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January 03, 2008

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Great research, I really enjoyed reading this post. If it's any solace, I'm only 27 and I've been thinking about death a lot too!

Interesting post. I have seen death come to young ones around me; so haven't seen it as just an old age thing. I never expected to live past 30 and when I did, I quit wondering how old I'd get to be. The question i have had is suppose time is really speeding up for everybody? Maybe the perception it is faster as we age is because it is but not just for us who are old. What do we have to measure it really when it possibly doesn't exist at all-- using quantum physics thinking that all is here at the same time-- and is merely a tool we use to function. But your ideas for mindful living are how to make the most of what is here regardless.

In school time passed very slowly. As I kept looking at the clock for each class to end, 45 min. was an eternity.

Once I had a job as a security guard at the gate of a condo complex. I sat in this little booth for eight hours a day. These were very, very long days. But when I was with a girlfriend or something pleasurable, time went way too fast.

When you're in great pain, each moment lasts too long. When you're having fun, it can't last long enough.

It's as simple as that, and not, but this is one way to look at it.

Now is always now. For many people, it's the content of now that determines its apparent duration.

Brian, you're enjoying life.

Great post sir :-)

Very Thoughtful article, i found it very interesting, but as Rain said, time does fly when we are having fun, which basically means, if you want time to slow down then do something that you do not enjoy doing. I believe it is as simple as that.

Enjoy your life as you only get one of them!

A friend of mine once said that time speeds up because each moment takes up a much higher percentage of time in a younger person's life. So, a day is a really long time if you're only a day old, but a really short time if you are 18,250 days old. For me, meditation and turning off the tv slow down time a little bit.

Time slows down

This perception for me is not about age but change. I wanted to quit smoking and was having little success. I went to a hypnotist, just a scam for me, anyway it did not work. I was trying to reprogram myself.
I did learn one thing from this experience that hypnosis changes your perception of time. Time did slow down for me, a trick of the mind?

My mother has Alzheimer's and her perception of time is unusual. It was surreal when it started. She would go to work 8am come home at 7pm. Then just a few times at first. She would sleep 10-15 min and getup take shower and go to work at 8pm. By 9pm it was dark and she would realize what she had done. Scared and mystified she would go to bed and could not sleep. Now for her every day is the same day. Time does not exist the way it use to for her. Her short term memory is almost gone. Her long term is fragmented. The brain cells are trying to map around the damaged areas. There is no cure, omega 3's and ester c, clean water distiled help.

I had better luck with subliminal reprogramming she likes to play games on the computer as do I. Subliminalblaster is a good program for this. I can customize the messages for a particular task I want her to complete. There is no other way to get through to her. You could talk all day for
weeks and she forget it 5 min. I use it on
myself as well with great success.

if you fly around the earth for 50 years would people on earth age faster than you if so could someone explain it

Hello! I just happened by this post of yours and it reminded me of a series I watched on the Science Channel sometime in the past year. It's originally a BBC4 series on Time written and hosted by string theory pioneer Michio Kaku. Part one in the series is exactly what you pose here .. "He discovers our sense of time passing and the clocks that drive our bodies."
Here is a link to the series ...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/documentaries/features/time.shtml
You might be able to find it playing on the Science Channel here in the states as well.
I remembered it immediately when I read your post as it posed several different experiments in terms of how our brains work throughout our lifetimes in terms of perception of time and the passage of time.
VERY interesting ... hope you can find it to watch!

Great blog btw :)

Well im only 16, and I think there is seriously something wrong when someone my age is having to look up ways to make time slow down for them. This obviously proves there is too much stress in our society today. Great read, unfortunately time is flying way to fast for me to even attempt to catch up with.

You will be charmed by the fact that I found your post after my 9 year old daughter, Loma cried, exclaiming that she did not want to grow up. She insists that time has flown for her. I offered several theories as I have put much thought into this topic ever since my father told me when I was little that each decade is progressively shorter than the last. Later, as he was turning 72, he repeated this thought only added that all the time after about 40 can be encapsulated in a flash. To add to what you stated I profess that this past year has been one of the happiest and longest of my 34 years. I believe that mindfulness is an abreviated version of what I experienced. A few years ago I had cause to reassess my life. This happens periodically but this last time was far more profound than ever. I discovered that I wanted to slow down, enjoy life and truly live it. To address the idea that time flies when you are having fun, it can also slow down if the fun is consciously appreciated. I told my daughter that she was having way too much fun and not paying enough attention. She and I both enjoyed your post very much. I am greatful that my father warned me at an early age to seize each moment and hold onto it before you let it fly away.

One other note: I learned once that when you are in familiar territory, your eyes take a fraction of the number of "pictures" as it would in a new environment. I believe that the perception of time is many layered. It can be slowed on the mechanical level of ones ocular activity as well as on the chemical level of one's brain/mind (not to start a whole new chapter) processing that information as well as all associating information.

BoAe and Loma, I enjoyed your comment. Wise advice -- to slow down and enjoy each moment. I agree with your father about time speeding up after 40. Now that I'm 60, I see even more the truth of that.

It does seem unfair, that as you get older and have fewer years of life left, they seem to pass more quickly. But like you said, doing new things and looking upon life as freshly as possible should slow time down some (or a lot).

im only 14 years old and i have been trying to make my child hood/ life as a teenager feel as longer and I thank you for the answer.

A persons mass and weight have some effect on time. lets say when someone weights very little like a 3 year old boy they expirience time more slowly, verses some one who is tall as well as large in size who might eperience time going fater. that is why as we get older and bigger time speeds up for us. lets say there was a machine and it would make it possible to shrink someone to quantim lever and leave them like that for several seconds and then bring them back to regular size. what suposed to happen is that a young person will come back as an senior citizen. lets say you reverse the machine and you are able to enlarge a person to a size of a galaxy and leave them there in that zise for 200 years. and afterwards shrink them into their regular size. what you will notice is that that person has only aged several minutes. unlike everyone on earth experienced full 200 years. it has not been proven yet but that is the way it is.

Last month, i stood thinking for about 10 minutes in the middle of my college campus trying to think how old i was. The answer is 22. I decided to investigate and this post was well done-thank you, because time seems to fly by. I used to think i had an awesome ability to make time fly especially in situations i disliked. I started being more "mindful" of my surroundings, while walking to class-analyzing the things around me. I soon discovered that there is always something happening. Always.

Sometimes, you come across something that gives you the ability to appreciate life a little more. Can you imagine, a blind person not knowing what the ocean or stars looks like? I can't imagine this. Can you imagine a person not being able to run, in which they dream of running? Can you imagine some people can't get out of bed, their whole lives? Or not being able to move their fingers? These questions teach me appreciation of life. One thing that made me ponder some of these questions was a movie called 'Seven Pounds', and the words i remember now from it, are simply live abundantly.

Hi everyone, thank you for your comments, I think they are all helpful.
I am now twenty years old. When I was younger I used to really enjoy watching the sky with the evening sun affecting it. About two years ago I realized that I could not really do so anymore, not in the way I would have. I could not find the rest for the enjoyment, perhaps what I look for is mindfulness, I do not know yet.
A feeling I am having about the experience of speed of time is that it is also influenced by how you remember your time. If you remember all days like you do today, than probably you will feel like you have lived for a long time.
Might it not be just the conscious awareness of the world, but might it be the memory of that awareness that effects ones perception of the speed of time as well?
Something inside me tells me that keeping a diary every day could help me consciously think over that day and fix it in my memory, I am going to try that, together with mindfulness.

I did some observations of my mind.
An important one is that sometimes when I wake up early, and I look at a clock, time almost literally goes faster. Instead of tick....tick....tick in the afternoon, I then experience the clock as tick.tick.tick, and rarely even tickticktickticktick.
A second thing I observe is that lately I do not remember certain conversations with people as well as the people I talked to do, it could be that I just have more conversations then those people, or it could be my memory. The latter is supported by the fact that usually when I try, I do not instantly remember what I did the day before. I have to consciously dig it up. Thinking what day it is and then calculating the day it was yesterday helps me figure out my usual tasks and then remember the deviations from those.

A last short thing, I feel like I can hold my thought for less long then I used to and that if I, at for instance a symposium, do not write down a question I take a serious risk of forgetting it. I also think the state of this "working memory" of me also determines my actual brain power.

I am very curious whether others can place themselves in my thoughts. Also, is there somebody who has a good training/trick to improve memory?
Bye! Tein

You are wrong. Kids don't experience shorter time while old people experience flying times. Reading this only bit : How to make time slow down

Time speeds up as you get older. Almost everyone I know says this is true. I sure do. And it's damn unfair.

Why should children, who have their whole lives ahead of them, experience time moving more slowly than semi-geezers like me (I'm 59), who don't have anywhere near as long to live?

I frequently feel like screaming, Hey life! Flip things around! Those kids should be the ones who sense time flying by, while older people get to string out the days they have left.

One of my best friends from elementary and high school died recently. He was, obviously, my age. I was sad to learn about his death from cancer. And I was jerked into a realization that what happened to him could happen to me.

Dying anytime. You never know how long you've got. So slowing down time to make my remaining moments seem like they're lasting longer strikes me as an excellent proposition.

So today I ventured onto Google, figuring that it would be easy to take my first step: learning why time speeds up the older we get...

I already stop reading because the whole thing is untrue. kids do experience flying time you old guy. So don't go blabbering on any further.

Not telling my name, you should do some more research before calling me wrong. Most people do indeed feel that time goes by faster the older they get. For example...
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/questions/question/2150/
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081118163142AAAZ4jf

Naturally kids experience times when time seems to fly by. But on the whole, time goes slower for them. Years pass slower, probably because there are more novel experiences when you're young.

Blogger Brian hit it in his last sentence. When you are young, everything is new and experienced more vividly and intensely. There is more presence in the moment.

Adults are used to their daily routines and phenomena they have seen and experienced many times before. Life loses its intensity and specialness because what happens is "been there, done that". Much is taken for granted.

Life rushes by as we are distracted by a series of familiar events and this makes life seem more dreamlike. We are not fully present.

Want life to go by slowly? Turn off the electronics. Put away the books. Mothball your hobbies, interests, social contacts and just sit. Anywhere. Forest, beach or city. Just sit and do nothing but observe what presents itself from within and without.

Your days will be very long indeed.

But no matter how long you do this, for days, weeks or years you are always just present now, and the past is just a dream, a memory, an idea.

Where did the time go? It never went anywhere. It has always been now. Remove the distractions and just "be here now".

Your life will be an eternity.

omgsh. tucson. u just said precisely what i thought. the past is just a dream. a memory. time is so relative. past present future. things become so repetitive on a day to day basis.... that u can hardly distinguish the 3. im only 17. about a year ago.. all my friends abandoned me. one got in a gang. the other dropped out of school and my other best friend virtually my brother is facing 5 years in jail. me being alone has made the year go by so incredibly fast. however, when everyone left me.. i gave my life to god. and after reading this ive found a solution. be happy enjoy everysingle microsecond. make a second a minute and a minute a hour. dont rush anything. i just sat there one day and closely analyze 1 full minute. even the microseconds. its all in our mind. its all relative. time accelerates at a constant speed regardless of age. it is the way that u view it and experience it that is the true speedometer.

i typed that really fast. alot of things dont make sense hopefully its understandable

mind time machine, you expressed yourself well (oh, I'm showing my age; should have said, "u xprssd urself wel").

You sound wiser than 17. A lot of people, no matter how old they are, never learn how precious every single moment is.

It will never come again. It is unique, absolutely different from any other moment, past or future.

I like your method of focusing on microseconds, every little instant of time.

Whenever I leave the house and get in my car, suddenly wondering "did I turn the burner on the stove off?" I realize how much of the time I'm not paying attention to those moments.

Excellent post, very nice read.

maybe one thing to explain is:
the more experieced you are, the quicker you do things. same applies to life: the more experienced you are at life, the quicker you live the life.

I am myself 19, but I really feel as Im still 16 because the last three years have rushed by. It really feels like many people feel the same way about their past. So it seems like a natural pattern. Certainly.

This is just great! Old or young, we can all in some way relate to this phenomena.

I love many of yours' "suggestions" on how to make life feel longer. Seizing the moment and all so.

But true. Seizing the moment, thinking different and new while, when percepting, doing new stuff (which leads to new perceptions and interests) might lenghten the life a bit.

Still, for me, the best out of the above suggestions is the one about just counting miliseconds. This together with just "turning of everything", listening to your own breath while just watching, makes you really feel alive!
... in the moment you are really doing this, and not thinking about that you are doing it, for what reason and what you are going to eat in a couple of hours. Or what your friends think about your new pants.

Interesting posts. I think most people enjoy it.

- Greetings, Eirik, 19 yo from Norway
Thinking person

Eirik, you are wise beyond your years. Congratulations on having such a thoughtful approach to life at such a young age. (You sort of remind me of me, so there's some self-praise involved in what I'm saying.)

I like what you said about doing "just this" as much as possible during the day. As I've written about in the Scootering category of my blog, this is one reason I enjoy getting on my Suzuki Burgman. Riding on two wheels -- no seatbelt, no airbag, nothing between you and other vehicles -- grabs my attention.

I do little daydreaming on my scooter. When I catch myself not paying attention to everything that is going on around me, I get back to zeroing in on what's happening here and now on the roadway. Since life usually isn't so risky, we get complacent and distracted with the seemingly mundane things in life.

But who knows what the next moment will bring? One moment, that will be the last moment for us. We need to appreciate every bit of life while we're still living.

I am 15 and have just been noticing that life is really starting to go by faster than it did 5 years ago, for example. It may be because I am busier with school and sports or the proportional theory. I really enjoyed the blog. I think the mindfullness approach is great. Sometimes it's just hard to make myself focus on the here and now. Thanks.

Thank you for the article. On asking a younger colleague how to slow down time he replied. "In your case by the time you've mastered it, it won't matter any more".
Have read this article I wondered whether blogging itself, or keeping a diary, might help in that mindfulness with a special effort to put down soemthing you've seen or though for the first time. There's a problem wiyh that though:
A group of college friends had a ten year reunion. They always went to the same restaurant, but they always discussed which to go to. The guys who made it to their eighties chose the same restaurant because they'd never been there before.

Interesting post. You touched me with the idea of information and perception: "we begin to ignore perceptions that used to be oh so fascinating. Familiarity breeds disinterest, if not contempt." For some reason I feel so invigorated after a quick vacation abroad. It's not just the 'relax' zone effect, it's the fact that... at least in my past vacations... I'd venture out to experience new things, go out of my norm. And then, after it's done... not much new, exciting info flowing in from my environment (compared to vacation time).
John Taylor,
liverpool blinds quick tips on selecting the right shape and styling your room

This is brilliant. Lately I've been bothered by the fact that time is spinning out of control,and it literally seemed as if the past 5 years of my life have been stolen from me.It just doesn't feel right that I'm already entering my jr year of high school. And though I do agree that living in the moment will slow down time, doesn't that require so much pactience and effort? Is there really a way to speed down time subconsciously so that you don't have to persay,"work at it." Otherwise, it would be almost painful to slow down time,seeing as you would need to use every ounce of your strength to be constantly observant. Can anyone provide an explanation?

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