When I was a child time seemed to move more slowly. Today when seven year olds tell you that the year is going quickly you know that time is speeding up. Most of us are probably wondering how it can be Christmas in under a month when last Christmas seems like it was yesterday.

The main reason time seems to fly is that we are all so busy. This is with our work, our families, our interests and of course technology, which has us “plugged in” 24/7. This raises the next question, which is can we slow things down? And in doing so will that help stress levels.

The key driver of stress is feeling out of control. The feeling that events are happening around you and to you and that you are powerless to influence them. And the more that seems to be happening, the more stressed we can feel.

This is where modern technology can be a help or hindrance. If we get caught up in every event from around the globe it will be overwhelming. And to be blunt we can’t solve everyone else’s problems from afar. But we can be better connected to friends and family than ever before.

Modern communications also mean we hear or can read about every negative world event. In years gone by you didn’t know much about what happened outside your village or area.

Once again this can be good or bad. Knowing what is happening in the world can be useful. However, we cannot solve everyone else’s problems and some of us can get stressed about that which we cannot control.

Most of us have busy lives and finding time to slow down to smell the proverbial roses can be seen as a waste of time. Time spent relaxing, recharging the batteries or simply doing what we enjoy doing is not time wasted.

Whenever a loved one or even a person who we have heard of but never met passes on, particularly if it is unexpected, it reminds us that life can change in an instant. It also reminds us that our hold on life may be more tenuous than we like to think.

This means that we need to enjoy each day. It means that we need to give hugs to those we care about and make sure they know we do care about them. It means that we need to spend our time doing what makes us happy and which has purpose. It means we may need to reassess commitments and reduce those that cause stress and angst.

Time is the only finite resource we have. Not one of us knows how much we have left. As another year starts to disappear, invest some time thinking about how you use your time and whether it could it be better spent.