Why Do We Lose Our Imagination as We Age? artwork
Mental Health Training

Why Do We Lose Our Imagination as We Age?

  • S4E155
  • 02:08
  • September 25th 2021

As a child, the world is a magical place full of all sorts of possibilities. One minute you are a five-year-old in the playground, the next, you are a queen in her tower reigning over all the other children on the playground.

These days were so great, so why do we lose our imagination as they age?

You Figure Out What Will Never Happen

The main reason you will become less imaginative as you age is that as you learn more about the world around you and what is or isn't possible, this affects your creativity.

For example, when you are a child and think you can become a ballerina one day, well, that will have you spinning all over the living room! As you age, take dance lessons, and learn you are indeed not talented at dancing, well suddenly that dream goes away, as do you creatively imagining that you will one day become a ballerina.

You Adapt Social Norms

Besides just discovering several things in life that will never happen, you also begin to adapt to social norms as you age. Unfortunately, running around your house pretending you are a wizard or warlock isn't part of the social norms of life. Sometimes, this realization can be embarrassing, like finding out you are the only one who still plays with toys during break time. Events like this can lead you to leave imaginative play and your imagination behind to fit into the world around you.

You Forget How To Be Imaginative

To top it all off, as you are learning the truth and adopting social norms, you spend less time being creative and imaginative. Like any other skill in this world, the less you practice it, the more you begin to lose it.

Becoming less imaginative is a self-perpetuating cycle as you age. It is easy to see imagination in children. It makes up most of their playtime. Once they begin to grow older, they'll play less using imagination and more with toys or in front of electronic devices.

Sadly, humans lose their imagination as they age, but it is the unfortunate truth. It happens because of a combination of learning how the world works, adapting to their environment, and forgetting how it feels to be imaginative. At some point, if you don't change now, you likely won't be very imaginative at all. 

Mental Health Training