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Time Is on Your Side: Lessons from Centenarians

Time is the duration of space. We have internal clocks in our brains that regulate the length of intervals for hunger, thirst, sleep and other biological needs. But beyond this organic spectrum, we also have subjective time passages. The way we learn cultural duration of time. How we are informed from collective beliefs shaped by our cultural editors and our own experiences of perceived time.

How time perception influences longevity is a passion that has inspired my professional life. After investigating healthy centenarians (100 years and older) from five different continents, I discovered these exceptional outliers have a unique way of perceiving the duration of their embodied space. They intuitively know how to functionally elongate time: One of the four factors I found more important than genetics, lifestyle, diets. socioeconomics, ethnicity, and geography.

Obviously, time is a constant only outside the realm of the Special Theory of Relativity, but our biology significantly responds to how we interpret the duration of our experiences. Here is where we can begin to debunk conventional theories of aging. Research has consistently shown that genetics only contributes 20% to our longevity. I propose the elongation of enacted time allows centenarians to live with all the duration they need to experience healthy lifespans.

Centenarians avoid the urgent present: A terrain for stress hormones and pro-inflammatory molecules to thrive. Sustained stress hormones suppress immune function, and systemic inflammation ages our 50 trillion cells. Therefore, if we learn centenarian time perception, we can enact the causes of health responsible for the longevity they enjoy.

But this recontextualizing requires commitment to change the thieves of time in a world of multitasking, rushing, overloading space in not enough time, and all the other dysfunctions we learn from a lifestyle of the iSelf. Allowing the digital world to conflict with over 50,000 years of Homo sapiens wisdom.

If you're ready to consider resetting your subjective time/space clock, look around to notice how meals are shared with digital partners, breakfasts partaken with laptops, exercising defused with headphones, texting replacing live conversations, and driving distracted by cellphones. The iSelf precludes centenarian consciousness. Confront digital challenges with the serene Self that lives within you waiting to enact your own organic tools.

Such is the way of the Drift...

Time Is on Your Side

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