Seen At 11: Time Flies, But Is There A Way To Slow It Down?

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — We all know time flies, but why is that? And is there anything we can do to slow it down?

“It’s going by very quickly, yea,” one New Yorker said.

“Life in general just goes by faster,” another added.

Especially when you’re having fun.

“Everybody says fast, no matter what age they are,” author Alan Burdick told CBS2’s Alice Gainer.

The holidays come and go, and before we know it, are back again. Is it our imagination, or is time really slipping away from us?

“Time is something I’ve always wondered about,” Burdick said.

He became so fascinated with the passing of time that he wrote a book about it — ‘Why Time Flies.’

“Time flying by means I’ve lost track of time,” he said.

The busier we are — explained Burdick — the faster time passes.

Conversely, when we’re bored or have nothing to do we tend to watch the clock, making it feel as though time is moving slowly.

“When we learn something new or have a novel experience, it’s laid down in memory — what you might call high definition,” he said.

Research shows, if we feed our brains more, new information — maybe from a book or a class — the extra time it takes to process can actually make us feel as though time is moving more slowly.

That’s not the only way to make life seemingly last longer.

Experts say increasingly exposing our brains to new environments, even something as simple as a new restaurant — with all of its different sounds, smells, and colors — can lengthen a day. The same goes for meeting new people and being spontaneous.

When the brain has less time to prepare itself — studies show — the less familiar it is with the information it’s receiving, so it takes longer to process that time period.

“If you’re on vacation, put the clock away. Do your best not to think about time,” Burdick said.

While it may sound trivial, Burdick suggested taking time to stop and smell the roses and don’t over-schedule yourself.

If all else fails, remember this.

“Time flying by means you’re enjoying yourself,” he said.

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