Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Slowing The Passage Of Time

Lost in the routine of your typical work week, time flies by in what seems an instant. Spend those same days vacationing in an unfamiliar country and time goes by far more slowly. 

What’s going on? Surely it’s more fun to go on an adventure abroad than to use up your days following the same predictable routine. Isn’t time supposed to fly by when you’re having fun?

Correct.

Time does zip by when you’re enjoying yourself, depending on your point of view. 

When you’re experiencing fun, time evaporates like an ocean under the bright light of a Death Star. But when looking back on your experience, it seems to have lasted a marvelously long time.

We’re not entirely sure why moments of novelty seem to last longer in retrospect. But neuroscientist David Eagleman claims it has to do with the speed at which we process different kinds of information. Our brain collects and orders known information fast and unknown information slowly.

That’s why time seems to speed up as we grow older. We know so much more about the world that far less seems to catch us by surprise.

With nothing new to jot down, your memory effectively takes a nap. 

That’s why it’s so difficult to remember what you had for dinner last night. You’ve probably eaten that meal hundreds of times already, and even though it was undoubtedly delicious, you aren’t particularly excited by it.

Thus your brain didn’t care to register it.

So the passage of time isn’t so much tied to our age, as much as it’s tied to the number of new experiences we feed our brain.

If any of this holds true, your life might feel longer and fuller if you try new things. And if it’s false, you can sleep soundly knowing that I’ll forever be on Santa’s naughty list for misleading you.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach