Lifestyle Time perception: why does time sometimes go fast or...

Time perception: why does time sometimes go fast or slow?


As William Shakespeare said, “time is very slow for those who wait, very fast for those who fear, very long for those who suffer, very short for those who enjoy; but for those who love, time is eternity”.

We all have the experience that time “flies” when we are enjoying a loved one, or an exciting event. But we also feel that time is eternal when we attend a boring activity that does not interest us and that we cannot get rid of, or when we are with someone who is not to our liking. What does it depend on whether time passes us fast or slow? Basically, we can measure time in two ways objectively and subjectively. The objective time is, to put it simply, that measured by the clock, so we could also call it “social time”. It is a convention, a global agreement among all human beings. Subjective time, however, is our “internal” clock, which informs us of our own rhythm with respect to the social one.
We all accept that the “clock” time is the time with which we organize life, habits, customs. So, we have, for example, our schedule for meals, to work, for leisure, to rest But subjective time also has another important nuance how we perceive its course. A moment can seem like an eternity, while there are weeks that go by as quickly as a sigh. Time slows down or speeds up depending on what is happening in our environment, depending on the activity we are developing or who we are with at that moment; that is, it is closely related to our interest and our motivation.


In reality, living is turning time into experience; and if this is pleasant much better! However, everything has its time and everything has its time, which means that we must also dedicate ourselves to those “forced waiting times” or face difficult situations in which time slows down.

On many occasions, we pay attention to the saying “time is money” and we look for a way to transform “forced” times into “useful” times. This may be a wise way to use time, but it is not the reflection that concerns us. It would be a question of asking ourselves if, in this way, we enjoy the time. Do we vibrate every second of our life for the pleasure of being alive, for doing what we do at all times?

Enjoying is accepting every moment of our lives putting all our senses into it, letting us feel every sensation, every emotional texture, every nuance that the situation in which we are immersed brings us. It is flowing and letting yourself be soaked by every vibration of life.

Even the most boring or painful is fuller if we are present, if we give ourselves to it with the five senses, with the totality of our being. And we only live once, so each minute is unique and unrepeatable.

The secret to enjoying our life is to learn to enjoy every moment of our existence, accepting in every moment what reality puts us in front of us. The American writer Paul Goodman said in this sense: “Live life as your heart tells you that life must be lived, and the world will become a better place for everyone.”


  1. Find your rhythm of life. Do not load yourself with activities that the only thing they do is make you run and be continuously stressed. Try to leave yourself free time to be with yourself, and when they are not obligations, such as work and other really unavoidable commitments, adjust your time to your personal rhythm.
  2. Tune in to your body clock. Remember that practically all the processes in your body are controlled by your internal clock. The organism confers a personal tint every hour. Some people are diurnal, while others prefer the night. Adjusting an activity to your body clock works wonders.
  3. Enjoy your free time. Continual activity robs us of strength, makes deep thinking impossible, and wears out relationships with others. Therefore, we need a time of calm, leisure, rest.
  4. Live every moment. Train your perception and your senses to capture those little details of the “here and now” that comfort you. Look, throughout the day, at any time, for small satisfactions and new nuances in what you are doing. Find the harmony that, despite the stress and monotony, there is around you.
  5. Learn to be centered. Dedicate yourself to doing what you are doing at all times. Remember that each moment is unique and unrepeatable and is full of magic. Learn to discover that magic.
MindFixes Staff
MindFixes is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders and advocating, educating, and serving all people with mental and substance use conditions. MindFixes is determined to persevere, learn, grow, love and laugh through our wellness journey and we invite all to join.


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