If you claim any years at all, you’ve certainly experienced it… undoubtedly you’ve heard others mention it…
Why is it that time “flies faster” the older we get? It doesn’t seem all that long ago that we said goodbye to winter, yet here it is again, literally on our doorstep! What happened to Spring, Summer, and Fall?
Anna Hunt has a few things to share about our perception of time and gives us some possible answers in her recent article on NewsLinQ.
“All clocks follow the same 12 hour / 60 minute symmetry, yet studies suggest that as we get older, we don’t experience time the same way. And there are many theories that explain why it feels like time speeds up as we grow older.
Many psychologists believe that as we age, our perception of time begins to accelerate versus time actually speeding up. Studies indicate that biological changes in the human body that happen as it ages, such as reduced dopamine production in the brain, impact our internal clock. Furthermore, some believe that as we grow up, we have fewer emotional and arousing experiences – the first kiss, the first trip away from home, the first heartbreak. Such experiences are easier to remember and lead to higher time estimations.”
But there’s more to it than that…
So is it “Habituation Hypothesis“, “Forward Telescoping“, or a bit of “Proportional Theory” that explains it best?
And just what are those 3 things anyway…?
The short story regarding Habituation Hypothesis is that as habits ingrain themselves into our everyday lifestyle and we adopt an “autopilot” mode, there is a perceived tendency to compress time. As a result, our lives seem to speed up.
With Forward Telescoping, we are inclined to perceive more of the impactful events of our lives such as births and deaths to a point that they always seem recent. Then when a lengthy period of time passes without any major life event, that period of time is compressed.
As for Proportional Theory, as explained by Paul Janet, each period of time (such as a year) is a smaller fraction of the whole lifetime. As each “moment” is perceived in relation to the whole…
“It suggests that as we get older, each period of time is a smaller fraction of the whole lifetime, and this affects how we perceive each moment.“
So all of this raises the question “How can we slow down time?”.
If the effect of years flying by so quickly is bothersome to you, or you simply desire to be in the now more often or for a longer period of time, there are a couple of things you can do to slow down time, or at least have it appear that way.
In her full article on NewsLinQ, Anna Hunt goes on to explain in detail these four helpful tips:
- Look for the beauty in things.
- Enjoy the present moment.
- Limit multitasking.
- Seek out new experiences.
She concludes with a quote by Ron Friedman, Ph.D.
“Studies show that people who feel “time-rich” tend to be happier and more fulfilled than those of us who constantly feel rushed. They experience fewer headaches and upset stomachs, and regularly get better quality sleep.“
So it’s not that time actually speeds up as we age, it’s just our perception of the passing of time that changes!
News to Share Brief source: NewsLinQ and Anna Hunt’s “Why Each Year Seems to Disappear More Quickly Than the Last” under a stated Creative Commons license with the required attributions as follows:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anna Hunt is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and an entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in research and editorial writing. She and her husband run a preparedness e-store outlet at www.offgridoutpost.com, offering GMO-free emergency food and preparedness supplies. Anna is also a certified Hatha yoga instructor at Atenas Yoga Center. She enjoys raising her children and being a voice for optimal human health and wellness. Read more of her articles here.
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