A sad hour lasts the same as a happy hour. The clock follows the same rhythm. It is our perception of time that varies.
When you are immersed in an activity and/or spending it at the cinema, it seems that an hour hardly lasts five minutes.
I wish we could perceive it as if it were five hours. And hopefully, too, if we could feel that the sad hours are shorter.
How to make time fly when you’re having a bad time?
When you are waiting to be served in a store, usually the wait is longer if you are alone than if you are chatting animatedly with a friend.
The time that passes until you are waiting in the line is the same, really. But it’s twice as heavy and long when you’re alone and you constantly check what time is it.
Following the examples, the same happens when you are not in a mood for exercising. You start your 30-minute routine and continuously watch the clock.
Thus, the time is much slower than if, for example, you listen to the music that you love and takes you “on the fly” while doing the exercises.
Why does this happen?
This happens because our mind is ready to focus on one thing at a time. That is why it isn’t a good idea to combine certain activities when you strive to be efficient.
However, this is ideal if you want to feel that time passes more quickly. Because you are forced to divide your attention (or, rather, alternate) between two activities. And, therefore, the emotions are also “divided”.
If you don’t stop looking at the clock, impatience, impotence grows … You experience negative emotions waiting for the minute hand to move faster.
This changes if you intend to pay attention to something else (to your dog, which is doing a hilarious prank, for example) and stop looking at the clock.
You will feel less overwhelmed and, in addition, you will have the feeling that time has gone faster.
Further Reading: How to Silence Your Inner Critic
Worry is “stretching” the time
We are acting out of nervousness to wait for too long, especially if it is urgent for us to get in line or we have the feeling that we are in the slowest line
It helps if we know how long we’ll have to wait.
If you arrive at about half an hour earlier, you will be quiet. And if you have to wait, you will be nervous for several minutes after the agreed time.
We need an obligation
When we are occupied with an action, the time simply passes. That’s why some elevators have mirrors so people can do something while they are waiting.
Also, sometimes we just want some action to start happening.
Have you noticed that a waiter always gives you a menu while you are waiting in the restaurant and that a doctor often introduces you to an office, and doesn’t start immediately, but does some other, administrative work?
Further Reading: 10 Things To Give Up If You Want To Be Happy
Attention is the key
You already know the trick to make it happen before that heavy time. Or to have the feeling that this is so, much better.
Stop paying so much attention to time and find another place to direct it.
For example, if you are waiting in the line and, instead of telling the people in front of you and looking at the barbarity of time it takes to move the line, occupy your mind with something else (reading, consulting something on the mobile phone or in an erotic fantasy … whatever).
The same you can do in more stressful, bitter or difficult situations. If you want to feel that time flies, focus on something different.