Remember when you were a kid, when it was as if time flowed slower - waiting for Christmas and New Year's, the number of days before the next vacation or before a cool movie came out? As adults, entire days, months and seasons pass by imperceptibly and the pages of the calendar change at a lightning-fast pace.
It's not like humans gain powers that allow them to move forward in time quickly when they grow up. It's not all the newly arisen responsibilities and worries either. According to several studies, as time goes on humans simply begin to perceive time a bit differently.
There are several theories as to what causes our change in perception of the quickly fleeting days and months. The most popular among them states that after a person's 25th birthday, their internal biological clock begins to change. Metabolism slows down due to the aging of the body itself. This leads to slower heart rate and breathing.
When we're kids, the biological clock ticks faster. Our biological markers (breathing and [pulse]) occur more frequently and faster in a given period of time. This in turn causes the brain to think that more time has passed.
Another popular theory posits that the perception of time has to do with the amount of information the brain receives. While we're young, the world around us is new. Everything is interesting, we find something never-before-seen wherever we turn. With so much stimuli, the brain works harder and processes more information, which makes it believe that more time has passed. As we grow older and gain experience, the world becomes smaller and more familiar, which also gives the brain less work to do.
People tend to think about their age in decades - their 20s, 30s, 50s etc. It's been proven that each period of time is perceived to have a different duration. For example, some studies claim that children perceive the length of time between the ages of 5 and 10 to be the same as the time between the years 40 and 80 in adults.
Time really does fly but to prevent it from slipping through your fingers and say that your life went by without you even noticing, there are several things psychologists recommend you can do. Firstly, keep your brain busy. Give it new tasks, new information and new things to look at every day. Exercise, stay in shape. And last but not least - avoid monotonous cycles - leaving home, going to work, leaving work, going home.