Last year I had my students complete an activity where they filled in the following sentence and drew a picture to accompany it: The other day I was ___________ and time stood still. I didn’t know this at the time, but finding my own words to put in the blank has been a powerful tool in my own happiness. Finding those activities that, for me, are so absorbing, so engaging, that time seems to stand still. These activities are particularly helpful for people, like myself, who are prone to worrying or over-thinking things in life. Engaging in these activities help me to get outside of my head. They help me to escape rumination.
The creative process of “wet-ink” writing and playing piano are two absorbing activities in my life. When I do these things I get into a flow and the world around me disappears. Sometimes I don’t like the thought of sitting down at the piano and playing. Sometimes it seems like a waste of time. But every time I decide to sit down on the bench and play I am happy I did. Reading a good fiction book has the same effect for me. I get invested in the lives of the characters and their stories that I forget about my own for the time being.
Rock-climbing…Painting…Running…Cooking…Skiing…Writing…Building….When do you get into a flow where time seems to stand still?