You’re not alone if it feels like the years are zipping by right before your eyes. The truth is, time does seem to pass by quicker as you get older. The phenomenon is rooted in the way memories are formed, say psychologists who’ve explored the perception of time and how it shifts with age.
To learn more about why perceptions shift when more experiences become routine, read Why Time Seems to Speed Up as We Age
Think about it: Your best recollections are likely tied to things that were once new, exciting and emotion-evoking — the stuff of childhood (first day of school, first crush, first dip in the ocean) and branching out as a young adult (new career, new home, new family).
Your brain is hard-wired to imprint those novel events.
Middle-age life, on the other hand, is grounded in routine. Granted, those routines may be enjoyable — a weekly lunch with friends, or a standing date night with your partner — but they’re familiar.
From your brain’s point of view, it doesn’t see a need to make room to store snapshots of such everyday occasions. And when nothing stands out as special, time appears to go by more quickly.
There is a fairly easy way to slow it back down, however: Do something different. Create new and exciting experiences that will force your brain to make some room in the memory bank.
Discover more about the way your brain perceives time when you activate your access to AARP Staying Sharp today! It’s easy to enroll and is included with your AARP membership.