Monday, January 18, 2021

Fear & Time

According to Ruth S Ogden, PhD, and Catharine Montgomery, Liverpool John Moores University: “When we experience fear, we experience a sensation of more time passing than normal. This is because our perception of time is affected by our level of arousal.” Increases in activity in the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which prepares the body for the fight-or-flight response, are associated with a perception of lengthening of time. Imagine a time when you felt fear, perhaps listening to an unknown person banging on your front door or ringing the bell. You held your breath, and it seemed like forever before the banging stopped. Or you are waiting for someone and keep checking your watch because it seems an hour has gone by when it is only 10 minutes. Conversely, increases in the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which calms the body down, are associated with a slowing or shortening of time. That can be a benefit of implementing solid stress-management strategies. 

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