Can you believe it’s half way through the year, ALREADY???? We feel like this year is absolutely flying by….and so we decided to dig up some research we did last year into why time seems to get faster as we get older. There are a number of interesting 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 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.
Now the question is… what should we do about it? Pausing regularly with meditation is an obvious place to start. Cultivating a state of mindfulness is the perfect addition. Mindfulness enables us to be present in our day-to-day activities, to take in what’s happening right here and right now, and ultimately enjoy life that much more. As many of you who have embarked on a mindfulness journey would know, it often sounds easier said than done. That’s why we have brought in our mentor, Walter Bellin, to lead our Centred Edge Peak Performance Program starting on the 31st July. During the practical six week series, we explore what it looks like to actually be mindful all the time and what continually takes us out of being in that mindful state. We teach techniques and practices for breaking recurring thought and behavioural patterns, and get back into a mindful state on a regular basis. The program is designed to shift who you are for yourself and how you show up for others as a leader, manager, partner, parent, and friend. For more information, head to our webpage and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions at all.