top of page

Are You Going Crazy? Or Is Time Really Going Faster?

Feel like the days are zipping by faster than ever?

You could swear that January was just last week, yet here you are, staring down the barrel of June.  

The good news is that you’re not going crazy. Time going faster is actually a real phenomenon!

Here's a quick insight into why time seems to fly as we age.

The Curious Case of Time Perception

The perception of time passing quickly is to do with memory and how much you've experienced. Because our brains respond to new experiences. So when we do the same old routine day-in, day-out for months or years on end, this contributes to that perception of days rolling into one.

Think about it, when you’re eight, everything is new and exciting. Each day is filled with novel experiences. Your brain is in overdrive, constantly processing new information and forming new memories. This dense accumulation of memories creates the illusion that time is moving more slowly. 

Contrast this with your life as an adult. Routine often dominates your days and new experiences become less frequent. Your brain becomes efficient at processing the familiar, which means fewer new memories are formed. As a result, years seem to blur together and time appears to accelerate. The brain’s encoding of fewer new experiences leads to a sense of time slipping through your fingers.

It’s in our Biology 

Scientists have discovered that our brains process fewer images per second as we get older which makes time appear to pass more quickly.

Imagine watching Netflix (or video if you’re old school). And it suddenly switches to slow-motion. 

This slow-mo effect is exactly what is happening in your brain. Your neural processing slows down which means the sequence of images becomes less frequent, creating the illusion that time is speeding up. 

Another factor contributing to this time-warp feeling is the tick-tock of our biological clock. 

As we age, our metabolism tends to slow down and our internal clock ticks at a more leisurely pace. Your body runs on a different schedule where the minutes and hours tend to blur together. This slightly slower internal rhythm makes external time seem to slip away faster than they did in our youth. 

And then there a bit of maths

Or otherwise known as proportional theory. 

Remember when you were eight years old and you desperately wanted to be 9? The year went on forever. Each birthday felt monumental and the span between them seems vast.

Which makes sense. Because when you were 8, one year was a significant chunk of your life.

Flash forward a few decades. 

When you’re nearer say seventy or eighty, one year is a much, much smaller proportion of

your life. The proportional difference makes each year seem shorter as you age.

How can we slow down time?

We can’t stop the clock (or turn it back without getting all science fiction on it). 

But we can influence our perception of time. Here's how:

Actually Slow Down! 

This may be stating the obvious. But you can start by doing things a little more slowly. 

The saying more haste, less speed is an oldie but a goodie! 

Generally speaking when you’re in a hurry, you often end up having less success than if you completed the task more slowly.  Which anyone trying to put icing on a hot cake will know! 

And along with that we can also throw the idea of multi-tasking out the window. There’s been multiple studies now to show that our brains don’t cope very well with doing many things at once. 

Again one of the tasks that we are juggling to do at the same time will come off second best. 

You will be more efficient and actually get more done if you tackle one task at a time. 

Though I do get that it’s hard for overachievers and go-getters to feel like this is true… but give it a try and see what happens! 

And better yet, pause and take a breath (or two) before you begin. 

Embrace Novelty

Doing new things is a powerful way to slow down your perception of time.

Introducing new activities, movements and ways of thinking breaks the monotony of routine. 

By engaging in unique and varied experiences, you create new neural pathways and form new memories, effectively making time feel more expansive.

Imagine starting your day with a fresh twist—literally.

Instead of your usual way of getting out of bed, try rolling or stretching in new and unexpected ways.

As you navigate your home, challenge yourself to avoid your regular paths. Crawl under tables, step over furniture or even walk backward.

Or walk your usual route around the block in the other direction.

Brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand. Notice the different sensations and movements, and enjoy the quirky challenge it presents.

These simple changes can break you out of auto-pilot and spark a bit of fun and curiosity into your day.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness promotes a deep sense of presence in the NOW. When you are fully engaged in the here and now, you’re less likely to feel like time is slipping away.

Being mindful, noticing all the little details means that you will also likely be moving that bit slower in the first place. 

And by focusing on your body and your surroundings, you can anchor yourself in the present moment, making time feel more expansive and abundant. 

And you don’t have to become a meditation expert to enjoy the benefits of mindfulness. 

You can add pockets of it into your everyday life. 

Say during your lunch break you could spend a few minutes focusing on the texture and taste of each bite, truly savoring your food. 

You could set a timer for two minutes and immerse yourself in the rhythm of your breath. Pay attention to where you feel your breathing? In your chest? Your belly? Your back? Your nose? Is your inhale longer? Or your exhale? 

Or when you next go for a walk, take a moment or two to pay attention to the sensation of your feet touching the ground and the rhythm of your steps (even better if you can kick your shoes off and do this barefoot). 

These small everyday practices are easy to achieve. And the more often that you’re fully engaged in the here and now, you’ll discover a deeper connection with your surroundings and a more fulfilling sense of time.

Stay Engaged

Staying engaged with life encourages continuous learning and curiosity. This engagement keeps your brain active and brings a sense of wonder to everyday activities, helping to create richer, more memorable moments.

Staying engaged with life keeps your mind sharp. It keeps you curious and learning new things. 

It can be something big like taking up a hobby you've always been curious about but never tried, such as pottery. 

Maybe learning a new language (using a free app like Duolingo can be an awesome place to start!). 

Or it can be simple things, attempt a daily puzzle or brain game to keep your cognitive skills honed and your curiosity alive. 

Or it can be really stopping to listen to how your partner’s day was, rather than watching TV or scrolling through your phone at the same time. This continuous learning and exploration can bring a sense of gratitude and pleasure to everyday activities. By staying engaged, you keep your brain active and your life exciting.

And here's another pro tip: 

You can get all these benefits of slowing down time in a Feldenkrais class.

In a Feldenkrais class, you’re encouraged to take it slowly. Because going slow gets your brain’s attention. 

You get time to feel into what it is you’re doing and how you’re doing it. How does it feel? 

Plus every lesson is an adventure in novelty. You continuously learn and explore new movements and fresh perspectives on how to move. You get really interested in not just what you’re doing, but HOW you’re doing it. 

This breaks the monotony of doing the same old movement routine, week-in, week out. And it helps create new neural pathways and memories that slow down your perception of time.

Feldenkrais classes aren’t just about movement; it’s about becoming more aware. Even though I call them “Not Yoga”, the official name for the classes is Awareness Through Movement®. 

As you focus on your body and its sensations, you become more deeply focused and mindful. 

Can I keep my breath flowing while I do that movement? What happens when I move my arm like this? How does it feel if I relax my jaw at the same time? 

This mindfulness anchors you in the moment, expanding your sense of time. 

So there you have it. 

However you choose to introduce these ideas, you can cultivate a sense of slowing down time. It’ll help you feel more youthful and life more enjoyable and fulfilling. 

So, whether you’re eight or nearer eighty, take a deep breath, savour the moment, and remember that time, like life, is what you make of it.  

We can’t stop the clock but we can definitely find ways to slow things down and savour the moment.

Try out one of these ideas and let me know how you get on. 

Or better yet, join me for a Feldenkrais class in person or online to enjoy the experience of slowing down while moving with intention and ease.

8 views0 comments


bottom of page