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. 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.

Aging can be seen, not as time taking its revenge, but time out of joint. When your bodily clocks are perfectly coordinated, the processes that keep every cell vibrant and functioning with perfect efficiency—in other words, the processes we see in a young cell—can be maintained for decades. Even when a cell grows old and dies, that doesn't cause life's rhythms to grow old. It's invisible slippage at the level of time that is the real culprit in again. 

Simple ways to make time your ally


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