetition and challenge yourself on what you already know.

What makes this beautiful to us silly humans?

Ask yourself a few questions, such as:

  • Why do I think this view is nice?
  • Why do my eyes perceive this as a beautiful view?
  • How does that tree’s shade of green differ from the other tree’s shade of green?

Asking yourself questions like those will help you remain in the present and continue to lose track of time. When you take the time to question what you already know, you’ll find yourself feeling more centered and in the present moment.

Belive me, fellow blog lovers, losing track of time is a wonderful thing. Losing track of time means you entered flow and you stayed within your present moment. If you’re wanting to experience this state of mindfulness while challenging your body, consider going for a hike and having some one-on-one time with nature.

How do you stay present?

-She Salt


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