Psychological time, according to the Psychology Dictionary, is our subjective experience of time. Unlike clock time, the psychological time is governed by our brain. Our sense of the time passage can be influenced by our brain’s interpretation of what’s going on around us like the seasons (e.g. it’s winter) or within us like the feeling of hunger (time for dinner).
Because it is subjective, our mood or feeling can trick us about the psychological time. Examples given by the Dictionary is – boredom stretches our time sense and excitement shrinks it. As a child, I never felt the breaks came quick enough. But time has never seemed the same after I turned adult.
At work, everything zoomed by with amazing speed. Deadline and appointment ratcheted up the pressure and, by the same token, the urgency of time. Day after day, and week after week, time vanished. Just like that. Before I knew it, time to retire.
So the psychological time is fungible. Not only that, it diverts our attention away from the present moment according to Eckhart Tolle, the author of the Bestseller, “The Power of Now.” Tolle defines psychological time as “identification with the past and continuous compulsive projection into the future.”
In other words, we miss the glory of what’s at hand, the present moment.
How does time passage feel to you?