Why time passes faster when we get older?

I took a look at the calendar today, well, it’s weekend again, and this week has passed, but I have no idea what I’ve done this week.

2019 is passed nearly half, and I am still the fool that will still write 2018 as the current year.

A lot of people will feel this way: as we get older, it feels like the passage of time will accelerate.

When I was a child, every birthday is very ceremonial, my parents will buy a big cake, invite many friends and celebrate together. After the birthday began to look forward to the next birthday, but now, has been numb to the birthday.

In a blink of an eye, I already working for almost three years, and the first day of college’s joy and curiosity as if still yesterday, the struggle during secondary school as if it is a dream.

Don’t you think it’s scary? The passage of time seems to be a rapid vortex, the faster the flow when getting into the depths.

So this post today is to teach you how to slow down the time. You might think that I’m crazy, how can time be slowed down? Everyone has a fixed 24 hours a day!

Well, before you click away, what I meant was slowing down the time you experience.

When it comes to the passage of experience time, there is a difference between the time we experience at the moment and the time we experience when we want to go back to the past.

time passes faster


Time we experience at the moment

We all have this experience, and when you’re preoccupied with what you’re doing, time seems to go a little faster than when you’re bored.

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi mentioned the concept of “flow”- an experience of immersion in what one does, and a resulting loss in one’s sense of space and time.

When can we experience this “flow”? It is believed that most people have experienced it when playing games or watching tv series to pass time. This feeling tends to indulge in things we love, such as painting, sports, writing, reading, learning, and so on.

The opposite of the “flow” is boredom, which is that no matter how hard you try, you can’t get into a state of concentration.

For example, when we are waiting for someone important, or waiting for a visit to the hospital, airport lobby or train station lobby, we often difficult to enter the state of “flow”, because we need to allocate some attention to wait for our name to be evoked or keep track on the train arrival. You can’t focus all your energy on more interesting things, so you start to focus on the passage of time and you feel like every minute is an ordeal.


The time we experience in the past

Try to recall your birthday as a child, or traveling with family and friends, or attending a pleasant event, or a first-time meeting the girl/boy that you like.

Try to recall your exam, rush to class during college, or the day when your work schedule is full.

Comparing the two memories, whether you will be surprised to find that the former seems to longer, and even recall some details. You will remember who sent you gifts on your birthday, who helped you ignite all the candles; remembered the scenery you saw when you were traveling, the food you ate, and the feeling of pounding when you first met your loved one.

And the latter’s time passes faster, and many of the details had been blurred. Every day get up at a fixed time, take a fixed route to school or to work, sitting in the classroom with the same lecturer, follow the established routine every day. You won’t even remember some people in the class, or what you eat for lunch every day.

Perhaps you will refute me that you will recall some details during your school time, such as the joy when you solved a math question, or when your friends cheer you up or when you secretly skipped the class.

This is because these experiences are new to you, and you are full of excitement and curiosity about everything. The main thing is that you focus on these events, so your brain makes these novel experiences crackling onto your memory disk.

And when you repeat a set of behaviors in a particular situation, the brain subconsciously understands the connection between the status quo, actions, and outcomes. This acquired association creates habits, and once you get into the habit, you can do your daily work without paying much attention.

Your brain is constantly Ctrl+V every day, and what is changed is just the date of the day.

Habits improve our efficiency, but the activities you carry out with your habits are often not left in memory. So that time is shorter than the days when you put your attention on solving new things.

Schedule cycling makes people feel that time passes faster.

Childhood life is full of many new experiences, this is because you haven’t had time to accumulate a lot of memories when you were young.

And as you get older, the more you experience, the more things you repeat, the more you become familiar, and the individual instances that are worth remembering become fewer.

That’s why when we grow up, we feel that the time passes faster.

To this point, I think you already know exactly why the older you are, the faster the time passes, so how do you slow down the perception of time?

The life full of new experiences is unlikely to be blurry in our memory, and we may be able to create a perception that supports the memory of new experiences, giving us a more satisfying sense of the past.

In popular terms, if you want to prolong your perception of time, we can do more things that impress us, such as learning a new skill, trying a new challenge, listening to new music, making new friends, reading books, and traveling to places we haven’t been.

Whenever you add something new to your life, you are creating the conditions for the memory of the future and make your past years meaningful because your life is full.