Turning back the clock

Perception: Making an effort to keep experiencing new things, even just putting yourself in new surroundings, can help slow down your perception of time in the moment and when you look back on your past.
Perception: Making an effort to keep experiencing new things, even just putting yourself in new surroundings, can help slow down your perception of time in the moment and when you look back on your past.

You can slow down your perception of time without having to travel away from a clock at close to the speed of light as Einstein sort-of suggested with his theory of special relativity.

As it does for most of us, your individual perception of time has probably gotten faster with every passing year.

One theoretical reason for that is you aren't having new experiences often enough.

The idea behind this thought is the younger we are, the more things in life are new to us. 

Then, as we get older, there are more and more things that we've already seen, learned or done before, and for plenty of them, many times before.

In 2011, The Time Hack experiment was conducted by a blogger who tried new things every day for a year and kept a record of their perception of how long everything took. On average, they added roughly 4.6 percent of extra perceived time to each day.

That is only a modest increase though, and whilst this is one explanation, I present to you some more information that complicates things a little.

First up, time flies when you're having fun. This is a concept that you will no doubt be very familiar with yourself. It is far from merely anecdotal as well.

As studies have shown, when you're engaged, and more than likely also entertained, time seems to slip by faster than when you’re bored out of your mind. 

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The other factor worth noting comes from an experiment which determined that your perception of time in the present is related to how much you feel that you are in control of a situation. 

As an adult, a lot of the time you feel in control of where you choose to go and what you choose to do. The younger you are, generally the less opportunities you have to feel as though you are in control of where you are and what you do there.

However, our perception of time over a longer period – months or years – when we look back is a very different concept to our perception of time when those experiences were actually happening.

In terms of how to apply this information to your own life, I for one know that I'd rather have fun and feel like it was over too soon than be bored so witless that I wonder when will sweet death ever come. 

To slow down time over the longer term, it’s more about experiencing a variety of new things so that life feels like it took longer when we look back on it. 

So remember, if each day and week just blurs into the next, the months can seem like they flew past.

However, if you try something new or place yourself in new surroundings fairly often, many of these experiences will stand out as being different and the year won't flash by quite so quickly.