Why does time run faster with age, and what can be done about it?

Yesterday it was only Monday, and today is Friday. Do you know this feeling? It seems that with each new week, time begins to run faster and faster, and months, years and even decades fly past us


Scientists from the University of Kansas also drew attention to this phenomenon and decided to figure out why in childhood and adulthood, our ideas about time are fundamentally different.

It is no secret that it seems to children that time drags on very slowly. I would like to grow up more quickly, but first I have to go through the almost “eternal” summer vacation, wait for my next birthday or a trip on vacation. Scientists from Kansas found out why, as adults, we stop paying attention to time. Douglas Hofstadter, the leader of the research group, believes that the problem lies in the perception of reality. With age, people are more inclined to combine all the events that occur in life into peculiar clusters, which in turn make it difficult to remember bright moments.

For example, take an ordinary walk in the park. For a child this is a whole event, he remembers every moment, analyzes what exactly is happening around him. An adult, by virtue of his experience, no longer perceives a trip to the park on a weekend as something extraordinary, it simply will not cause him a surge of emotions and will be remembered as a normal day. In a word, we can say that in adulthood we live most of our lives automatically.

To understand this, scientists had to interview 107 volunteers who were asked to compare the events of the current year with the events of past years. At the same time, the task could be performed in different ways: simply compare what happened at different time periods or find differences between them. As a result, those people who used the first method, it seemed that time flies faster than a calendar year. The second half of the participants in the experiment did not feel such speed.

Allowing time to just fly by or trying to remember every moment is your own business. We like the second option more, so we turned to coaches and psychotherapists for advice to find out if we can somehow slow down the clock in ways that are accessible to people. And whether to do it.

“The perception of time in childhood and adulthood is very different. The fact is that in a small child new connections between neurons are formed almost constantly, and in an adult they are stable – when we grow up, we simply cease to perceive everything new as interesting.

Today, the direction of mindfulness, which grew out of a combination of meditative practices and yoga, is becoming very popular. His goal is to train mindfulness, to teach his mind to be here and now, expanding time and dwelling on details. Adults very often concentrate on the past or future, forgetting to live in the present. This is a waste of time, because the past cannot be changed, and planning the future is an ungrateful job. Yes, you can predict, but nothing more.

It is important to make the most of the present. A person living here and now can influence his future, but not try to control it. To slow the passage of time, I recommend that you use the present moment as often as possible. This skill affects the quality of life and eliminates neurosis. In addition, it is important to learn how to relax and understand that we can only change what we are responsible for. ”

“There are at least a few theories about why with age it seems to us that time flies faster. Firstly, this can be connected with the fact that in childhood our baggage of life experience is still very small, so almost every new event becomes a vivid impression. Secondly, the rapid passage of time is explained by the fixation of people on the past and the future.

Thirdly, chronic stress can be to blame. It provokes increased production of hormones that excite the nervous system and force us to constantly be in a state of overstrain. And finally, fourthly, the fact that many adults do not experience new emotions is called the cause of the acceleration of time. Life for them is a groundhog day with the same actions and plans. If a person actively travels, learns something new and communicates with interesting people, he has a completely different perception of the speed of time.

What can be done?

Receive as many emotions as possible, consciously paint life with vivid impressions and colors.

Learn, master new skills. After all, those who are learning something new are aging slower.

Communicate with interesting people, expand the circle of acquaintances.

Revise your habits: do not wear only one brand of clothing or do not buy the same cosmetics, because they are exactly suitable. It is important to constantly look for new solutions.

Practice meditation, relaxation, and stress relief.

Less time to “spend” in the future.

“Keep a diary and write down in it all the successes, achievements and events that have happened to you.”

In a word, we cannot influence how the hands of the clock move, but to fill every minute with meaning is a perfectly feasible task.

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