Can you believe it’s almost the end of the year, ALREADY????
We feel like this year has absolutely flown by….and from our chats with most of you, it seems you feel the same. So while you’re most probably stuck between wondering where on earth this year went, and wishing the break was already here, we decided to do some research into why time seems to get faster as we get older.
It turns out that there are a number of theories on the matter:
- The first is a theory proposed by Paul Janet, a French philosopher, in 1897. He theorised that our brain perceives time relative to the “absolute” time we can compare it to. So the longer we are alive, the smaller a year becomes in relation to our entire life to date as a whole. For example, when we were five years old, a year was 20% of our entire life (a pretty significant chunk). When we are 50, a year is only 2% of our life to date (a much smaller portion) so it seems to pass by faster than it really is. This interactive timeline is a really cool visual portrayal of this concept (definitely worth checking out).
- Another theory has been proposed by an array of psychologists and neuroscientists. They argue that the more familiar the world becomes, the less information our brain writes down, and the more quickly time seems to pass. In the first few years of our lives, anything we sense or do is brand new and many of our experiences are unique, so we tend to make more detailed and lasting memories of them. But as the years go by, we encounter fewer and fewer novel experiences (both because we have experienced many of them already and because we fall into a routine) so they become less likely to make a unique or lasting impression.
- Finally, researchers have found that stress and “time pressure” (i.e. the feeling that we have so much to do and so little time to do it in) speeds up our sense of time. Put simply, we are so busy getting through the day that we become less likely to focus on the present, take in our surroundings and build detailed memories.
So you have two choices as to how you play your cards for the remaining part of the year. You can either wish time away by simply ‘getting through’ these final few weeks, OR, you can implement some mindfulness by focusing on your present moment experiences, as well as do something novel to shake things up and slow down your perception of time. No matter which you choose, meditation will surely help 🙂