Shift Your Relationship with Time to Create Greater Inner Peace

by Alexandra Lowry

Many people have never considered that they have a specific relationship with time. Everyone has a “time perspective” or viewpoint. When left unchecked, this perspective can be detrimental. For example, people can be trapped in their past or their future, which is extremely limiting.

There are five major “time types” to consider when looking at a person’s relationship with time:

Past-negative: This person focuses on negative personal experiences that continue to have the power to be upsetting, leading to feelings of bitterness and regret.

Past-positive: This person has a nostalgic view of the past, and usually is in close contact with family. This person tends to have happy relationships, but the downside is a more cautious, “better safe than sorry” viewpoint, which can prevent progress.

Present-hedonistic: This person is dominated by pleasure-seeking impulses, and is reluctant to postpone feeling good for the sake of greater gain later. Challenged by “shiny object syndrome” and/or the need for instant gratification, this person is popular but tends to have a less healthy lifestyle and take more risks.

Present-fatalistic: This person isn’t enjoying the present and feels trapped in it, unable to change the inevitability of the future. This sense of powerlessness can lead to anxiety, depression and risk-taking.

Future-focused: This person is ambitious, focused on goals and big on making ‘to do’ lists. There may be a nagging sense of urgency that creates stress. This person’s investment in the future can come at the cost of close relationships and recreation time.

All five types come into play for everyone at some point, but there are probably one or two perspectives in which most people are currently aligned with at any one time. Culture and childhood can have a major influence on how a person views time. Bringing awareness to time perspective can help a person develop a more flexible, healthier approach to living by consciously shifting that relationship with time.

The aim here is to find a perspective that supports essential psychological needs and deeply held values. Balance and inner peace comes from making positive use of the past, finding healthy ways to relish the present and routinely making plans for positive steps into the vision that is held for a complete future.

Alexandra Lowry is a Certified Integrative Life Coach and owner of The Wisdom Alliance. For more information or to schedule a public speaking engagement, call 860-559-1264 or visit



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