Make Your Holiday Feel Longer With Some Basic Cognitive Psychology

Make Your Holiday Feel Longer With Some Basic Cognitive Psychology

If you’ve ever had a week-long holiday that felt like it only lasted a couple days, it’s probably because you did a little too much planning and not enough living in the moment.

Photo by Loozrboy.

If you want your holiday to feel longer, you need to focus on the quality of the memories you make, not the quantity. It’s what psychologist Marc Wittmann, the author of Felt Time: The Psychology of How We Perceive Time, calls it the “classic holiday effect”:

Any interval feels longer if you have more memories stored. If you experience more memorable events, then time stretches. If you’re totally detached from the things that are happening, then you won’t store them. Emotion is the glue to your memory.

To make more quality memories, Wittmann suggests you avoid overplanning your trip so you’re forced to stay in the present moment more. Wittmann says that planning speeds up the passage of time because your mental perspective is always already in the future. You’re not focused on what’s happening in the now because all of your mental energy is focused on what’s next. So do some planning for your next holiday, but leave plenty of wiggle room to keep you rooted in the present. You can find some more great holiday-extending tips at the link below.

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